District 11 unveils new brand and strategic plan for school year


COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Springs School District 11 will be starting the school year this week with a new identity and mission: “We dare to empower the whole student to profoundly impact the world.”

The meaning?

“That we are about academic rigor, that we are about social, emotional learning of our students, and that we are also focused on preparing our students for college career and life readiness,” said D-11 superintendent Michael Thomas.

D-11 said more than 1,500 people took part in developing D-11’s strategic plan, including students, parents, district staff, and the community.

“We have a renewed interest in commitment to looking at how we can meet the unique needs of every single student in our community,” Thomas said. “And we will have a priority focus next year, as one of our strategy states, of creating an ecosystem of equitable practices. Every student is an individual student, every family is an individual family. And we have to create the conditions and provide the resources by which they will find their success.”

The district also unveiled a new logo with help from district students who also played a role in the last rebranding.

“Many of them are seniors, but they were kindergartners at the time that that logo was launched, and they knew what that meant for them,” Thomas said. “They’re also very much more into social media, the Instagram and the Facebook and the Snapchat, than I am, but that is where they are finding their niche. That is where they are finding their market for what their needs are. So, we knew that if we are going to be relevant and responsive to our number one person in our system, that being our students, we needed to ensure that they were part of that branding, that marketing, and that logo development. Because they know what they want, they know what they need.”

With D-11 being the oldest school district in El Paso County, the district has created a five-year facility plan to revamp, remodel, and build new schools.

After meeting with local demographers, D-11 says Colorado Springs will see upwards of 1 to 1.5 million more people in the next 10 to 15 years.

“Part of our strategic plan is to design for that type of growth and expansion and partner with folks such as our urban renewal, as we are reviving the city, and that D-11 also has a presence in that revival,” Thomas said.

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