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Poudre School District, Colorado

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Poudre School District
Fort Collins, Colorado
Poudre School District logo.jpg
District Profile
Superintendent:Sandra Smysmer
Graduation rate:86.0%
Number of schools:51
Budget: $222.4 million
Website:School Home Page
Board of Education
Board president:Thomas Balchak
Board members:7
Term length:4
Poudre School District is a school district in Colorado that served 27,909 K-12 students during the 2012-2013 school year.[1] This district is the tenth-largest by enrollment in the state of Colorado.

About the district

Poudre School District is located in Larimer County, CO
Poudre School District is based in Fort Collins and serves students in nearby communities including LaPorte, Red Feather, Stove Prairie and Wellington. Fort Collins is the county seat of Larimer County in northern Colorado. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Fort Collins is home to 143,986 residents.[2]


Fort Collins outperformed the rest of Colorado in higher education achievement while lagging behind state rates for median income and poverty in 2010. The average household income in Fort Collins was $51,446 compared to $57,685 for the state of Colorado. The poverty rate in Fort Collins was 17.2% compared to 12.5% for the entire state. The U.S. Census also found that 51.5% of Fort Collins residents aged 25 years and older earned a bachelor's degree compared to 36.3% in Colorado.[2]

Racial Demographics, 2010[2]
Race Fort Collins (%) Colorado (%)
White 89 81.3
Black or African American 1.2 4
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.6 1.1
Asian 2.9 2.8
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1
Two or More Races 3.1 3.4
Hispanic or Latino 10.1 20.7

Party Affiliation, 2013[3]
Party Registered Voters  % of Total
Unaffiliated 68,937 36.6
Republican 64,522 34.3
Democratic 52,249 27.8
Libertarian 1,549 0.8
Green 579 0.3
American Constitution 388 0.2


The current Superintendent of Poudre School District is Sandra Smysmer. She has served in the position since her appointment in March 2013.[4] Smysmer had 15 years of experience as a superintendent prior to arriving at Poudre School District including a stint at Eagle County School District in Colorado.[5]

School board

The Poudre School District Board of Education consists of seven members elected by district to four-year terms. Members do not receive any compensation for their service on the board.[6]

Poudre District Map.jpg
Poudre School District Board of Education
Member District Term Ends
Cathy Kipp A 2015
Thomas M. Balchak B 2015
David Trask C 2017
Christophe Febvre D 2017
Nicholas Holian E 2017
Nancy Tellez F 2015
Susan Gutowsky G 2015

School board elections

See also: Poudre School District elections (2013)

Members of the Board of Education are elected on a staggered basis to four-year terms. Three seats on the board were up for election on November 5, 2013 and four seats will be on the ballot on November 3, 2015.

Public participation in board meetings

The Board of Education does not have a published set of guidelines for public participation in board meetings.


The Poudre School District's budget is published on its website.[7]

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
2011-2012 $152,163,617 75.5% $0 0% $0 0% $0 0% $49,497,851 24.5% $201,661,468
2012-2013 $161,091,150 75% $0 0% $0 0% $0 0% $53,799,714 25% $214,890,864
2013-2014 $168,038,255 75.5% $0 0% $0 0% $0 0% $52,584,750 23.6% $222,420,703
Averages: $160,431,007.33 75% $0 0% $0 0% $0 0% $51,960,771.67 24% $212,991,011.67

Teacher salaries

Teacher salaries at Poudre School District 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:[8]

Salary structure
Degree level Minimum salary ($) Maximum salary ($)
BA 34,262 47,367
BA 13.5 35,084 50,273
BA 26.5 35,926 53,356
BA 39.5 36,788 56,634
BA 52.5/MA 37,671 60,109
MA 13.5 38,424 63,550
MA 26.5 39,192 67,185
MA 39.5 39,976 71,027
MA 52.5 40,776 75,097
Ph.D. 41,592 79,193


Teachers in Poudre School District are represented during contract negotiations by the Poudre Education Association (PEA). The current President of PEA is Greg Grote.[9]

Schools in Poudre School District


The district served 27,909 K-12 students during the 2012-2013 school year. The district experienced a 7.5% 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 25,960 -
2009 26,520 2.1
2010 26,923 1.5
2011 27,510 2.1
2012 27,909 1.4

District schools

Poudre School District operates 51 K-12 schools listed below in alphabetical order:[10]

Poudre School District
Bacon Elementary School
Bauder Elementary School
Beattie Elementary School
Bennett Elementary School
Bethke Elementary School
Blevins Middle School
Boltz Middle School
Cache La Poudre Elementary School
Cache La Poudre Middle School
Centennial High School
Dunn Elementary School
Eyestone Elementary School
Fort Collins High School
Fossil Ridge High School
Harris Bilingual Immersion School
Irish Elementary School
Johnson Elementary School
Kinard Core Knowledge Middle School
Kruse Elementary School
Lab School for Creative Learning
Laurel Elementary School
Lesher Middle IB World School
Liberty Common Elementary School
Liberty Common High School
Lincoln Middle IB World School
Linton Elementary School
Livermore Elementary School
Lopez Elementary School
McGraw Elementary School
Mountain Sage Community School
O'Dea Core Knowledge School
Olander School for Project-Based Learning
Polaris Expeditionary Learning School
Poudre Community Academy
Poudre High School
Preston Middle School
Putnam Elementary School of Science
Red Feather Lakes Elementary School
Rice Elementary School
Ridgeview Classical School
Riffenburgh Elementary School
Rocky Mountain High School
Shepardson Elementary School
Stove Prairie Elementary School
Tavelli Elementary School
Timnath Elementary School
Traut Core Knowledge School
Webber Middle School
Wellington Middle School
Werner Elementary School
Zach Core Knowledge School

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.[11]

Three-year performance trends

The following table details the performance of Poudre School District students for years 2012-2013, 2011-2012 and 2010-2011:[12]

District CSAP scores
Performance Indicators Rating  % Earned
Academic Achievement Meets 77.1
Academic Growth Meets 71.4
Academic Growth Gaps Approaching 56.7
Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Meets 75.0
Total 71.4

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.

Contact information

Poudre School District logo.jpg
Poudre School District
2407 LaPorte Avenue
Fort Collins, CO 80521
Phone: (970) 482-7420

Website evaluation

Taxes P
Elected Officials
Administrative Officials
Contracts P
Public Records
Academics N
600px-Red x.png
Background Checks N
600px-Red x.png

School district websitesGuide.png
Transparency grading process
See also: Evaluation of Colorado school district websites

This website was evaluated on December 22, 2011.

The good

  • Detailed tax information is not provided, but major initiatives, including new mill levies, have been posted on the district website.[13]
  • Budgets for the past three years are available online.[14]
  • Minutes for the school board meetings are posted on the district website[15]
  • Direct Contact information is available for the superintendent and others in his office.[16]
  • Audits for the past two years are posted online.[14]
  • Contact information for the public records office is available.

The bad

  • The school posts bid opportunities through the Rocky Mountain E-Purchasing System. However, the system is largely inaccessible without a login, and the school does not post accepted contracts.[17]
  • Assessment, CSAP scores, or other progress reports were either unavailable or difficult to find.
  • Though it is stated that volunteers are required to submit to a background check, details on the nature of the check and to whom it is applied are not posted.

See also

External links

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