Students are at heart of everything we do

Education Update

Column by Katie Klossner
Posted 10/21/19

Welcome to the first column for Elizabeth School District. Thanks to Colorado Community Media for creating this space. We plan to present different perspectives each month on a variety of public …

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Students are at heart of everything we do

Education Update

Posted

Welcome to the first column for Elizabeth School District. Thanks to Colorado Community Media for creating this space. We plan to present different perspectives each month on a variety of public education themes, trends and successes. Today’s column is an overview of the district and what we offer to students and the community.

The first wood-framed, one-room school was built in Elizabeth sometime between 1877 and 1884. Our school district (initially formed in 1919) then became official in 1952. Fast-forward 67 years and the Elizabeth School District is now a top-rated, high-performing school district known for its family-oriented culture, student-focused philosophy, and caring staff. Governed by a five-member board of education, our students are always at the heart of everything we do.

With six schools in the district boundary, students can start in our popular half- and full-day preschool programs and free all-day kindergarten, available at both Running Creek and Singing Hills elementary schools. Elizabeth Middle School (grades 6-8), recently ranked 17th-highest middle school in Colorado (out of 270), complements its academic offerings with innovative outdoor education field trips. Frontier High School, an alternative education campus, provides a non-traditional setting for students wanting a different type of high school. Elizabeth High School, offering numerous Advanced Placement classes and college course offerings, continues to have an impressive four-year graduation rate at 90.1% (exceeding the 80.7% state average). Finally, Legacy Academy is a K-8 charter school operated by a group of parents, teachers and community members under their own governance.

As Elbert County’s largest employer with 334 individuals, we are proud that almost half of all licensed professionals in the district hold advanced degrees. Most of our staff members have more than 10 years of teaching experience. We consistently offer smaller classes (our average K-12 class size is 23) which allows our educators to use a more personalized, one-on-one approach, to help our students thrive academically.

While we are small, Elizabeth School District is still large enough to provide quality education and outstanding extracurricular activities. Our students will be the next generation of problem solvers, creators, citizens and leaders. It is up to all of us to make sure they have the tools, knowledge, love of learning and leadership opportunities for a successful future. Students as early as elementary school can lead school announcements, participate in student council, or become student ambassadors. Students help plan school spirit days, school events, local food drives, run service leadership projects and give tours to new students. In high school, students continue leadership experience by participating in several state and national competitive leadership programs, including Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA).

Middle school students with an early passion for art, drama, band, orchestra, and/or choir can engage in a strong performing arts curriculum and experience a fully equipped stage and theater (fewer than 10 Colorado middle schools have full theater spaces). High school students can continue their love of the arts through various clubs, classes and productions, or explore other interests, such as robotics, dance, technology, television/video production and/or athletics.

With frequent state champion individuals and teams, students look forward to participating in our competitive sports programs. In fact, our top athletes regularly receive college athletic agreements. Cardinal Country comes alive with basketball, cross country, football, track, volleyball and wrestling at the middle school, while we offer many varsity sports at the high school, including baseball, basketball, cross country, soccer, golf, spirit/poms, football, gymnastics, softball, track, volleyball and wrestling.

Strong schools can drive economic development and vibrant communities. When an investment is made in our kids and education, a bigger investment is made in the future of Elizabeth, Elbert County, our state and nation. Whether 1952 or 2019, one thing will always remain true about Elizabeth School District … we are in it for the students.

Katie Klossner is director of communications for the Elizabeth School District.

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