Chris Gdowski, Superintendent, Adams 12 Five Star Schools

Chris Gdowski

Competitive sports in grades 6 through 8 and expanded career and technical education opportunities among the new additions

Community and opportunity draw families to choose Adams 12 Five Star Schools as a place for their children to learn, grow and excel. As a child, I called the Five Star District home, and as a parent and the superintendent, I continue to value how our district and schools welcome our students and ensure no matter their strengths or needs, there’s a supportive community here for them.

One of our guiding goals in Adams 12 Five Star Schools is to know every student by name, strength and need and to ensure access, opportunity and a sense of belonging for each student. This is the foundation to elevating student success.

Whether your child is just beginning their learning journey with us, or is embarking on their final years before graduation, there’s “a place for you” in Adams 12 Five Star Schools.

In the spring, as we began developing the budget for the 2022-2023 school year, we focused on prioritizing investments that support access, opportunity and a sense of belonging for all students.

This school year, we’re investing in several key areas, including: the return of competitive sports in grades 6-8, expanded career and technical education opportunities, staffing for three new programs in special education, and additional support for gifted and talented students. All of these investments align to the district’s strategic plan ELEVATE, which includes the six focus areas of 21st Century Learners, Diverse Learning, Outside-the-Classroom Learning, Safe Schools, Social Emotional Learning and World Class Staff.

Competitive Sports in Grades 6 through 8
Our families have expressed a strong interest in competitive sports returning to our middle and K-8 schools, and we’re pleased to share that this year’s budget provides funding for this to happen. The district will offer cross country for 6th, 7th and 8th grade students in the fall and boys and girls basketball later in the school year.

Expanded Career and Technical Education Opportunities
Career and Technical Education, also known as FutureForward in Adams 12 Five Star Schools, continues to expand in both programming and access. FutureForward at Bollman has added an additional Behavioral and Mental Health teacher because of high student interest and requests for the program. FutureForward at Washington Square plans to launch a new Sports Medicine program with science integration, as well as English courses and a Construction in Mathematics course. The Washington Square campus is also expanding staffing in their Firefighting and Welding programs in order to accommodate more students.

Special Education Staffing
The Five Star District will expand services for students with significant impacts of autism who require more frequent and intense specialized instruction in order to meet their individual needs. This includes the addition of teachers, related service staff and paraprofessionals to support students at the elementary and middle school levels. Additional staff has also been added throughout the district, and at each level, to meet the variety of instructional, behavioral, and mental health student needs presented post-pandemic.

Additional Support for Gifted and Talented Students

With a commitment to providing equitable access to programming, the district is adding Gifted & Talented Advocates (GTA) in most schools. GTAs focus on accelerating student growth in the academic content areas, supporting social and emotional needs, and fostering a positive school climate and culture regarding gifted services. Advocates collaborate with principals and teacher leaders to develop and implement school-wide structures and initiatives in relation to the school’s specific GT Program Plan. The GTA serves as a capacity-builder, engaging with teachers to support their instruction and classroom environment. We’re glad to offer these opportunities for our students. Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year.
We can’t wait to see you!

Chris Gdowski
Adams 12 Five Star Schools