Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Back to School in Fort Collins

Well, it's that time of year...Time to get the kids prepared and off to school.  It's a bittersweet time for most parents, understandably, but living in Fort Collins has its perks when it comes to schools.  Poudre School District is the best school district in Northern Colorado so when it comes time for parents to send their kids back to school, they know their little ones will be in good hands.

Poudre School District (PSD)

High Schools:  6
Middle Schools:  9
Elementary Schools:  33
Total Students:  26,520

According to School Digger (www.SchoolDigger.com) PSD ranks 24th out of 122 Colorado districts.  Although that might seem to be "better than average but not great", keep in mind that School Digger ranks all districts regardless of size.  So that small town with one great school and 1200 students has a good opportunity to rank higher due to one or two great schools in the district.  What is very impressive is out of all districts with 25,000 students and above, PSD ranks 4th.

Great Schools (www.GreatSchools.com) is a comprehensive school and district ranking website used by parents and faculty to find information on any school in the state.  It is a great resource to understand all things of importance when sending your kiddo off to school.  They have past test score averages, spending per pupil, and student/teacher ratios.

It's interesting to note that greatschools.com gave PSD an 8 out of 10 in overall ranking.  Spending per pupil was $7982 per student, where the statewide average is $8094, so Poudre is doing much more with much less.  Student to teacher ratios are on par with the state average at 17 pupils per full time teacher, which is a very reasonable learning environment.  When it comes to test scores, you really can't beat Poudre.  The district was above state CSAP test score averages for every grade level, in every category (reading, writing, math, and science) for each of the past 6 years.

Not only does the district lead in academic pursuits, the faculty and staff at PSD schools have also been recognized for the leadership in environmental pursuits.  The district is voluntarily involved in Climate Wise, a City of Fort Collins program committed to climate protection.  According to the district website, program partners have saved over 480 million kilowatt hours of electricity, the equivalent of the annual energy use of 43,000 homes.  On top of that, the school has earned over 120 Energy Star Awards since 2000.

It's easy to see why sending your kids off to school in Fort Collins isn't a tough decision after all.  The entire city is committed to providing the best education and educational support to students and the wonderful school district is a reflection of that dedication.

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