The Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE) selected the Colorado 2023 Superintendent of the Year – Dr. Wendy Birhanzel, Superintendent of Harrison School District 2. She was chosen for her innovative and maverick approach to serving over 13,000 students within 19 schools, one homeschool academy, and three charter school systems.
Dr. Birhanzel believes that choice is important to families and is proud that D2 offers options for every student to reach their full potential and find the support they and their families are seeking. D2 is outperforming Colorado districts with similar demographics and special populations, and minority students are also outperforming their peers locally. She states that D2 students have returned to pre-pandemic reading levels and are on track for the same in math.
D2 also has talented principals, as evidenced by CASE’s choice of Colorado’s 2023 Elementary Principal of the Year, Dr. Angela Valdez from Mountain Vista Community School, and Mr. Pete Vargas of Harrison High School being named Principal of the Year by the Colorado Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents as well as Outstanding School Administrator by Colorado’s Athletic Directors’ Association.
Students are recognized as unique and receive individualized academic opportunities and enrichment that will not negatively impact the family budget because, in D2, the opportunities are FREE.
- D2 kindergarten through 5th grade students in non-charter schools can engage in fun before and after school care on every regularly scheduled school day at absolutely no charge to families. D2’s community partners, the YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region, Early Connections Learning Centers, and the City of Colorado Springs provide this programming in schools. In addition to the FREE care on regularly scheduled school days, providers offer camp-type care on staff workdays, and extended breaks (such as October and February break and Spring Break) at a nominal fee to families.
- D2 believes that students deserve extracurricular, athletic, and activity opportunities without worrying about the expense – especially during these challenging economic times with the rising cost of living and stretched household budgets. Enroll in D2 to access these activities at no cost to your family, and you can prioritize other areas of your budget instead.
- D2 students can attend college FREE with the Dakota Promise. A family’s financial situation should not be an obstacle to students enrolling in college or trade programs. Graduates from any Harrison School District 2 high school can attend 2 years at Pikes Peak State College inclusive of tuition, fees, books, and academic support at no cost. During this time, students can earn an associate degree, credits to transfer to a 4-year school, or an industry-specialized certificate. Additionally, they are provided with success support coaches that help them stay on track through school and find jobs aligned with their field.
- Education allows individuals to access career opportunities and remove barriers to personal growth. D2 offers FREE Adult Basic Education, a General Educational Development (GED) class that covers reading, math, science, and social studies, and English as Second Language classes. Adults have access to a career navigator, a workforce development team, and life coaches. Class times coincide with the Before and After School care program to provide families interested in taking adult learning classes with a FREE childcare option while they attend class.
Choice and Open Enrollment are in full swing! You may start the enrollment process online at www.hsd2.org or by calling the Student Support Department at 719-579-2550. Follow the District and D2 schools on Facebook for updates on these and other initiatives.
Let us welcome you home. Discover D2 today.