D11 Insights

October 2022 Edition

Heartbeat of Excellence

Now that the official Count Day is behind us and we are heading into the second quarter of the 2022-2023 school year, I want to express the importance of daily attendance. Count day determines funding for our staffing and programs, but attendance throughout the school year is one factor that helps determine a student’s academic success. Education research consistently shows that students with higher absenteeism rates have lower scores on annual state tests.

According to a report by Attendance Works, a national non-profit dedicated to reducing chronic absence and promoting student academic success, before the pandemic, eight million students were chronically absent (missing 10% or more of the school year). That number has more than doubled since most schools and districts have returned to in-person learning. Left unaddressed, chronic absences will dramatically increase the number of students struggling with reading, writing, and math and escalate dropout rates. We know that students in our D11 schools with attendance rates greater than 92 percent are three times more likely to meet expected math growth!

As our leadership team and the Board of Education work to build our community's trust, I have shared my desire for central administrators to lean in and work together to support students, school administrators, teachers, and support staff. We will lean in even further to help families get children to school regularly. We will be identifying community partners who support this initiative so they may join in our journey.

To lay the foundation of regularly attending school, D11 starts children with robust early childhood education options as another way to grow the academic success rates of our students. We are very excited about our ever-expanding preschool population. Next week, we will start opening new preschool classrooms, celebrating this expansion with a ribbon cutting at Chipeta Elementary School. We are paving the way to achieve our goal of clearing preschool waiting lists long before the state introduces universal preschool. We shouldn’t have to put a preschooler on a wait list while we face a declining enrollment trend in our school district. These future D11 students highlight that creative thinking centered around the needs of students and the community can turn us into a growing enrollment district!

We know students learn more when they are in school and engaged. We are working hard in partnership with our staff, families, and community partners to get them excited about learning early in their academic journey, keep them engaged throughout their time with us, and connect them to the future of our great city through the workforce, college, and career readiness options.


Michael Gaal, Superintendent

October is National Principals Month

You might think you know what principals do (run the school, resolve conflicts, help students who come to them) but you may not know how they fill in and help where their school community needs it the most. As we celebrate National Principals Month during October, we are highlighting the many talents principals take on outside of their "normal" job duties!

Educational Support Professionals Week

October 17-21 is for celebrating our many Educational Support Professionals throughout D11! Although this week is the official celebration, we honor our bus drivers, food and nutrition teams, teacher's aides, clerical, facilities teams and the many support staff members who keep our district running smoothly all year round!

We Want to Engage With You!

D11 Superintendent, Mr. Michael Gaal, and the district leadership team want to hear from you! Starting in November, the District will host a series of town hall discussions to hear your thoughts, concerns, answer questions, and engage on topics that impact our schools and school district. The first town hall is November 1, 2022, 6-7 p.m. at Coronado High School, 1590 W. Fillmore St., 80904, in the cafeteria. You are encouraged to attend as we discuss topics such as social pressures facing students, a team approach to student success, helping families navigate D11, and more! If you are not able to attend this town hall, more will be scheduled in the second semester across the District, or you may stream the conversation live at www.d11.org/tv. We hope to engage with you!
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Upcoming Events

October 27-28, Parent/Guardian Teacher Conferences, no school

November 11, Veterans Day Observed in School

November 21-25, Thanksgiving Break, no school and district offices closed