By Jeff Miller
Warming temperatures, greener meadows and restless students — all signs that the end of the school year is approaching. While students yearn for summer break, parents contemplate the future. For those who are weighing educational options, I’d like to offer some insight into Clear Creek Middle and High Schools.
The Clear Creek School District has made great strides academically. To meet the needs of our growing gifted and talented population at the middle-school level, we are introducing a rigorous pre-AP, college-readiness program called SpringBoard, which is the foundation of the College Board College Readiness System. Of course, academics are a top priority at the high school as well. At 26 credits, our graduation requirements are more rigorous than surrounding schools, we are expanding our list of honors and AP courses, and we now offer an Honors Diploma to students who distinguish themselves academically.
Thanks to some of the smartest and most dedicated teachers with whom I’ve had the pleasure to work, Clear Creek students are extremely well prepared for college. Our students consistently score higher than the state average on ACT tests, and our graduates can enter college with as many as 18 college credits under their belts, in addition to the Advanced Placement eligible college credits. Each year, Clear Creek students receive thousands of dollars in scholarships and grants. This year, senior Mariah Gilman, as a National Merit Finalist, was awarded a full, four-year ride to Michigan State University, where she will study physics and Chinese. She was one of only eight University Distinguished Scholars nationwide to receive this scholarship — out of 25,000 applicants.
Beyond the focus on academics, Clear Creek is lucky to be in such a supportive community. Even in a challenging economy, voters passed a school mill levy in 2010 that will allow our students to continue to enjoy small class sizes, affordable fees and abundant choices for sports and extracurricular activities. The average class size in our middle and high schools is 20 students.
Those small class sizes help maintain the wonderfully inclusive, family-like culture we experience in our schools. Students are far from anonymous — they know their teachers, and their teachers know them. As someone who once served as principal for the country’s largest high school, I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to witness our students’ academic and personal growth in an environment that is socially friendly and accepting, academically stimulating and, because of our closed campus, exceptionally safe.
We also enjoy a very active student population. Approximately 75 percent of Clear Creek middle and high school students participate in sports and other extracurricular activities. Because of our moderate size, no student is excluded from a sports team, academic club, music program or any other activity. It’s heartwarming to see so many of our students enthusiastically engaged in activities that truly interest them. In addition, sports fees are affordable for any family, and we offer free activity buses that transport students home from after-school practices and events.
At the end of the day, we are proud of our students at Clear Creek — not just for their high GPAs, athletic abilities or artistic talents. Most of our students possess one or more of these qualities, but we are most proud because they are well-rounded individuals who work hard and are nice to one another. In addition to obtaining a top-notch education, I believe those are the goals of any parent or educator.
I would like to invite all students and parents, both in the Clear Creek School District and beyond, to tour our beautiful facility on Floyd Hill in Evergreen. You can also visit our website at www.ccsdre1.org or contact me at 303-567-3850 for further information.
Our mission is to provide all of our students with a top-notch education, along with our fullest attention and dedication. I always tell people — and it’s true — that attending Clear Creek schools is like getting a private education, but without the high cost.
Jeff Miller is the superintendent of the Clear Creek School District.