Adams 12 Five Star Schools, Colorado

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Adams 15 Five Star Schools
Adams County, Colorado
District Profile
Superintendent:Christopher E. Gdowski
Graduation rate:70%
Number of schools:68
Budget: $248 million
Website:School Home Page
Board of Education
Board president:Mark D. Clark
Board members:5
Term length:4
Adams 12 Five Star Schools is a school district in Colorado that served 43,268 K-12 students during the 2012-2013 school year.[1] This district is the fifth-largest by enrollment in the state of Colorado.

About the district

Adams 12 Five Star Schools is located in Adams County, Colorado
Adams 12 Five Star Schools is located in Adams County, Colorado. The county seat of Adams County is Brighton, Colorado. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Adams County is home to 459,598 residents.[2]


Adams County underperformed the rest of Colorado in terms of its average household income based on the 2010 U.S. Census. The median household income in Adams County was $56,089 compared to $57,685 for the state of Colorado. The poverty rate in Adams County was 14.0% compared to 12.5% for the entire state. The U.S. Census also found that 20.7% of Adams County residents aged 25 years and older attained a bachelor's degree compared to 36.3% in Colorado as a whole.[2]

Racial Demographics, 2012[2]
Race Adams County (%) State (%)
White 87.4 88.1
Black or African American 3.5 4.3
American Indian and Alaska Native 2.2 1.6
Asian 3.9 3.0
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.2 0.2
Two or More Races 2.8 2.8
Hispanic or Latino 38.4 21.0

Party Affiliation, 2013[3]
Party Registered Voters  % of Total
Unaffiliated 96,016 37.65
Democratic 91,925 36.04
Republican 64,406 25.25
Libertarian 1,665 0.65
American Constitution 599 0.23
Green 440 0.18

Note: Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" percentage, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off. Read more about race and ethnicity in the Census here.[4]


The Superintendent of Adams 12 Five Star Schools for the 2013-2014 school year was Christopher E. Gdowski. He has served in the position since his appointment in 2010. Gdowski previously served as the district's general counsel for three years.[5]

School board

Adams 12 Five Star Schools schools are overseen by a five-member board elected by district to four-year terms. Board members receive no compensation for their service.[6]

Adams 12 Five Star Schools Board of Education
Member District Term Ends
Norman L. Jennings District 1 2015
Robert M. Willsey District 2 2015
Kathy Plomer District 3 2017
Rico Figueroa District 4 2017
Mark D. Clark District 5 2015

School board elections

See also: Adams 12 Five Star Schools elections (2013)

Members of the Adams 12 Five Star Schools Board of Education are elected to four-year terms on a staggered basis. Each election is held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November in odd-numbered years. There was no primary election and the general election was held on November 5, 2013 for two seats. Three seats will be up for election in 2015.[7]

Public participation in board meetings

The Board of Education maintains the following policy regarding public participation in board meetings:[6]

One period of time shall be scheduled during each regular business meeting for comments and questions from the public. Public comments and input shall be limited to fifteen minutes total, ten minutes per topic, and three minutes per speaker. In the presiding officer's discretion, public input may be received during the discussion of specific items on the agenda. Neither Board members nor the Superintendent are obligated to respond to these comments or input, nor are they prohibited from doing so. In the presiding officer's discretion, time for public, Board member or Superintendent comment may be suspended or increased, or the meeting temporarily recessed, depending on the nature of the comments or the length of the remainder of the meeting agenda.

Individuals wishing to make formal presentations before the Board of Education shall make arrangements with the Superintendent prior to the meeting so that such presentations may be scheduled on the agenda, subject to the discretion of the President. Persons wishing to make such formal presentations to the Board of Education may be asked to fill out a form briefly outlining the subject they wish to discuss. Persons making such presentations may be required to provide background materials in advance to be distributed with the agenda. Presentations are subject to any applicable time limits imposed by the Board.

