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A is for Adaptability: How Pueblo Schools Excel

Pueblo School District 60 adds new schools and programs to keep local talent pool fully stocked.

By Teree Caruthers on April 11, 2023

Teachers and students sign a large beam to be placed at the new Franklin School of Innovation in Pueblo, CO.
Pueblo D60

Serving nearly 18,000 students, Pueblo School District 60 plays a major role in the region’s workforce development efforts, with academic pathways designed to prepare students for local, in-demand careers.

Thanks to passage of a historic $218 million bond that allowed for the building of five new schools set to open in fall 2023, the district is poised to keep homegrown talent flowing to the region’s employers.

A+ Education in Pueblo

“The district’s overriding mission is to prepare our graduates for college and careers,” says Charlotte Macaluso, Pueblo School District 60 superintendent.

That is accomplished through a multiplatform approach that encompasses career and technical education (CTE), International Baccalaureate programs, the AVID college readiness system, Junior JROTC, STEM courses, fully online learning, athletics and extracurricular offerings – with a specific focus on meeting the unique needs of every student.

The district’s highly successful and award-winning CTE program – which includes culinary arts, STEM, video production, hospitality, business and entrepreneurship, health care, and manufacturing – is an example of adapting educational opportunities and resources to the needs and interests of each student.

The district is constructing five new school buildings in total.
Pueblo D60

Smart Choices

“We realize that scholars are interested in exploring a variety of options, not just college. That is why we are continually strengthening our CTE offerings,” she says. “We are proud to say that many of our CTE programs – culinary arts and digital design as examples – offer certifications that allow students to immediately enter the workforce and contribute to a business or company.”

At the new East and Centennial high schools, CTE offerings will be expanded with state-of-the-art equipment, such as an on-site production kitchen that will bolster culinary arts programs, as well as expanded workspaces.

Also new to the district is an apprenticeship program that offers students a chance to gain real-life experience in a host of career fields, including education and facilities management.

“This apprenticeship program plays a key role in preparing students for the workforce as well as secondary education, as many will go on to earn the credential needed for their chosen career,” Macaluso says. “This will equip students with the skills and knowledge needed to not only enter the workforce but also play a pivotal role as contributing members to society – regionally and on a national and even global scale.”

“We are proud to say that many of our CTE programs – culinary arts and digital design as examples – offer certifications that allow students to immediately enter the workforce and contribute to a business or company.”

Charlotte Macaluso, Pueblo School District 60 superintendent

Best in Class

Through a partnership with Pueblo Community College, the district offers the Early College Enrollment Program, which allows high school students to earn college credit toward an associate degree or professional certification at the same time they are earning high school credit.

Macaluso says this dual enrollment program offers financial relief to many families, along with academic scholarships.

“We are proud to say that our graduates continue to be awarded some of the state’s and nation’s top scholarships, with these high-achieving scholars going on to universities such as Stanford, Yale and UCLA,” Macaluso says. “District 60 graduates have made a global mark with such companies as Google and Cisco, in Hollywood and the arts, and in businesses and companies right here in Pueblo.”

As early as kindergarten, students are working to solve real-world problems in areas such as engineering and renewable energy. With three new elementary and middle schools – Franklin School of Innovation, Nettie S. Freed Expeditionary K-8 School and Sunset Park Elementary – that trend will continue with additional resources.

For example, Franklin School of Innovation is a Project Lead the Way school, which means students are introduced to careers in engineering, manufacturing, technology and medicine through hands-on and project-based learning.

“Additionally, our new K-8 Expeditionary School will, for the first time, offer students the opportunity to learn through exploration and self-discovery, with an emphasis on finding a career that will be both enjoyable and fulfilling,” Macaluso says. “CTE will become a centerpiece at this new school.”

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