While Colorado may be known for the Rocky Mountains, amazing ski resorts, and the bustling city of Denver, did you also know that it's home to several large school districts?
According to U.S. News and World Report, Colorado is ranked #4 in education out of all 50 states in the country. This comes as no surprise as the state is also ranked #15 in Best States Overall. Some of the best schools in Colorado make this state not only a beautiful place to live but also a great place to receive a quality education.
Let's dive in to learn more about some of the largest school districts in the stunning state of Colorado.
Denver Public Schools
1860 Lincoln Street Denver, CO 80203
Total Number of Schools: 207
Total Students Enrolled: 89,213 as of October 2022
Denver Public Schools is the largest school district in the state of Colorado according to Niche.com. With more than 200 schools and over 89,000 students, it's easy to see why this district is so massive. This district also covers the city of Denver, the largest city in the state. However, it manages to keep its student-to-teacher ratio low at just 14:1.
This school district also celebrates its high focus on diversity. Over 37,000 students are English Language Learners with over 170 different languages spoken within the district itself. As an incredibly large district, the school is able to offer services like transportation, special education, and career and technical education, as well.
Jeffco Public Schools
1829 Denver West Drive #27, Golden, Colorado 80401
Total Number of Schools: 155 schools on 168 campuses
Total Students Enrolled: 77,092 for the 22-23 school year
Jefferson County Public Schools (also known as Jeffco Public Schools), is a school district in Colorado that covers schools in Golden and the surrounding areas. The district has been operating since 1950 and continues to grow in its mission to help students “achieve their biggest dreams.” Their website states that approximately 9% of Colorado students in grades K-12 attend a Jeffco School.
Additionally, 3 schools in the district are ranked in the U.S. News and World Report as a top 25 school in the state. 6 schools have also received the National Blue Ribbon Schools award. The student-to-teacher ratio in the district is relatively low at 16:1 with 74% of the teachers holding master's degrees, as well. In order to keep the ratio low, the district employs about 5,300 teachers.
Douglas County School District
620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, CO 80104
Total Number of Schools: 90
Total Students Enrolled: Over 63,000
As the third largest school district in Colorado and the 56th largest in the country, Douglas County School District is the largest employer in the county. This district also has one of the highest graduation rates in the Denver metro area with 88.5% graduating in 2022. This district is also high in scholarship winnings with more than $118 million awarded to the class of 2023.
The student-to-teacher ratio of this district is slightly higher at 18:1. However, the Douglas County School District is known for its focus on leadership and offers many different school types including magnet and charter options. Additionally, this school district has AP courses, an International Baccalaureate program, and options for gifted and talented students.
Cherry Creek Schools
4700 South Yosemite Street, Greenwood Village, CO 80111
Total Number of Schools: 67
Total Students Enrolled: Over 53,000
Cherry Creek School District is ranked as the third-best district in the state of Colorado according to Niche. With a graduation rate that keeps increasing and even reached its highest yet at 90.9% in 2022, this district continues to look for ways to expand and grow. Additionally, the graduating class of 2023 received over $53 million in scholarship funds.
This school district also places a large focus on health. There are more than 80 nurses across the district and a mental health model that ensures students receive the help they need to succeed. The student-to-teacher ratio is 17:1 and this school district is known to have one of the highest-paying teacher salaries in the state.
Aurora Public Schools
15701 E. 1st Ave., Aurora, CO 80011
Total Number of Schools: 58
Total Students Enrolled: More than 38,000
Aurora Public Schools is a school district in Colorado serving the city of Aurora and the surrounding area. With a high focus on diversity and inclusion, the district is home to students from over 130 countries who speak in more than 160 different languages.
The student-to-teacher ratio of this district is 16:1 and graduating seniors have been admitted into prestigious schools like MIT Stanford, and Yale. Additionally, one of the schools in the district, Aurora Quest K-8, has been recognized as one of the top-rated schools in the state.
Adams 12 Five Star Schools
1500 E 128th Avenue, Thornton, CO 80241-2602
Total Number of Schools: 56
Total Students Enrolled: 35,442
Inspiration meets inclusivity at the Adams 12 Five Star School District. With a graduation rate that exceeds the state average and 97 languages represented within the district, the First Start District is on track to keep expanding. The district also offers a Future Forward program where students can explore 25 different career options.
The student-to-teacher ratio is 17:1 and more than 73% of the teachers hold an advanced degree. Additionally, the school offers STEM, PTECH, gifted and advanced, and carer and technical educational opportunities.
St. Vrain Valley Schools
395 S. Pratt Pkwy, Longmont, CO 80501
Total Number of Schools: 55
Total Students Enrolled: Over 33,000
St. Vrain Valley Schools is the seventh largest district in Colorado and covers areas north of Denver, including Longmont, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Longs Peak. This district is also ranked as the fifth-best school district in the Denver area and includes both charter and Montessori schools, as well as specialized technical programs.
Additionally, the district has a lengthy list of awards and recognitions it has received over the years. The student-to-teacher ratio is also 17:1, and the graduation rate exceeds the state average. With 92.4% of students graduating, the school district has increased nearly 15% since 2010. The district is also known for its rigorous graduation requirements, one of the highest in the state.
Poudre School District
2407 LaPorte Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80521-2297
Total Number of Schools: 55
Total Students Enrolled: 30,105 during the 22-23 school year
Located in the Fort Collins area and coming in at #11 across the entire state of Colorado is the Poudre School District. This district continues to see an increase in enrollment year-over-year. And, while the district offers charter and other program opportunities, 70% of PSD families choose to send their students to their neighborhood school.
At Poudre, the student-to-teacher ratio is also 17:1. Students also score well above the state average in reading. Additionally, the school has received numerous Energy Star awards, making it well-known for its support of operational sustainability. As a final note, this district is located in For Collins, which was ranked #1 in the 2020 top 100 best places to live by Livability.
While Colorado may be known for far more than its educational options, it's clear that these large school districts have a lot to offer their students. From educational opportunities to athletics, fine arts, and specialized programs, every student is sure to find their fit in one of the massive school districts in this state.
- The Most Expensive Schools in Colorado Today
- The Oldest Schools in Colorado are Ancient
- The 13 Largest Schools in Colorado are Massive
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock.com.