Back to school at DCSD: Five things to know

Posted 7/29/19

So long, sweet summertime: The Douglas County School District welcomes most students back on Aug. 7. That date may differ for DCSD charter schools and kindergarten programs, and parents are …

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Back to school at DCSD: Five things to know

Posted

So long, sweet summertime: The Douglas County School District welcomes most students back on Aug. 7. That date may differ for DCSD charter schools and kindergarten programs, and parents are encouraged to confirm the date for their child or children.

To ease some of the usual, back-to-school stress, we’ve provided five changes for families to be aware of.

Get the app

DCSD recently launched a mobile app, dubbed “Douglas County SD,” which can be downloaded for free from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Targeted to parents, students and staff, the app makes it easy to access calendar events, news, district communications, lunch menus, school contact information, weather notifications and more.

Tip: Enable push notifications to be notified of any recent updates.

More counselors

Douglas County schools will see more mental health resources thanks to a $40 million mill levy override passed by voters last November. Of that amount, $6 million has gone toward hiring 85 additional counselors.

At the start of the school year, each elementary school will have a counselor, and the ratio in middle and high schools will improve from one counselor per 350 students to one counselor per 250 students.

Construction

Also passed by voters last November was a $250 million bond, which is going toward critical building repairs, new construction and safety measures.

Upcoming projects include a 25,000-square-foot addition to Castle View High School in Castle Rock, which is over capacity by more than 360 students. The $13.2 million project is expected to begin this December and be completed by December 2020, according to district documents.

Schools including ThunderRidge High School in Highlands Ranch, South Ridge Elementary in Castle Rock and Iron Horse Elementary in Parker are scheduled to receive roof repairs and control system improvements.

For a full list of projects, visit https://bit.ly/2YjH31B.

School resource officers

The upcoming school year will see more security following the shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office — which already provides 11 school resource officers to local schools — will add five SROs to middle schools, two to charter schools, and expects to convert seven school marshal positions into eight more SRO positions for elementary schools by December. Additional sergeants and detectives will support the SROs, according to the sheriff’s office.

The Parker and Castle Rock police departments each provide three resource officers to schools in their community. Each department recently received council approval to add one SRO in the school district, bringing their counts up from two.

Parent Resource Center

The district provides a wealth of information for parents online at https://bit.ly/2LJl3Hh. Resources include access to the Infinite Campus parent/student portal, which tracks student assignments, grades, class schedules, attendance and more, along with links to add money to a child’s lunch account and to learn about the district’s emergency protocols.

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