Thriving students lead to thriving futures

Chris GdowskiSuperintendent Adams 12 Five Star Schools

Chris Gdowski
Adams 12 Five Star Schools

In Adams 12 Five Star Schools, we know if our students are thriving in school, they’re more likely to thrive after they graduate.

ELEVATE, our strategic plan, serves as a road map for creating and sustaining an environment in which our students thrive. Three conditions are equally important to elevating student success in the Five Star District.

  • Raising achievement levels for all students.
  • Taking pride in and feeling connected to the district’s positive culture.
  • Knowing every student by name, strength and need.

I encourage you to take a look at this year’s Five Star FOCUS magazine (, which features personal stories of these goals coming to life in the Five Star District.

Additionally, we’re making a number of investments for the 2023-2024 school year in support of these three priorities.

World Class Staff

As one of the focus areas in the district’s strategic plan, World Class Staff includes the following priority: “We will improve our competitive market position for recruiting and retaining high-quality staff.”

To remain competitive and address significant inflationary pressures, Adams 12 Five Star

Schools have addressed a number of compensation matters. The district raised starting teacher salaries to $58,000 a year, an increase of more than $12,000 from the previous starting salary.

The compensation package for the 2023-2024 school year also ensures that all educators will earn at least a 6 percent total increase in pay.

Additionally, all classified employees (support staff) will earn at least a 6 percent total increase in pay, and administrators will receive 6 percent.

Expansion of Career and Technical Education (CTE) Programming

The district will make additional investments in
CTE programming, which is called FutureForward in
Adams 12 Five Star Schools.

In response to student demand, the district will increase the number of classes offered in the following areas:

  • Sports medicine
  • Crime scene investigation
  • Diesel
  • Firefighting
  • Behavioral and mental health
  • Law enforcement

Additionally, given student interest, the district is adding a new program, veterinarian assistant, to FutureForward in 2023-2024.

Safe Schools

At the beginning of 2023, the Five Star District made a commitment to invest in two additional school security liaisons. The district Safety and Security team now has a total of three school security liaisons.

These safety and security team members work directly with school administrators, district security staff and our local law enforcement partners, including school resource officers, to ensure a safe and secure learning environment at all schools.

School Security Liaisons are required to have had or currently maintain a POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) certification, or similar certification necessary for firearms proficiency.

Planning Beyond 2023-2024

In support of the continued implementation of ELEVATE, Adams 12 Five Star Schools is in the midst of developing Blueprint, a comprehensive long-range academic programming and facilities plan.

The district’s Long Range Planning Advisory Committee (LRPAC) leads the works on Blueprint.

Committee membership includes parents, staff and community members. Within LRPAC, there are three subcommittees focusing on different aspects of Blueprint.

  • Relevant and Responsive Academic Programming prioritizes and designs academic and applied learning opportunities to ensure all students are prepared to successfully pursue and thrive in a future of their choosing.
  • Facility Renewal, Rebuild, Reimagine prioritize facility investments that support the district’s academic vision and that provide desirable and outstanding learning environments.
  • Profiles of Thriving Schools identifies the enrollment and resource conditions that foster an equitable and extraordinary learning experience for all students.

It’s anticipated that during the 2023-2024 school year, Blueprint will be finalized, including any funding plan necessary for its successful implementation.

We’re excited about the opportunities that lie ahead for our students this year and beyond. We can’t wait to welcome everyone to the 2023-2024 school year. See you soon!

Chris Gdowski
Adams 12 Five Star Schools