Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of a Facilities Master Plan?
Overview. Colorado Springs School District 11 serves approximately 26,000 students and employs approximately 3,700 full and part-time employees, both instructional and operational. The District has thirty-three elementary schools, nine middle schools (grades 6-8), four traditional high schools, one consolidated alternative/early colleges/vocational campus, and six District-authorized charter schools in their portfolio.
The purpose of a Facilities’ Master Plan (FMP) is to identify and prioritize the current and future needs of our district’s facilities. The central outcome of the FMP is to create a plan and identify the funding needed to provide equitable access to world-class facilities for all D11 stakeholders.
What is the process and timeline for the Facilities Master Plan?
The District embarked on its Facilities Master Plan (FMP) in January 2020. The District hired Cooperative Strategies (CS), a firm that works with districts across the country in the development and implementation of Facilities Master Plans. CS will work with the District and our community to develop a FMP that aligns with the District’s Strategic Plan and Academic Master Plan. The FMP process includes the collection of data about the District, its utilization and condition of its facilities, and the community’s educational vision.
We launched our community outreach efforts with our Future’s Conference (an overview of the Future’s Conference can be found in the “Documentation and Videos” webpage) on February 26th. We will have a Steering Committee composed of members of our community, businesses and schools. We will also have numerous community dialogues that will be at different times and locations through the District to ensure all community members can have their voices heard throughout the process.
The timeline envisions the work of the community will afford the team to bring forward the recommendations for the FMP to the District School Board in December 2021.
What is the vision for D11 and how will the FMP tie to this vision?
The Facilities Master Plan will align with the recently completed Strategic Plan and the soon to be completed Academic Master Plan. The District has a number of aged facilities, at various stages of need and repair. (The average age of our 50 school facilities is 52 years old). There are also several gaps in our facilities in which improvements are needed to better meet the District goals and educational needs.
Why are we embarking on the FMP now?
The District has embarked on the visioning of its future through the recent completion of its Strategic Plan and its current work on the Academic Master Plan. To ensure continuity with these two critical components of the district’s vision, the work on the Facilities Master Plan has commenced.
How will the plan be implemented?
This year long FMP process will afford the D11 community to provide guidance and recommendations to D11’s school board by calendar year end, 2020. The FMP that is provided to the school board will have a pathway forward designed by the community. The Superintendent will move forward with the plan as directed by the school board.
Who will provide input on the development of the FMP?
The FMP team has put in place a structure that incorporates significant community engagement throughout the FMP development. The FMP will be the community’s vision; the facilities it wants to provide for its students. The process began with a Future’s Conference in February 2020 that included over 40 D11 community, business and district leaders. This group’s work will be carried forward to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will be diverse, providing multiple perspectives to the work that needs to be done by this committee. This committee will do a significant amount of work focusing on district data, using the data to help frame the discussions with the broader community and help to build consensus on the pathway forward. The committee’s work will also be the basis for the survey questions that we will make available to the broader community in early May.
We will have a series of Community Dialogue meetings, at different locations and at different times of the day to provide opportunities with the community to have a voice. The development of ideas, options and recommendations will be submitted with the FMP to the School Board in December 2021. We also envision Facebook Live and on-line townhall conferencing opportunities to afford those that are not able to join us in person.
We will also have a survey available on-line in both English and Spanish that will seek input from the community on their priorities and vision for the future of D11. The results of the survey will be incorporated in both the Steering Committee’s work and the Community Dialogue sessions.
Will teachers and administrators have a voice in the process?
Yes, all teachers and administrators are encouraged to participate in the process. The FMP team will be engaging with the principals at their various monthly meetings. We will also be asking them specific questions about their schools, educational programs and their facility’s capacity.
Teachers’ voices are critical to this process. We recognize the day to day engagement teachers have with their students and learning environments. We will have teachers on the Steering Committee and will have Community Dialogue meetings at schools and other locations throughout the District. We will also have various video-conferencing opportunities for teachers to engage with the FMP team.
Will students have a voice?
Yes! Our students are critical to the development of the District’s FMP. They will have a voice throughout the FMP process. For example, we will have students on the community’s Steering Committee. We will also have a community survey where students may make their voice heard. There will be numerous community dialogue opportunities at different times throughout the District and community at large that will allow for student participation. We will also have various video-conferencing opportunities for students to engage with the FMP team.
How will you involve the (entire) community in this process?
We have planned a total of 34 community meetings. We launched the process with a Future’s Conference on February 26th that brought over 40 community, business and District leaders together to begin the FMP process. We will have a Steering Committee that will meet five times for two hour sessions that will take the work of the Future’s Conference, the data about schools and programs, survey results and community dialogue outputs to help build the community’s FMP. It is an iterative process that will afford multiple avenues for the community to engage and ensure all may engage as they are able.
We are planning approximately 28 community meetings. We plan to have multiple meetings on a given day, the schedule will incorporate two days of back to back community dialogue meetings (each 1-2 hours long). The district’s schedule of community meetings will take place throughout the day: a few in the morning, an early afternoon event, with two or three more in the evening. Staggered times also allows for community members to select a time that best suits their schedule. We are hopeful this schedule will provide for greater community participation.
We will also facilitate Facebook real-time meetings or video townhall conferencing that allows for call-in discussions.
How will you ensure engagement with our Spanish (others?) speaking community members?
We will have interpreters at our community meetings. Our survey will be in Spanish and English. We are hopeful to have community meetings in locations that will be accessible to all community members.
