• Each month D11 sends out messages of interest to our community.  Below are the most current monthly messages.


    Dear D11 family,                                                                              

    Welcome to the 2022-23 academic year! We hope all of you had a fantastic summer break and enjoyed quality time with your friends and family.   

    D11 History: This year, District 11 proudly turns 150 years old. Mary ‘Queen’ Palmer, the wife of General William Palmer, started a small school at the corner of Cascade and Bijou Streets in 1872 on a bedrock of excellence. Excellence in Education. Excellence in Service. Through the years, D11 has been the cornerstone of Colorado Springs, preparing this community’s children for success after graduation. As we look into the future, we are committed to the visionary mission of Mrs. Palmer - ensuring ALL of our students receive a rich and rigorous educational experience built on fundamentals while providing them multiple pathways to explore their passion for continuous improvement and learning.

    We are grateful to the parents, community members, elected leaders, and students who joined us last week at Garry Berry Stadium to celebrate our 150th anniversary. Please stay tuned for details about year-long commemorative events and activities as we celebrate our rich and diverse history.

    Welcome Superintendent Gaal: We are delighted to welcome Mr. Michael Gaal into the D11 family, as he assumed leadership responsibilities as Superintendent of Schools in early July. Mr. Gaal comes to D11 with impressive credentials and experience, focused on increasing central office support to our schools, improving administrative efficiency, trust, communication, and overall service to our community. Working collaboratively with Mr. Gaal, our commitment is to meet every student in their K-12 educational journey and foster a welcoming, safe, and academically focused culture where all students are valued, supported, and encouraged for future success. You can find additional information on Mr. Gaal’s background and message to the D11 community at https://www.d11.org/Superintendent. As you see him out and about in our community and schools, please join us in welcoming him with warm hospitality.

    Increased Opportunities for our Students:  Understanding the challenges of the past two years, the Board set aside resources to support the academic, social, and emotional needs of our students. Here is a summary of some of the support you can expect throughout this academic year:

    • Thirty minutes were added to the elementary school day, and nine minutes were added to the secondary school day to combat learning loss, improve academic outcomes, and help support the diverse needs of our students. All relevant information can be found at https://www.d11.org/BackToSchool.
    • Ten elementary schools provide free or low-cost after-school enrichment programs as value-added support for our working families. Details can be found at https://www.d11.org/AfterSchoolEnrichment.
    • Understanding the critical value of early childhood education, D11 offers free pre-school opportunities in almost every D11 elementary school. We are looking into expanding these opportunities to meet community demand. Details can be found at https://www.d11.org/preschool.
    • Thanks to the generosity of the D11 community, every D11 school will have one or more counselors to promote the development of the whole child, so every student can grow and thrive in a safe and supportive school environment that contributes to student learning.
    • Around 2,100 students participated in the 2022 Summer Bridge program to prepare them for the upcoming academic year and/or earn the academic credits required for graduation. We are discussing returning this program for the summer of 2023 and will promptly communicate details.
    • Food and Nutrition Services distributed over three million nutritious meals from a record-high 42 locations during the summer.
    • In addition to performing over 900 work orders, D11 Facilities completed many more significant projects, including HVAC upgrades, replacement of gym floors and bleachers, parking lot and landscape maintenance, and building renovations to ready our schools for opening day.

    As we welcome our students and community back into our schools, we would like to recognize all our staff who worked diligently over the summer to provide services for our community and ensure a successful start to the school year.

    Volunteer, Mentor, Serve: More than ever, it takes an entire community to meet the diverse needs of our students. Parent and community engagement in our schools has dramatically improved student success. As our schools return to being vibrant community hubs, we need your help to volunteer in our schools, share your expertise with our students, and become our partners. Details can be found at https://www,d11.org/Engage.  The District is also looking to hire paid staff, including certified teachers and education support professionals, to join our D11 family. A hiring bonus of $2,500 is currently being offered.  Details can be found at https://www.d11.org/Jobs.

    Commitment to Excellence: The Board is excited to start the new academic year focused on the Board priorities of student success, staff investment, community engagement, and continuing to build a strong and sustainable future for District 11. We collectively renewed our commitment to visit every school, gather feedback that will help guide our work, and continue to build communication channels with our staff, students, and stakeholders. As we celebrate the District’s 150th anniversary, our promise is a renewed focus on continuing Queen Palmer’s founding vision of excellence in everything we do.

    Please join us on our journey to excellence as we lead into the future while learning from our illustrious past.  

    Thank you. 

    Colorado Springs District 11 Board of Education