Colorado Springs School District 11
1115 N. El Paso St., 520-2000, d11.org
The city's largest and most central district, D-11 has in the past few years emphasized teaching students how to thrive in a global society, whether that means learning foreign languages or studying different cultures. D-11 teachers also encourage students to become civically active.
Academy School District 20
1110 Chapel Hills Drive, 234-1200, asd20.org
Considered a top district by many locals, D-20 prides itself on top-notch Colorado Student Assessment Program scores, accreditation with distinction (the highest level possible within the Colorado Department of Education's annual accountability ratings), and an International Baccalaureate program.
Harrison School District 2
1060 Harrison Road, 579-2000, hsd2.org
Harrison was the first district established in Colorado Springs and is one of few in the nation that has adopted a wholesale pay-for-performance system of teacher compensation. Its unique programs include a "NASA Explorers" middle school, which focuses on science and technology, and a school that runs year-round.
Fountain-Fort Carson School District 8
10665 Jimmy Camp Road, Fountain, 382-1300, ffc8.org
Located south of Colorado Springs in Fountain, near Fort Carson, D-8 serves a large military family population, and expects its staff to handle the challenges those families face – "especially during war times."
Cheyenne Mountain School District 12
1775 LaClede St., 475-6100, cmsd12.org
Accredited with distinction by the state Department of Education, District 12 recently adopted new research-based curricula for both reading and math in all of its elementary schools. In higher grades, you'll find Advanced Placement (AP) courses, a strong performing and visual arts program, and 24 varsity sports.
Falcon School District 49
10850 E. Woodmen Road, Falcon, 495-1100, d49.org
In District 49, traditional, charter and online schools provide different teaching styles. It's an interesting time for the district, as its board of education is working on a radical reorganization aimed at moving money from administration into the classrooms.
Lewis-Palmer School District 38
146 Jefferson St., Monument, 488-4700, lewispalmer.org
Lewis-Palmer is a highly ranked district that uses small learning communities as well as honors, Advanced Placement and college-level courses to personalize education. Gifted and Talented programs are available at every campus, and acclaimed music, arts and sports programs and other activities round out students' experiences.
Widefield School District 3
1820 Main St., Widefield, wsd3.org
More than half of District 3's students describe themselves as being part of a military family. D-3 has always been extremely proud of its military connections, with award-winning Junior ROTC programs at two high schools. It offers three elementary schools that focus on specific disciplines, and three full-day kindergarten programs in every school.
Manitou Springs School District 14
405 El Monte Place, Manitou Springs, 685-2024, mssd14.org
Relationships. Rigor. Opportunity. R2O, as Manitou's District 14 calls it, integrates the emotional, social, academic and creative sides of each student. The small district, which also includes Ute Pass, values the interpersonal relationships created in its schools. Rigor in curricula develops the academic side, while extensive arts programs and many other opportunities feed students' creativity.