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Education

Public School

Currently, privatized base housing is available on Buckley AFB. Military personnel and their families can also live close-by in the surrounding community. Where you live determines which public school district your children will attend.  If you are planning on living in the privatized housing at Buckley AFB, you will be in the Aurora Public School District. Children in K-7th grade will attend Vista Peak Exploratory, and children in 8th - 12th grade attend Vista Peak Preparatory. The Aurora Public School District is the sixth largest school district in the state of Colorado, and one of the most diverse.  Please go to the Aurora Public School District website for more information or visit the 460th Force Support Squadron's School Liaison Officer website.

Exceptional Children Program

The Department of Exceptional Student Services (ESS) of the Aurora Public Schools serves the needs of students with disabilities, according to the Individuals with Disablities Education Act and the Colorado Exceptional Children’s Education Act. ESS serves students from 0-21 years of age through a continuum of services. ESS believes in high Expectations that result in all students achieving their full potential. ESS partners with general education and families in providing access to the appropriate instruction and services in the least restrictive environment.   

Together we provide:

  • A safe environment for all children conducive for learning
  • An environment that allows for taking risks with teaching and learning
  • A plan that includes the family as an integral part of the educational process
  • An educational program with life experiences that prepares students to become participating members of our diverse communities
  • Technology that promotes independence in living and learning
  • Professional development for all educators and families to develop common understandings of best practices and strategies for quality instruction.

Aurora Public Schools Gifted and Talented Program (A.G.A.T.E.)

Aurora Public Schools is dedicated to meeting the needs of every student by offering standards based educational opportunities appropriate to each child's ability. Accordingly, Aurora Public Schools is committed to providing for the unique needs of the high potential and gifted learner. These children and youth exist within all ethnic, geographic, and socio-economic groups. Providing an array of service options that recognize individual strengths, interests, and challenges will best maximize student potential.

Grading Scale

Standards-Based Grading accurately reports what students know and are able to do in relation to the Colorado education content standards. It aligns grading with the state content standards as measured by consistent and accurate student achievement data and common criteria for grading.

Standards-Based Grading is not based on traditional grade averaging. Instead, it more accurately reflects how well a student is doing in relation to the state content standards by:

  • Looking at the student’s most recent evidence of performance, and then by
  • Looking at the student’s most comprehensive evidence of performance
  • Standards-Based Grading helps to communicate what each student knows and is able to do according to the state content standards.
  • Standards-Based Grading also reports separately the influence of positive and consistent work habits and behavior on each student’s learning.
  • According to the Aurora Public Schools VISTA 2010 Strategic Plan, APS will provide report cards to all students that are standards-based.
  • All APS elementary and K-8 schools currently use Standards-Based Grading.
  • All APS middle schools will provide report cards that are standards-based by August 2009 and all high schools will provide report cards thatare standards-based by August 2010.
  • For high schools, Standards-Based Grading will not change the current practices and policies regarding the calculation of a GPA and will not affect transfers to other school districts or college entrance requirements.
  • Standards-Based Grading differs from traditional letter grades in that it accurately measures a student’s level of knowledge of grade-level content. Letter grades traditionally incorporate more subjective factors like behavior and effort along with a student’s level of knowledge of a specific subject. Standards-Based Grading records the subjective factors separately from a student’s understanding of grade-level content.
  • Standards-Based Grading allows teachers to more effectively tailor instruction to students based on what they actually know about grade-level content.

Bus Schedule

Bus schedules vary based on the school being attended.

Area public schools exemplify high quality education by featuring innovative curriculum, traditional and day school year-round academic years, as well as competitive and non-competitive sports and special programs for the gifted and talented. Programs abound for the handicapped and for students seeking special technical training. The Denver Metropolitan population has one of the highest education levels in the United States.

Registration Requirements

In Colorado, Kindergarten attendance is not required. However for most districts the cut-off to attend a part-day or full-dayKindergarten program is age 5 by September 15. However, this can vary from district to district. To register a child for school the following documents are required: Photo ID of Parent/Guardian, documentation of child's birth certificate, baptismal certificate, valid passport, proof of address, immunization records.

Factors to Consider in Choosing a School

To determine what is considered to be a "good" school, request the most recent copy of a selected school district's annual report and any additional printed material that describes the district, its programs and services. Then, arrange a personal visit the school your child/children will attend and include an appointment with the principal or guidance department.

Facts to consider:

1. Percentage of high school graduates going on to college
2. District median score on Scholastic Aptitude/ACT Tests
3. Availability of programs for gifted/talented students
4. Availability of vocational programs
5. Percentage of teachers with Master's Degrees
6. Pupil-teacher ratios at appropriate grade levels
7. Physical facilities and equipment
8. Areas of outstanding accomplishments

All public schools are funded by a combination of state funds and mill levies on local property taxes.

Each district is required to set specific educational goals in areas of curriculum, texts and specialized educational services. A school board of five to seven members elected to four-year terms governs individual districts. The State Board of Education acts as a supervisory body over the local districts and provides advisory services, oversees school accreditation and certification of teachers.

Private School

Number of private schools in area:

  • Pre-School: 200
  • Elementary: 100
  • Middle School: 50
  • High School: 50

Home Schooling

Please refer to the Colorado Home Schooling website for information regarding Colorado policies on home schooling. 


Associated Links

Military Youth on the Move
Answers to all military children and teen concerns.

Military Child Education Coalition
Provides information and resources on military education needs.

DoD Schools
Provides complete information on all Department of Defense Schools run by DoDEA.

Military K-12 Partnership
Provides comprehensive information for all students.

Great School -- Find and Compare Schools
Find information on all schools nationwide.

Early Childhood Learning and Knowledge Center -- Head Start
Information about the Head Start pre-school program.

Search for Public Schools - National Center for Educational Statistics
Provides a web site to search schools nationwide from elementary through high school.

State Savings Plans -- Information on saving for children's education.
Allows user to search college savings plans (529 plans) in every state and provides information on how to begin a plan.

TALARIS - Learn about early childhood education.
Advancing knowledge of early learning and the importance of parenting.

Choosing a School for your Child - Department of Education
How to choose a school.

School Matters
Public source for information and analysis about nation's public schools.

SchoolQuest -- Designed by Military Child Education Coalition
School information designed for military Families by the Military Child Education Coalition.

U.S. Air Force Services
Comprehensive information on all Air Force service member and family issues.

USA4 Military Families
Seeks to engage and educate state policymakers, not-for-profit associations, concerned business interests, and other state leaders about the needs of military members and their families.

DoD School Report Card
Presents an unbiased review of each DoD School's performance.

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