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The "Cops, Coats and Kids" Coat Drive takes place until Nov. 1.

The "Cops, Coats and Kids" Coat Drive takes place until Nov. 1.

October 7, 2014
In this issue. . .

Click each link or scroll to read the stories below.

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Shaping the Future: A New Strategic Plan for APS

The APS Leadership Team and Board of Education have spent the past 18 months laying the groundwork for a new strategic plan for Aurora Public Schools. Since 2006, APS has operated under the VISTA strategic framework, which will conclude in January 2015.

Strategic Planning Team

To ensure that our new plan, APS 2020: Shaping the Future, reflects the goals and values of the APS community, we’ve brought together a Strategic Planning Team to gather internal and external stakeholder feedback to develop the plan. The team consists of APS staff, Board members, parents and community and business members.

Opportunity for Feedback

To learn more about the strategic plan development process and provide feedback, please visit aps2020.aurorak12.org

Strategic Planning Team members will incorporate this feedback as they draft the plan. In January 2015, the Board will consider adopting the plan, which would lead to a full launch and implementation of APS 2020: Shaping the Future.

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APS to Hold Attendance Area Open Houses
APS Community Campus P-8

APS Community Campus P-8

APS has established a committee to recommend the attendance area for the new P-8 school currently under construction on the APS Community Campus.

Attendance area options will be presented to the community in a series of open houses. Community members are welcome to attend any of the open houses listed below.


Wednesday, Oct. 8
5-7 p.m. 
East Middle School
1275 Fraser St. 80011
Thursday, Oct. 9
5-7 p.m.
Vista PEAK Exploratory P-8
24551 E. 1st Ave. 80018
Tuesday, Oct. 14
5-7 p.m.
William Smith High School
400 Airport Blvd. 80011
Wednesday, Oct. 15
5-7 p.m.
Tollgate Elementary School of Expeditionary Learning
701 S. Kalispell Way 80017
Thursday, Oct. 16
5-7 p.m.
Aurora Frontier P-8
3200 S. Jericho Way 80013
Media Center

Open house attendees will have the opportunity to:

  • View displays of attendance area options and maps.
  • Talk one-on-one with members of the APS Attendance Area Review Committee.
  • Provide input on attendance area options.

Based on the data collected and community input, the committee will present recommendations to the APS Leadership Team and the Board of Education in November. The Board will make a decision on the attendance area in December, and the new boundaries will go into effect in the 2015-16 school year. 

To learn more about the attendance area process and options, visit: aurorak12.org/boundary

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Please Support the Third Annual "Cops, Coats, and Kids" Coat Drive!

Story by Ashley Smith
APS Communication Team Intern

Coat DonationIt’s that time of year again! Winter is coming and many Aurora Public Schools students need coats! Last year, the Aurora community came together and donated more than 1,000 coats to children in need. We are asking community members to step up again this year by donating new or gently-used coats.

This year’s coat drive will run from Sept. 22 to Nov. 1. We are specifically looking for coat sizes that fit elementary school children. Children’s gloves, hats and scarves are also welcome.

The Aurora Police Department and the APS security department are hoping to provide more coats to kids in the community than ever before. Donations can be dropped off at the locations below.

Every child who receives a coat will be grateful for your generosity.

Collection Locations:

  • Aurora Central Main Library (Foyer) on E Alameda Ave. Just west of the Aurora Municipal Court Building.Coat Donation
  • Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement Federal Credit Union, 992 Potomac Cir.
  • The Lone Tree Branch at 10025 Park Meadows Dr.
  • APD District 3 Tallyn's Reach (Foyer) between the Police Station and Library 23911 E Arapahoe Rd.
  • The Aurora Municipal Building (Foyer) next to the Officers Desk.
  • Aurora Public Schools Security Office 15701 E. 1st Ave. Suite 109
  • New Dawn Center for Spiritual Living 1680 S. Chambers Rd.
  • The Aurora Association of Realtors office at 14201 E. Evans Ave.

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Student Focus Center of Attention at Futures Academy Grand Opening
Futures Grand Opening

Futures Academy student Wilber Gonzalez-Garay, 19, left, and one of his instructors attended the recent grand opening celebration. Gonzalez-Guary has attended Futures for more than a year.

Nineteen-year-old student Wilber Gonzalez-Garay is excited about his future. In it, he sees himself doing a variety of things that interest him, especially work that involves using his hands. Even more impressive is the fact that less than a year ago, Gonzalez-Garay was homeless and desperate for a change.

"I didn't have house and I had just lost my job," Gonzalez-Garay said. "I really needed something to keep me busy, and the one thing I wanted to do was go back to school."

Gonzalez-Garay is just one of close to 200 students enrolled in Futures Academy, which serves students ages 17 to 21 who have too few credits to earn a traditional high school diploma but are still interested in furthering their education and pursuing a post-secondary degree. Through a partnership with Colorado Youth for a Change and Aurora Public Schools, students are able to access resources, guidance and targeted academic instruction that will allow them to leave Futures with an associate degree, Pickens Technical College Certificate, GED or a combination of the three. 

Students, community members and staff  ̶  including representatives of the APS Board of Education, Pickens and the Community College of Aurora  ̶  recently came together to celebrate the grand opening of the new center's location at 14707 E. 2nd Ave. Student ambassadors and staff members conducted building tours and Q&A sessions for attendees looking for more insight on how the program works. As Gonzalez-Garay put it, Futures staff members are concerned with more than just academics, a quality any young student trying to get ahead would appreciate.

"I've now got a good idea of how to speak to people and write resumes," he said, adding that he also learned how to produce a cover letter. "I had no idea what that even was."

Now taking classes at Futures, Pickens and CCA, Gonzalez-Garay said he has everything he needs to accomplish his ultimate goal - earning his mechatronics engineering degree. 

"If I wasn't here at Futures," Gonzalez-Garay said, "I'd probably be somewhere on the street begging people for money." 

Thanks to his new found discovery, that scenario is far from reality. 

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Si usted habla español y desea una explicación de esta conexión comunitaria, por favor comuníquese al número
303-344-8060 x28078.

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What other information would you like us to share with you? Send your suggestions to apscomm@aps.k12.co.us.

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APS Community ConnectionAPS Community Connection is produced by the Aurora Public Schools' Communication Department. Content focuses on timely and important information about the school district. Please share this information with your community. For more information please call the APS Communication Department at 303-365-7805.

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Created on July 10th, 2014 | Last updated on October 7, 2014