Will the plan envision community needs? (e.g. community schools or support services)
The FMP process will allow for the community to define its needs. Throughout the process the community will be able to prioritize and refine the facilities plan to align with what it values and what it wants schools to provide for its students.
How do we give feedback on the FMP if we cannot attend community meetings?
We will have a survey available on-line for all interested parties to complete. The framework of the survey will incorporate some of the items that will be discussed in detail during the Community Dialogue sessions. In addition, people can watch the townhall conferencing sessions and submit their comments and/or ideas at the following link: Contact Us.
Do you envision closing any schools?
The FMP process will allow us to envision the future of facility needs across the district. We do not have a definitive facility plan that depicts the closure of any school. We are aware of our changing enrollment, the growth within our community and surrounding areas as well as the impact school choice has on the utilization of our facilities. These factors need to be considered through the community engagement process. The community engagement process will provide guidance for the options that will be considered by the Steering Committee and its final recommendations to the school board and superintendent.
What are grade configuration changes and why are they considered in a FMP?
A grade configuration defines the grades housed at a particular school. For example, an elementary school typically houses Kindergarten – 5th grade, but may also house Pre-Kindergarten, 6th grade. A grade configuration change may be considered as a part of the Facilities Master Planning process to accomplish an academic vision when the facility and enrollment data support it. For example, if the community desires to offer a K-8 school environment, this option may be considered if a current school has sufficient space to accommodate this configuration and can be renovated to support it.
Will you put middle school students with high school students in the reconfiguration?
Are you thinking about K-12 facilities?
The FMP will align with the Academic Master Plan.
Will charter schools be a part of the FMP?
Yes! Our charter schools authorized through the District will be a part of the FMP.
How will academic programs be affected?
The FMP will align with the Academic Master Plan.
Are you also considering the transportation needs of the D11 students?
The FMP is focused on the District’s facilities, yet transportation to/from these facilities is a critical component of accomplishing our mission. So, transportation will be actively involved through this process.
The District is currently reviewing additional transportation options to our students to offer more equitable access to our district schools. More information about D11 transportation can be found here.
How will the proposed FMP be funded?
We are looking at two financial pathways:
- Utilizing existing funding from the Capital Program
- This includes the Capital Reserve and 2017 Mill Levy Override.
- Utilizing existing funding from the Capital Program in addition to a Bond Measure.
- The Bond Measure would require voter approval to implement.
Will we have more options in high school for career pathways?
How can we partner with our higher educational communities in this process?
In the Academic Master Plan, we are looking at multiple pathways our D11 students may pursue. These pathways include college, associate degrees, certificate programs and combinations, thereof. We are fortunate to have numerous higher educational organizations within the Colorado Springs area and we want to ensure our students have access to opportunities afforded by these organizations.
Will this make us more competitive with surrounding districts?
The Strategic Plan and Academic Master Plan will provide the framework for the programs that D11 will offer its students and families. We believe this framework will provide a diversity of education options and pathways that will engage families within our community as well as those beyond our borders that are seeking the options D11 may afford them.
We have declining enrollment; how does the FMP take this trend into consideration?
Enrollment trends are certainly a consideration, but they are not the only factor taken into consideration when building the FMP. Please see [Steering Committee #1] [coming soon] presentation for greater detail related to the data evaluated for purposes of FMP development.
Can you show us the trends of enrollment in different school catchment areas? Where are we growing? Where are we losing students? Can we bring them back with strong programs?
The FMP will align with the Strategic Plan and the Academic Master Plan. The community will have the opportunity to look at the data needed to build the FMP. Enrollment trends are certainly a consideration, but they are not the only factor taken into consideration when building the FMP. Please see [Steering Committee #1] [coming soon] presentation for greater detail related to the data evaluated for purposes of FMP development.
How does the enrollment of military families impact this work?
The relationship D11 enjoys with our military community is a critical component to how we serve the families that serve our country.
What is Facility Condition Index (FCI) and how does it influence the level of investment in a facility? How do you prioritize?
FCI is a standard management benchmark that is used to objectively assess the current and projected condition of a building. It takes into consideration the repairs that are necessary to maintain the facility to a level that will allow for it to continue to provide an environment that supports the education of students. As costs for maintenance begin to exceed 40 to 50% of a building’s replacement cost, the district evaluates the viability of maintenance versus replacement.
What is the Education Adequacy Index (EAI)?
A subjective assessment to determine the physical capacity of a school building to accommodate the existing programming, or educational courses, being offered. It takes into consideration physical attributes of classrooms as well as systems within the facility.
Are we taking Early Childhood Education into consideration with the FMP?
We are looking to identify and address the needs that are framed in the Academic Master Plan.
Can you provide the presentation(s) to the community on-line?
Can you have on-line conversations with the community that cannot attend the scheduled meetings?
Yes. Please check the calendar of events for community dialogue opportunities that will be available through video-teleconferences, call-in town halls and Facebook conversations.
Can you provide a glossary the can provide definitions for acronyms that are used through this process…e.g. FCI, EAI, ECE, FRL, GT, CS etc… A glossary?
We have a Glossary of Terms and Acronyms on the Facilities Master Plan website.
How are technology needs taken into consideration in this process?
The FMP takes into consideration technology that is currently in our facilities, as well as how to incorporate future technology needs and considerations.
What if I have a question that wasn’t answered in the FAQ’s?
Please go to the “Contact Us” webpage to submit questions or comments.
- Utilizing existing funding from the Capital Program