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El Paso County Colorado District 49

D 49 offers families a choice

This is the first column in a series that will appear monthly in The New Falcon Herald.You may have heard Falcon School District 49 referred to as a “choice” district, but what exactly does “choice” mean? For families, it means that no matter where you live, in-district or out, you have a choice where to send your child to school. With nine elementary schools, four choices for middle school education and four high school options, D 49 offers superior educational options for every type of learner.At the district, we strive to be a place of opportunity and specialized education for every child. You may already know about our International Baccalaureate programs at the elementary, middle and high school levels. Or you may have utilized our special services programs that allow parents to work with our educators to assess your child’s needs to determine how best to meet them throughout the educational process.What you may not know is that we have built our curriculum with the mission to not only graduate all of our students, but to fully prepare them for success in college and careers after their time in the district is done. With that in mind, we’ve worked with local institutions of higher learning and examined best practices throughout the country to develop our innovative career academies.Located at Falcon High School, our Academy of Health Sciences is designed to meet the growing need for health care professionals in Colorado and beyond. Students can test for the certified nurses assistant (CNA), emergency medical services (EMS) first responder, and emergency medical technician (EMT). Next school year, we hope to launch an Academy of Finance at FHS.Sand Creek High School is the home of our Academy of Hospitality and Culinary Management. This curriculum is designed to prepare students for certification in Pro Start, a nationally certified program emphasizing food preparation, lodging, customer service and business management.We also have two academies housed at Vista Ridge High School. The Academy of Engineering Technology prepares students for post-secondary education and/or employment in the engineering field, whether it’s civil, aerospace, architectural, electrical or digital engineering.The Academy of Information Technology at VRHS and FHS provides training in Microsoft Office, desktop publishing, animated Web design and development, network design and management, router configuration, database development and management, gaming and forensics.Through these career academies and other D 49 programs, students can graduate with professional certification and/or college credit. So, no matter what path a student decides to follow after high school, he or she is equipped with the knowledge and skills to be successful.Whether it is at the elementary, middle or high school level, D 49 schools offer unique, groundbreaking programs that provide a solid foundation for students to compete in the 21st century work force and come out on top.Every year, we hold a Showcase of Schools event that brings together representatives from each school in the district in a family friendly trade show format that makes it easy for even the busiest of families to attend. Parents and students can find out about each school as they showcase their programs, answer questions and provide information about how to make the best educational choices for your family.You have the opportunity to apply for a spot in any of our schools, but you must apply during the open choice window Jan. 5 through March 6.Remember, you have a choice in how and where you educate your children. It’s my pleasure to invite you to explore D 49 and its many exceptional options. We feel confident you will find the right place in our educational community.Superintendent Grant Schmidtgschmidt@d49.org495-1100

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