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In the spirit of Teacher and Staff Appreciation week, the Board of Education wants to sincerely thank every member of the D20 team for their effort and dedication. From every school visit to every demonstration of learning and culminating in every graduation, the Board sees the difference made by the D20 team. 

Celebration: Bridges Graduation 

Our Academy District 20 team, alongside our Board of Education, kicked off the evening with a joyful celebration, coming together to congratulate 15 new graduates from the district’s Bridges program.  

Bridges supports students as they transition from school to the adult world. Individualized services connect these students and their families to supports and opportunities that promote skill development, self-advocacy and independence. Students graduating from the Bridges program on Thursday included students who will be able to live independently, acquire gainful employment and beyond. 

The D20 team wished all students well on their future journey and reminded them that they will always have support from D20.  

Key Item 1: Budget & Compensation 

The Board of Education received information and provided feedback on the development of the budget for the 2024-2025 school year. The newly passed School Finance Act, which has been sent to Governor Jared Polis, will increase our district’s per pupil revenue by 6.98% next year. During tonight’s Board of Education meeting, the 2024-25 proposed budget was presented, and the board adopted and approved next year’s compensation package. 

All current staff returning next year will receive a recurring 6% raise. The cost of this increase, including benefits, is $11,887,692. In addition, the district is absorbing a 7% increase in Kaiser premiums, equivalent to $1,208,474, to maintain staff health insurance premium rates at the current level.  

The structure of this compensation adjustment is designed to recognize, honor and thank every member of the D20 team for the dedication shown to our students and their success. With this shift, our licensed staff will have earned a 25% pay increase in a three-year span.  

Key Item 2: Public Schools on Military Installations Program Update & Opportunity 

In partnership with our Department of Defense Partners behind the Public Schools on Military Installations Program (PSMIP), Academy District 20 has explored a recommendation to replace and rebuild Air Academy High School and Douglass Valley Elementary School with the help of this federally-funded program. The recommendation to replace and potentially expand these school sites originated with the Department of Defense, and would help erase approximately $100 million in deferred maintenance at the school sites.   

In March 2024, a Federal Evaluation Team visited DVES and AAHS to tour the sites and outline next steps. Following the visit, a final design proposal for DVES was submitted to our partners for a rebuild of the existing school as a PK-8 school. Although this amount is subject to change, the preliminary estimate of the total cost for this project is approximately $61.2 million, for which the District’s 20% match is about $12.2M. The District has saved over $9 million in a reserve toward this match and is able to fund the remaining match needed to build a PK-8 school at Douglass Valley. 

While touring AAHS, the Federal Evaluation Team determined that the high school would need to be rebuilt, instead of renovated, in order to achieve a 30-year life for the facility. Although this amount is subject to change, the preliminary estimate of the total cost for this project is approximately $238.4 million, for which the District’s 20% match is about $47.7 million. During the Board meeting, information regarding two types of funding mechanisms for the District’s 20% match for AAHS will be presented, including Certificates of Participation (COPs) and Bonds. 

At our May 9 Board of Education meeting, the Board heard a recommendation to learn more about a potential ask of the Academy District 20 community in the form of a Bond to help afford these opportunities to capitalize on federal funding. The initial Bond structure could range between $49 million and just over $69 million, and would support this construction, as well as support the district’s charter schools.  

The Board of Education opted to learn more about this proposed course of action at its next meeting on June 6.

Key Item 3: Schools Celebrated for State Awards and Recognitions 

Each year, Academy District 20 schools are consistently ranked among the best in the state, and this year, our Board of Education celebrated 20 award designations placed upon our schools by the State of Colorado.  

They include John Irwin Schools of Excellence, which are given to schools that demonstrate exceptional academic achievement over time. These schools received an ‘Exceeds Expectations’ rating on the Academic Achievement indicator of the School Performance Frameworks, reflecting exceptional performance in Math, English Language Arts, and Science. Our schools receiving this award for 2023 are: 

  • Antelope Trails Elementary School 

  • Challenger Middle School 

  • Chinook Trail Elementary School 

  • Discovery Canyon Campus Elementary School 

  • Discovery Canyon Campus Middle School 

  • Eagleview Middle School 

  • Foothills Elementary School 

  • Mountain View Elementary School 

  • Pine Creek High School 

  • Ranch Creek Elementary School 

  • TCA College Pathways 

  • The Classical Academy Charter 

  • The Classical Academy Middle School 

They also include The Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Award, which is awarded to schools that demonstrate exceptional student growth. On the school performance framework that is used by the state to evaluate schools, these schools ‘exceed’ expectations on the indicator related to longitudinal academic growth at all grade levels. Our schools receiving this award for 2023 are: 

  • Academy International Elementary School 

  • Frontier Elementary School 

  • Pioneer Elementary School 

  • Village Middle School 

  • Woodmen-Roberts Elementary School 

Two D20 schools impressively received both awards, including: 

  • Rockrimmon Elementary School 

  • The Classical Academy High School