D11 Monthly Insights

A School District 11 Communications Publication

October 2019

  • Superintendent's Mission Matters: National Principals Month
  • October is Arts Month
  • National School Lunch Week
  • National ESP Week
  • October World Cafes: Master Academic Plan Input
  • #iamD11 and #weareD11
  • Video: Tesla Outdoor Leadership Program

Superintendent's Mission Matters

In honor of National Principals Month, I want to recognize the amazing school leaders we have in District 11. It is a very demanding role and each day they broker what is best for their schools, managing demands from central office and the broader communities they serve. Recently, the Wallace Foundation, in partnership with The RAND Corporation, released a study noting that only second to teachers, principals are a key determinant to the success of our students (see link to the article here). Additionally, there has never been a successful school turnaround initiative without the evidence of a strong building principal. I’m not only familiar with the research, but I lived the life of an elementary and secondary principal. Even though it was very challenging, it was the most rewarding position to observe student learning, effective teaching, and strong support by numerous building staff.


Principals are key leaders in our community. They are responsible for creating the conditions for success within their schools, and they understand their work cannot be done in isolation. Principals possess the ability to collaborate and establish partnerships that will support their staff and help students achieve their dreams. At times, they have to deliver tough accountability messages, but also are the first to celebrate the accomplishments of those they serve.


Many principals put in countless hours to achieve the outcomes they desire for their students and staff. This often comes at the expense of their own families. Luckily, those of us in public education have the support of our families, and they understand that being called to public service has high demands, expectations, and is an honorable role to provide for the greater good.


On behalf of all of our building principals and assistant principals, I want to thank you for your hard work and dedication to the D11 learning community. I also invite our students, families, and community members to take the time to #ThankAPrincipal for their hard work, and if you have not visited your local school community, take this opportunity to learn about the exciting learning happening every day in our schools. Our building principals would love to host and facilitate such conversations.


I am grateful to serve as the Superintendent of D11 and look forward to the profound impacts we will make together in our community.


Yours in partnership,


Dr. Michael J. Thomas, Superintendent

Colorado Springs School District 11

October is Arts Month!

Arts education, which includes a wide array of offerings in D11 such as dance, music theater, media arts, literature, design, visual, and performing arts, is celebrated in October. Knowing that arts education enables students to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, imagination and creativity, discipline and collaboration, the D11 Board of Education honors all arts teachers and instructors who support academic success across the curriculum. Be sure to check out the new D11 Visual and Performing Arts Instagram page @district11vaparts. Use the hashtag #ThankaD11ArtsTeacher to give a social media shout out to someone who has made an impact on you!

National School Lunch Week

October 14-18 is National School Lunch Week

Good nutrition at school is an investment in our children’s futures and a commitment to healthy children and to optimal learning and success in the classroom. In recognition of the valuable role the D11 Food and Nutrition Services personnel play in ensuring the physical, emotional, and intellectual health of our children and staff by providing healthy, fresh food and education on good health habits, the Board of Education is proclaiming the week of October 14 - October 18, 2019 as National School Lunch Week in District 11.

National ESP Week, October 21-25

From our bus drivers to our Food and Nutrition Services staff, from our electricians to our clerical employees, we wish you a very happy National ESP Week, October 21-25. Education Support Professionals are an essential and valuable part of the state's educational system and in recognition, the Board of Education is proclaiming this week as Education Support Professionals Week. Your work has such a great impact on students and the D11 community!
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Tell Your Story #IamD11 #WeAreD11

We continue to share the stories of D11 with our second installment of Tell Your Story: #IAMD11 or #WEARED11. We know that stories stick with us far more than data points, charts, graphs, or other forms of communication, so we created a hashtag to capture some of these stories shared on social media. Here are a few #IAMD11 and #WEARED11 social media posts.
Tesla's Outdoor Leadership Program - Cave Sim visit 9-30-19