D11 Monthly Insights

A School District 11 Communications Publication

February 2020

  • Superintendent's Mission Matters: Designing Our Future
  • 2017 Mill Levy Override Update
  • What is a graduate profile and what does it mean for my student?
  • Pikes Peak Library PowerPass for All D11 Students
  • Census 2020: Everyone Counts
  • #iamd11 and #weared11
  • Video story: Martinez Students Make Valentines for Silver Key Seniors

Superintendent's Mission Matters

Designing our future

We are having an exciting school year, and aside from battling Mother Nature and snow, we look forward to a strong finish. Part of our excitement is with the launch of our new strategic plan, but also the supportive work we are embarking on to implant the plan. We recently engaged our community about our Academic Master Plan, which will be finalized by late spring, and now we are starting a parallel process to engage our community about a Master Facility Improvement Plan. As you may know, School District 11 is the oldest district in Colorado Springs, and we are seeing some of this age in our school facilities. We believe it is very important to ensure our students receive high quality education within high quality buildings. This plan will chart a course for us to invest in our facilities over the coming years, so we remain the premier district of choice in Colorado Springs.


This work allows us to reimagine our future and what traditional schools and classrooms could look like. Everything from architectural design, furniture, and our ability to be more eco-friendly are important aspects to consider as we develop our Facility Improvement Plan. As always, there will be ample opportunity to be involved in this process, and we will welcome your input throughout the process. Keep watching for many opportunities to engage in this process. We will be announcing them soon. More information in the coming weeks may be found by clicking here.


Yours in partnership,


Dr. Michael J. Thomas

2017 Mill Levy Override Update

Thanks to our D11 voters who passed the 2017 Mill Levy Override (MLO), five additional School Resource Officers (SROs) will be working in our middle and high schools. SROs are sworn Colorado Springs Police Officers who provide security assistance to our campuses. Additional SROs will be added this school year and next school year. Thanks to our voters for placing the safety of our students and staff as a priority! For more information on the 2017 MLO, please click here.

What is a Graduate Profile and What Does it Mean for My Student?

In last month's D11 Insights, we introduced you to the D11 Graduate Profile. This clear visualization of priority goals for teaching and learning aligns with our strategic plan. The eight competencies that all D11 graduates need for success were developed in response to feedback from our community and D11 staff cohorts in 2019. These are skills all graduates need for success in whatever path they follow in life. Focusing on developing these competencies is the best first step to ensuring students will be ready for the challenges of 21st-century life, work, and citizenship.


How can schools and families intentionally and purposefully partner together and prepare students for this rapidly changing, increasingly diverse, and interconnected world? Every month in our D11 Monthly Insights e-newsletter, we are offering tips for families to use that will encourage the development of the graduate profile characteristics.


For students in kindergarten through fifth grades, the following skills would fall under the attribute of a skilled communicator:

  • I make connections to what I read or hear.

  • I listen and ask questions so I can understand.

  • I speak for a reason so others can understand me.

  • I write to share my ideas.

  • I use digital tools to research and share ideas.


For students in 7th through twelfth grades, the following skills are attributed to a skilled communicator:

  • I read and research to understand, evaluate, or create new information or ideas.

  • I listen and ask questions, paraphrase ideas, or make connections that further my understanding.

  • I plan and organize my speaking for an intended purpose and audience by selecting appropriate language, and I speak with confidence to engage listeners.

  • I plan, organize, and revise my writing for an intended purpose and audience by blending ideas and concepts.

  • I use digital tools to enhance my communication in multiple ways and to explore and exchange ideas.


To help your student achieve the attributes of a skilled communicator, ask them questions like, "How were you a communicator today?" or, "What were some ways you shared your ideas today?" Being a skilled communicator also means being a good listener, so asking questions like, "When did you respectfully listen to the ideas of others?" is a great way to get your student thinking about how to actively listen.


Learn more about the D11 Graduate Profile by visiting www.d11.org/graduateprofile.

Pikes Peak Library's PowerPass: Unlock Your Superpower!

How do you:
  • Get free homework help with everything from math to writing?

  • Access hundreds of digital resources and academic databases when you need to do research or dig deeper into a subject?

  • Easily connect with an online tutor to work through those tough problems or projects.?

  • Download songs and stream movies?

You don't have to be a superhero to have these superpowers at your fingertips! Pikes Peak Library District’s PowerPass gives your student access to a world of learning, support, and entertainment, all at no cost to you. Learn more about this powerful tool available to all D11 students by visiting ppld.org/powerpass today!

2020 Census: #WeCount!

The 2020 census count will be how the Federal government determines the amount of money that will be given to our schools for the next ten years. Most of the programs funded from the count are for serving our students living in low-income households and students with disabilities. Historically, the ten-year census has undercounted populations in large urban areas like ours, and we would like to work towards making sure our community is properly funded with an accurate count. Everyone counts. Documented status has no bearing on if you should or should not take the census. Learn more atwww.2020Census.gov

Tell Your Story #iamd11 #weared11

We continue to share the stories of D11 with our sixth 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 these two hashtags to capture some of these stories shared on social media. Here are a few #IAMD11 and #WEARED11 social media posts.

Video Story: Martinez Students Make Valentines for Silver Key Seniors

Martinez Valentines for Silver Key