Public comments and questions at a regular meeting may deal with any topic related to the Board of Education's conduct of the schools. Comments and questions at special meetings must be related to the agenda items. Public comments or questions during other agenda items may be taken or limited at the discretion of the presiding officer or the Board. Comments concerning specific district students shall be received only in executive session.[8]


The table below displays the budget for Adams 12 Five Star Schools:[9]

Expenditures by Category
School Year Staff Expenses Student Services Operational Expenses Debt Service Other Budget Total
Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget
2013-2014 $214,105,290 76.5% $19,391,520 6.9% $45,772,950 16.3% $217,987 0.1% $489,822 0.2% $279,977,469
2014-2015 $196,645,906 79.3% $16,312,893 6.6% $1,666,145 0.7% $0 0% $33,360,290 13.5% $247,985,234
Averages: $205,375,598 78% $17,852,206.5 7% $23,719,547.5 9% $108,993.5 0% $16,925,056 6% $263,981,351.5

Teacher salaries

Teacher salaries at Adams 12 Five Star Schools are categorized based on higher education achievement, professional development and years of service. A teacher with a Bachelor's degree can earn higher salaries by pursuing graduate degrees. The salary schedule also accounts for graduate degrees by providing higher starting salaries and greater potential salaries. The following table details the salary schedule negotiated between the district and teachers for 2013-2014:[10]

Salary structure
Degree level Minimum salary ($) Maximum salary ($)
B.A. 32,024 46,755
B.A. 20 33,305 55,335
B.A. 40 34,586 59,979
B.A. 60 35,867 74,394
B.A. 80 37,148 78,064
MA 35,867 74,394
MA 20 37,148 78,064
MA 40 38,429 80,386
MA 60 39,710 82,708
MA 80 40,991 85,030

Schools in Adams 12 Five Star Schools


The district served 43,268 K-12 students during the 2012-2013 school year. The district experienced a 6.0% increase in enrollment between 2008 and 2012. The following chart details enrollment in the district between 2008 and 2012:[1]

Total enrollment
Year Enrollment Year-to-year change (%)
2008 40,818 -
2009 41,949 2.7
2010 41,957 -
2011 42,990 2.4
2012 43,268 0.6

District schools

Adams 12 Five Star Schools operates 68 schools listed below:[11]

Adams 12 Five Star Schools
Arapahoe Ridge ES
Centennial ES
Cherry Drive ES
Coronado Hills ES
Cotton Creek ES
Coyote Ridge ES
Eagleview ES
Federal Heights ES
Glacier Peak ES
Hillcrest ES
Hunters Glen ES
Leroy Drive ES
Malley Drive ES
McElwain ES
Meridian ES
Mountain View ES
North Mor ES
North Star ES
Prairie Hills ES
Riverdale ES
Rocky Mountain ES
Silver Creek ES
Skyview ES
Stellar ES
Stukey ES
Tarver ES
Thornton ES
Westview ES
Woodglen ES
Century MS
Crossroads MS
Northglenn MS
Rocky Top MS
Shadow Ridge MS
Silver Hills MS
The International School at Thornton Middle
Westlake MS
Bollman Technical Center
Futures Center (Pathways & Independence Academy)
Horizon HS
Legacy HS
Mountain Range HS
Northglenn HS
Thornton HS
Vantage Point/Vista View
Hulstrom Options K-8
The Studio School
STEM Launch
STEM Magnet Lab
Colorado Virtual Academy
Global Village Academy
Prospect Ridge Academy
Stargate Charter
The Academy-Main
The Academy-North
Westgate Charter

Academic performance

Colorado Student Assessment Program

The Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) is Colorado’s standards-based assessment designed to provide a picture of student performance to schools, districts, educators, parents and the community. The primary purpose of the assessment program is to determine the level at which Colorado students meet the Colorado Model Content Standards in the content areas assessed. The CSAP is collaboratively developed by the Colorado Department of Education, the Colorado teaching community and CTB/McGraw-Hill. The data is used to keep abreast of individual student, school and district progress toward attaining higher student achievement levels. The fact that CSAP is based on the Colorado Model Content Standards ensures that all districts are held to the same standards expected for students regardless of whether they live in urban, suburban or rural areas.[12]

Three-year performance trends

The following table details the performance of Adams 12 Five Star Schools students for years 2012-2013, 2011-2012 and 2010-2011:[13]

District CSAP scores
Performance Indicators Rating  % Earned
Academic Achievement Approaching 56.3
Academic Growth Meets 63.1
Academic Growth Gaps Approaching 51.7
Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Approaching 43.8
Total 53.6

What do the performance indicators measure?

