D11 Insights

November 2022

The Heartbeat of Excellence

22,046! That number represents a win for our students, families, employees, and community. That is the preliminary number of students enrolled in D11. This means D11 is growing thanks to our D11 families and staff, who heard the message for the October count day loud and clear! By ensuring children were counted on count day, D11’s enrollment has increased compared to last school year, helping our schools secure funding for staffing and programs.

The Board of Education and I have prioritized enrollment and achievement because all D11 children deserve the best education possible. I’m thrilled to say that according to preliminary numbers, we’ve exceeded our enrollment targets this year, beating our projected enrollment number by 754 and being up by 59 students from last school year.

I like to say that the “11” in our district’s name demonstrates where we are winning twice—on track to be number one in enrollment and number one in academic growth. As THE Colorado Springs school district in the heart of our city, as goes D11, goes Colorado Springs. What I mean by this is that it’s now more important than ever that we provide the connection from preschool to post-secondary success and become the main driver in our city’s economic future.

Colorado Springs changed my life forever when I graduated from the Air Force Academy and started my military career. Years later, I’ve returned to this beautiful city because I know it is ripe with opportunity, consistently being recognized as one of the best cities to live, work, and raise a family. That is why we are working harder than ever to connect our students with the military, technical, two and four-year post-secondary opportunities. This work is wrapped into D11’s graduate profile, our roadmap for producing critical thinkers, innovative problem solvers, skilled communicators, and empowered citizens.

Our community workforce development begins in D11. Creating personalized education pathways, career, and technical education degree plans, and opening doors for students they didn’t know existed will take commitment from every stakeholder. For us to be successful, we must realize that true equity exists right in front of us every day in the faces and futures of every D11 student. I’m committed to their successful futures, and I ask that you also lean in to support this critical mission.

Finally, when D11's excellence as a destination intersects with students finding their excellence, there is great energy to harness. Students, no matter what grade you’re in or where your life may take you in the future, your job right now is to find your excellence, whether through the love of a particular subject, sport, or art.

Thank you, again, for being a partner in your child’s education and helping us open the doors of opportunity for all children in our community. I hope everyone has a safe and restful Thanksgiving break.


Michael Gaal, Superintendent

What Does Education Personalized Mean?

Your child is unique. They have dreams, ideas, and thoughts about their future, and D11 is invested in helping them find a way to make those dreams come true. Children begin to show interest in the world around them at a young age. By fostering their curiosity and personalizing their education, they stay engaged and interested in their educational journey. But how do you know what is right for your student? We are committed to helping families, and students navigate the pathway and academic journey that is best for them.

Starting with every D11 school being a quality neighborhood school with rigorous instruction (sometimes called Best First Instruction), no matter what D11 school your student attends, they will receive the best foundational education.

Fostering students' curiosities may lead them to a pathway like STEM, visual and performing arts, dual language, or experiential (think: outdoor learning or Montessori). While every school offers science, math, and musical instruction, pathway schools embed their focus into all classroom lessons. For example, with visual and performing arts, a math lesson can be tied to musical measures and counts or fractions contained in the music.

As students progress toward high school and post-secondary life, D11 offers robust opportunities to obtain college credits, career-serving industry certifications, or military or technical education credentials. Again, we are committed to ensuring all D11 students are prepared for what we call MT24: military, technical, two or four-year post-secondary opportunities.

Elementary families with fourth and fifth-grade students will soon receive emailed toolkits, so you are aware of the opportunities D11 middle schools hold for your student. Younger elementary families may visit our pathways website for more detailed information.

Middle school families will also soon be receiving emailed toolkits to help your family know how to navigate all the different high school, career and technical, and future-ready options available to your student.

We couldn't be more excited to continue to build our strong portfolio of schools with learning foundations for all students and ignite engagement so that students develop the knowledge, skills, and attributes to profoundly impact our world!

Snapshots of Veterans Day 2022

Care Solace Partnership: Connecting Mental Health Care Options

We are committed to the well-being of our students, families, and staff and continue to create a safe and healthy learning environment. One new way D11 supports healthy mental health in our district is by partnering with Care Solace to provide an additional layer of care for our community.

Care Solace helps people find mental health care providers and substance use treatment centers in our community. They have a Care Compassion Team available 24 hours per day, seven days per week, to quickly connect you to carefully verified providers here in Colorado Springs.

Students, staff, and families may access Care Solace services in two ways:

  • Call (888) 515-0595 at any time. Support is available in 200+ languages. A dedicated Care Companion will help you research options, secure appointments, and follow up to make sure it is a good fit.
  • For an anonymous search, answer a few questions to get matched with an extensive list of care providers at caresolace.com/d11.

Care Solace is now available for students, staff, and D11 families at no cost to you. They will connect you with providers accepting all medical insurances, including Medicaid, Medicare, and sliding scale options for those without insurance.

This service is an optional resource available by choice and is not mandatory to use. Care Solace is not an emergency response service or mental health services provider. In the event of a life-threatening emergency, please call 9-1-1 or the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Care Solace for School Communities