• Employee Resources
  • Language

Neighborhood Schools

students watching a computer presentation

Neighborhood Schools

Neighborhood schools are those that serve a particular geographic area in Douglas County.  Open enrollment means that all Douglas County schools are potentially available to all students regardless of geographic area, depending on space availability.

All Douglas County neighborhood public schools teach the same types of content; however, the method of delivering that content differs from school to school. Each neighborhood school is unique in its emphasis and offers a strong educational program for all Douglas County students.

Neighborhood schools offer a strong, locally centered community where students, teachers and parents form a cohesive team to ensure academic excellence for all students. We strongly encourage parents to visit their neighborhood school and determine for themselves which school is the best fit for their student. The vast majority of students in Douglas County attend their neighborhood schools.

Some neighborhood schools have chosen a particular emphasis in their delivery methods, some of which are set forth here.  Contact your neighborhood school for more information, and check the main Choice Programming page for neighborhood school information and locations. CLICK HERE for an interactive neighborhood school map!

21st Century

Strongly encourages project-based learning, integration of the disciplines, smaller learning communities and a commitment to a “green” curriculum and sustainable schools.

Reggio Emilia

The Reggio approach shares some of the values of the better-known Waldorf and Montessori schools. Their approach is based around certain fundamental values about how children learn. These values include: the child as an active participant in learning; the significance of environment; the teacher, parent and child as collaborators in the process of learning; and making learning visible.

Artful Learning

Artful Learning is a school improvement model that stimulates and deepens academic learning through the Arts. The four main quadrants of the Artful Learning model (EXPERIENCE, INQUIRE, CREATE and REFLECT) encourage and support best teaching practices while improving the manner in which both students and teachers learn. Classrooms systematically employ the four quadrants to strengthen understanding, retention and application.


Emphasis on organizational and study skills, critical thinking, academic help from peers, and enrichment and motivational activities that make college attainable.

Core Knowledge

This was developed by University of Virginia professor E.D. Hirsch in order to build a foundation for college and career readiness; students read widely and deeply.  Through extensive reading of stories, dramas, poems, and myths from diverse cultures and different time periods, students gain literary and cultural knowledge as well as familiarity with various text structures and elements. By reading texts in history/social studies, science and other disciplines, students build a foundation of knowledge in these fields that will also give them the background to be better readers in all content areas.


The foundation of the program is a profile which determines students’ thinking and behavioral preferences in seven scientifically-based attributes, allowing them to better understand themselves—how they think, communicate and learn—and their interactions with others. The program is also contingent on educating teachers to create an atmosphere that reinforces student results and positions students to capitalize on their insights to build self-esteem, understand their motivational drivers for learning, and ultimately improve academic performance.

Environment Learning

Engages students through immersion in the local environment, or setting, as the context for learning, providing hands-on educational activities in indoor and outdoor classrooms each day. While some student activities may delve into environmental concerns or issues, this is not the focus of environment-based education.  Service learning, collaborative teaching, community-based investigations, integrated/interdisciplinary instruction, and learning activities require students to work collaboratively and independently.  In addition, students engage in activities to help them understand natural and social/human systems that exist in our world. Students spend outside time on a regular basis and visit different areas of our nearby community to support the academic focus of our school.

Expeditionary Learning

Expeditionary Learning is an educational system that differs from traditional systems in three main ways.  In Expeditionary Learning schools, students learn by conducting "learning expeditions" rather than by sitting in a classroom being taught one subject at a time. Expeditionary Learning works on developing the character -- as well as the intellect -- of students.  At a successful Expeditionary Learning school, teachers, parents, staff, and students work together to create a school culture of collaboration, respect, and high expectations.

International Baccalaureate

IB programs are recognized around the world. The curriculum and pedagogy of IB programs focus on international perspectives of learning and teaching, while insisting that students fully explore their home culture and language.

Leader in Me

The Leader in Me is a whole-school transformation model that acts like the operating system of a computer — it improves performance of all other programs. Based on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People®, The Leader in Me produces transformational results such as higher academic achievement, fewer discipline problems, and increased engagement among teachers and parents. Better yet, The Leader in Me equips students with the self-confidence and skills they need to thrive in the 21st century economy.


Developed in the early-to-mid 20th century by Italian doctor and educator Maria Montessori, the Montessori approach to education stresses individual learning, multisensory skill development, and social skills.

Outward Bound

Learning expeditions serve as the primary way of organizing social studies and science curriculum. Learning Expeditions feature linked projects that require students to construct deep understanding and skills, and produce products or performances for real audiences. Learning Expeditions engage students in active learning, support literacy, promote character development, create a sense of adventure, spark curiosity, and foster an ethic of service.

Project Based Learning

In Project Based Learning (PBL), students go through an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem, or challenge. Rigorous projects help students learn key academic content and practice 21st Century Skills such as collaboration, communication & critical thinking.


Emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.


Emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math.

Success in Sight

Success in Sight helps schools identify small improvements that generate quick wins and lead to larger, more comprehensive, school-wide reform efforts. The process encourages schools to “think systemically and act systematically” by applying a five-step process: Take stock ; Focus on the right solution; Take collective action; Monitor and adjust; Maintain momentum.

Neighborhood Schools

CLICK HERE for an interactive school locator map!