  • Academic Achievement: The Achievement Indicator reflects how a district's students are doing at meeting the state's proficiency goal: the percentage of students proficient or advanced on Colorado's standardized assessments. This indicator includes results from CSAP, CSAPA (Reading, Writing, Math and Science), Lectura and Escritura.
  • Academic Growth: The Growth Indicator measures academic progress using the Colorado Growth Model. This indicator reflects:
  • Normative growth: How the academic progress of the students in this district compared to that of other students statewide with a similar CSAP score.
  • Adequate growth: Whether this level of growth was sufficient for the typical (median) student in this district to reach an achievement level of proficient or advanced on the CSAP within three years or by 10th grade, whichever comes first.
  • Academic Growth Gaps: The Gaps Indicator measures the academic progress of historically disadvantaged student subgroups. It disaggregates the Growth Indicator into student subgroups, and reflects their normative and adequate growth. The subgroups include students eligible for free or reduced lunch, minority students, students with disabilities (IEP status), English Language Learners and students needing to catch up.
  • Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness: The Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Indicator measures the preparedness of students for college or jobs upon completing high school. This indicator reflects student graduation rates, dropout rates and average Colorado ACT composite scores.


Accusations of financial wrongdoing

In February 2013, Fox 31 Denver reported that officials in Adams 12 Five Star Schools may have been "hiding" millions of dollars while cutting student services.[14] The allegations arose after former district internal auditor Gina Holub went public with claims that school Chief Financial Officer Shelley Becker was intentionally misleading board members about district finances. Fox 31 labelled Holub a "whistleblower" while Adams 12 superintendent Christopher Gdowski labelled her a "disgruntled former employee" in a letter to members of the community.[15]

A team was hired by the district to prepare a report on the financial activities of the administration. Once the report was released, board members commented that the report effectively vindicated the administration of any wrongdoing. Professor Jim Sorensen, a CPA, Ph.D. and an expert in forensic accounting, disagreed with the board's assessment after reviewing the report.[16] In late March, the president of the Colorado Education Association sent a letter to Governor John Hickenlooper requesting a state investigation into the matter. On February 11, 2013, Holub filed a federal lawsuit against the district, Chris Gdowski, Shelley Becker and Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Mark Hinson.[17]

Contact information

Adams 12 Five Star Schools
1500 E. 128th Ave.
Thornton, CO 80241-2602
Phone: 720-972-4000

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. 1.0 1.1 Colorado Department of Education, "Pupil Membership for 2012-2013," accessed January 24, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 United States Census Bureau, "Adams County, Colorado," accessed October 2, 2013
  3. Colorado Secretary of State, "Total Registered Voters By Party Affiliation and Status," accessed October 2, 2013
  4. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
  5. Adams 12 Five Star Schools, "Chris Gdowski appointed superintendent of Adams 12 Five Star Schools," March 4, 2010 (timed out)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Adams 12 Five Star Schools, "Bylaws of Board of Education," accessed January 24, 2014
  7. Adams 12 Five Star Schools, "Board of Education," accessed August 29, 2013
  8. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  9. Adams 12 Five Star Schools, "Financial Transparency," accessed December 2, 2013
  10. Adams 12 Five Star Schools, "2013-2014 Certified Salary Schedule," accessed January 24, 2014
  11. Adams 12 Five Star Schools, "Schools," accessed January 24, 2014
  12. Colorado Department of Education, "About CSAP" accessed July 15, 2013
  13. Colorado Department of Education, "District Performance Framework 2013," accessed January 24, 2014 (timed out)
  14. Fox 31 Denver, “State’s 5th largest school district hid millions while cutting services to students?” February 13, 2013
  15. Adams 12 Five Star Schools, “A letter to the community” February 4, 2013
  16. Fox 31 Denver, “Caught on tape: School officials laughing as they talked about hiding millions of dollars” March 27, 2013
  17. KDVR, "Gina Holub lawsuit," February 11, 2013