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Academy District 20 Team One,

This month, I am reminded of the great impact Academy District 20 (D20) has on the Pikes Peak Region. In addition to the knowledge, skills, and character we’re teaching students, D20 is creating partnerships across the region to support local businesses and organizations. We are extending Team One beyond our boundaries. Join me in celebrating the good news and wide reach we have in our community.

I want to thank the U.S. Air Force Academy and the D20 Operations & Facilities Team for their swift action during the West Monument Creek Fire. While watching the ever-changing winds, our teams worked to secure Air Academy High and Douglass Valley Elementary Schools, and later ensured the buildings were safe for students’ return. 

A huge congratulations to Chinook Trail Elementary School’s principal Patrick Schumaker for recently being honored as the recipient of the National Distinguished Principal Award for Colorado. The Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE) recognizes exemplary elementary and middle level principals each year. Candidates are nominated by a colleague, staff member, or community member, and nominees are subject to a rigorous application and selection process. They are measured by their focuses on their leadership accomplishments, evidence of implementing proven best practices, school and student data, and feedback from staff, students, the community, and the nominee’s supervisor. Colorado selects one honoree each year by committee comprised of current principal leaders from across the state. Patrick will move on to compete for the National Distinguished Principal Award later this year.

Patrick is an exceptional leader in D-20 who has been with the district since 2011 as the principal of Chinook Trail Elementary School.  We will be celebrating his outstanding award at the beginning of the Superintendent’s Update at the March 7th Board meeting which starts at 5:00 pm. You are invited to join us at this celebration.


Jinger Haberer, Academy District 20 Superintendent

The D20 Reach 

  • In February, we toured new community partners, including UC Health, INNOVEFLEX and BLUSTAQ through Air Academy High School. Through the school’s new Career Pathways program, we hope to streamline a path for future employment by partnering with our passionate educators.

  • The D20 College and Career Department hosted the Collaborating Across Borders Mini- Conference where educators are invited to learn more about Career & Technical Education (CTE), Work-Based Learning and college and career counseling from statewide industry partners and education experts. More than 200 people attended including D20 counselors and CTE teachers, educators and counselors from the Pikes Peak Perkins Consortium districts, and educators from District 49.  

  • The D20 Human Resources Department hosted the annual Spring Job Fair at Liberty High School. This year, nearly 300 candidates showed interest in joining Team One. 

What’s New in D20 

Safety & Security Update 

Providing a safe and secure learning environment is D20’s top priority. We continue to analyze our various layers of safety and security around prevention, mitigation, response, and recovery. The district will make some strategic non-school budget cuts in the 2024-25 school year to fund the hiring of additional armed uniformed security officers to serve in our elementary schools. Expanding our current team of armed uniformed security officers will enhance safety across the district. 

2024-25 School Year Budget

The Budget & Finance team is busy with budget planning for the 2024-25 school year. The Colorado State Legislature determines the level of funding for K-12 public schools. Because the legislative session does not conclude until May 8, 2024, we do not yet know our actual funding amount for the next school year. Prior to Spring Break, staff will receive a budget update with the latest information.

Federal Visit for Douglass Valley Elementary School and Air Academy High School

Between March 13-15, 2024, a Federal Evaluation Team from the Department of Defense (DOD) Public Schools on Military Installations Program (PSMIP) will visit D20, including Douglass Valley Elementary and Air Academy High Schools. The evaluation team will tour the schools and receive the district’s proposals on making significant facility improvements at both sites. If approved through PSMIP, the DOD pays for 80% of the cost for facility improvements at the school, while the school district pays 20%. Thank you to DVES, AAHS, the D20 facilities team, and the United States Air Force Academy staff for their partnership and preparation for this exciting visit.

Aspire Learning Academy

Starting in August 2024, Academy District 20 will launch a new program at the Education and Administration Center, named Aspire Learning Academy (ALA). The program will serve students in grades 6-12 and expand the continuum of special education services offered to students with disabilities. Starting with three classrooms, ALA will provide an additional layer of specialized support for students who require highly structured programming. The program will be staffed with Special Education Teachers, Special Education Paraprofessionals, Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs), Special Service Providers, and a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).

District Technology Advisory Committee (DTAC)

The selection process for the 2023-24 District Technology Advisory Committee (DTAC) is complete. We received over 85 applications from staff, students, parent/guardians, and community members, demonstrating a strong interest in this year's focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI).

36 applicants were selected and notified. Selection criteria prioritized applicants to balance the following: representation across sites, a variety of stakeholder roles and backgrounds, and a diversity of viewpoints about AI in education. Additionally, we have invited input from 21 ad hoc staff members representing various district departments. Read more about DTAC and their goals on ASD20.ORG.

Great Happens in D20 

Security Director Named a Finalist

Rich Payne, D20 Director of Security, has been named a finalist for the District Campus Safety Director of the Year by Campus Safety Magazine. Congratulations Rich! 

Learn more from Campus Safety Magazine.

Village High School teacher joins Colorado Springs Mayoral Leadership Program

Matt Stewart, a civics and government teacher at Village High School, is making an impact in our community. He was recently chosen for the Mayor’s Civic Leadership Fellowship. Over the next year, he’ll join 24 individuals from different industries to get an inside look at the government in Colorado Springs. He hopes to bring a unique perspective as an educator to the group. Congrats Matt!

Learn more on ASD20.ORG.

D20 Swap Program featured on KOAA News 5

Quentin Avinger, a recent Rampart High School graduate recently made headlines for his blossoming career. Through D20’s School to Work Alliance Program (SWAP), Quentin has begun work at Dandelion Chapel Hills, a local flower shop. His creative floral arrangements are in high-demand and he often loves to add his own creative flare. 

Learn more on ASD20.ORG.

Air Academy High School Girls Basketball team head to 5A Semifinals

Congratulations to the Air Academy High School Girls Basketball team who is heading to the 5A State Championship semifinals. They clinched a spot in the final four after beating Frederick High School. We’re wishing them luck as they head into the next game on Thursday, March 7, 2024. Good luck, Kadets!

Learn more from Gazette Preps.