New year, new vision

Michael Thomas
(Courtesy Photo/D11)

D11 celebrates new plan with back-to-school bash; Polis, Suthers to join

After months of work, Colorado Springs School District 11 (D11) is striding into a new school year with a new vision.

The district will officially launch its bold new strategic plan and brand identity Thursday, during a community-wide kick-off event. Doors open at noon and the festivities begin at 1 p.m. at the Broadmoor World Arena, 3185 Venetucci Blvd.

“We dare to empower the whole student to profoundly impact the world,” the mission says.

That vision is backed by a new tagline: “Inspire Every Mind.”

Superintendent Michael Thomas, Gov. Jared Polis and Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers are among the local leaders expected to speak during the festivities. The kickoff is free and open to the public.

As originally reported in the Southeast Express in April, the district spent months creating a long-term roadmap that will both guide policy over the next few years and create a framework for decision-making in the coming decades.

“D11 is the heart of our city and strong schools equal strong communities,” Thomas said in a statement. “D11 contributes so much to the vitality and culture of our community, and it is very exciting for us to launch this new direction for the city’s school district.”

** Related content:  A vision for the future **

Getting to this point was no small task.

A core planning team of District 11 parents, residents, teachers, administrators and students gathered in February to hash out just what the vision should include. That followed eight community-engagement meetings across the district, designed to get input from as many residents as possible.

In all, 1,537 people chimed in before the planning team met, Teresa Arpin, the president of Transformation Systems and a consultant for the planning process, told the district board of education in March. The final plan got the board’s unanimous blessing with no debate in June.

“It is taking a risk,” board secretary and core planning team member Theresa Null said in March of the statement. “People are used to having students sit down all in a row, and now you’re saying, ‘We’re going to send you into the community and we’re going to encourage you to make a difference.’”


Check it out
Who: Gov. Jared Polis, Mayor John Suthers and Superintendent Michael Thomas, among others
What: A community-wide kick-off event celebrating Colorado Springs School District 11 and its new mission statement
When: Doors at noon, program at 1 p.m., Aug. 8
Where: Broadmoor World Arena, 3185 Venetucci Blvd.
Info: or

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