Drone shot of Poudre High School and the Johannsen Support Services Complex.

Keeping you informed with transparent communication

We are committed to providing our Poudre School District community with clear, accurate and timely information throughout this process.

Our community can expect:  

  • Clear key terms and definitions that are referenced in our long-range planning work
  • Recordings of presentations at school board meetings
  • Written updates following meetings of the Facilities Planning Steering Committee, leading up to and following the school board’s decision  
  • Updates to data and information


District Emails 


Board of Education and Superintendent Updates

Board of Education Updates

Superintendent Messages


Key Terms and Definitions

To help ensure we are communicating clearly with our community as we navigate a complex process together, here are some key terms, along with their definitions, that come up in our long-range planning work.  

If you don't find what you're looking for or aren't sure what we mean, please email

Alternative Schools (AEC)

Schools designated by the Colorado Department of Education with specialized missions designed to serve high-risk student populations. Centennial High School and Poudre Community Academy (PCA) are the only two alternative schools (AEC) in Poudre School District. 


The physical border that defines a designated attendance area for a neighborhood school. In general, students who live within a boundary attend that designated school, unless their parents/guardians choose to send them to another school, otherwise known as School Choice. To learn more about boundaries, use the Schools Locator tool, and review current boundary maps for schools, visit the School Boundaries and Maps web page. 

Career and Technical Education Funding

Career and Technical Education (CTE) reimbursement funding is provided to high schools based on their participation in CTE-eligible programs.  

Choice Schools

Schools that do not have a neighborhood attendance area. Their enrollments are comprised 100% of students who use the School of Choice process to apply to attend.

Choice schools in PSD:

  • Harris Bilingual Elementary School
  • Kinard Middle School
  • Polaris Expeditionary Learning School
  • Poudre Global Academy (PGA)
  • Traut Elementary School 


This occurs when two or more schools are merged into one school. Consolidations are usually done for the purposes of being more efficient with how space is used within a school and the resources that are needed to support student learning. When schools are consolidated, fewer staff are generally needed to operate the new school. As one example, a new school would not need two principals or two office managers.


A school district is an area that includes all the schools that are situated within that area and are governed by a particular authority. PSD may seem like a large district. We cover more than 1,800 square miles in Northern Colorado (including Fort Collins, Laporte, Loveland, Timnath, Wellington, Red Feather, Livermore, Stove Prairie, and parts of Windsor). At the heart of it though, we’re really a community - caring partners to the students and families we serve.

EC or ECE: Early Childhood Education

The educational program serving 3 and 4 year olds in Poudre School District. Some PSD elementary schools have EC classrooms.  

Educational Program

PSD offers a variety of educational programs in schools across the district. These include:  

  • International Baccalaureate (IB) 
  • Core Knowledge (CK) 
  • Dual Language  
  • Expeditionary Learning (EL)  
  • Leader in Me 
  • Project-Based Learning (PBL) 

Equity Framework

A tool developed by PSD to support the district’s commitment to equity and serving our most marginalized populations well. 


 A feeder system is a grouping of elementary, middle, and high schools, which are frequently in close geographic proximity. Students adding the elementary schools in a feeder will matriculate to the middle and high schools in the same feeder. PSD has six feeders:

  • Fort Collins High School Feeder
  • Fossil Ridge High School Feeder
  • Rocky Mountain High School Feeder
  • Poudre High School Feeder
  • Timnath Middle-High School Feeder
  • Wellington Middle-High School Feeder

Alternative and Choice schools are not a part of any feeder.  

IS: Integrated Services

The department that addresses the special education and related service needs for students with disabilities identified under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA).  

  • IEP: Individualized Education Plan 
  • ED: Emotional Disability  
  • ILS: Integrated Learning Support  
  • HI: Hearing Impaired  
  • Multicat: Multicategorical Disability  

LCE: Language, Culture, and Equity

The department that offers services for various student populations including immigrant, migrant and refugee students, emerging bilingual students, families experiencing homelessness, and students in need of after-school care. 

NSC: National Standard Capacity

This calculation is based on national norms for determining school building capacity. It begins with the Room Index Capacity calculation and then applies a percentage usage factor designed to account for the ways that schools actually operate (i.e. to ensure space is available for planning time, small group work, teaching spaces with unique programming needs, etc.). The usage factors by level are as follows:  

  • Elementary: 80%  
  • Middle School: 75% 
  • High School: 85% 
  • Middle-High School: 80%  

PPR: Per Pupil Revenue

The amount of funding allocated by the state per pupil in Colorado. This amount is determined by the state legislature annually. 

RIC: Room Index Capacity

This is a uniform calculation that is determined by counting the number of teaching spaces available in a building and multiplying that number by 25 students at the elementary level and 30 students at the secondary level. This calculation does not factor in gyms, art or music rooms, or computer labs.

SBB: Student-Based Budgeting

The funding model that PSD uses to allocate budgets to most of its schools. This costs of the following:  

  • Base Funding: The amount provided per student 
  • At-Risk Funding: 16% of the base is provided as additional resources for the estimated number of students on free lunch.  
  • Levels of Support Funding: 11% of the base is provided as additional resources for secondary students on levels of support (student performance data).  
  • Gifted and Talented: 8% of the base is provided as additional resources for students with a Gifted and Talented Plan.  

Size Factor

An adjustment that is expressed in terms of a percentage of the base funding provided per pupil to schools and is used to offset the inefficiencies related to costs that are not variable with increases or decreases in enrollment. Said another way: It costs PSD extra money to keep schools that are underenrolled operating the way they are.  

PSD has been experiencing declining student enrollment for multiple years and is projected to lose about 10% of enrollment in the next several years.   

That translates to a roughly $40 million problem over the next five years – or a loss of about $8 million per year. In a district where roughly 85% of the budget goes to pay for people, that is significant.   

A good portion of that $8 million currently goes to support schools that are underenrolled; in other words, they are getting a subsidy of sorts to operate at a lower capacity. We must right-size our school district now to remain healthy and sustainable for years to come. 

  • Averaging: Applied to allow schools to petition for additional resources based on perceived enrollments above the Spring projection. Schools were limited to the average budget from the previous years and must repay the district any amounts if students are not enrolled as part of the official October Count.  
  • Small School Support: Student-based budgets were not designed for schools with significantly low enrollment. This adjustment is applied to provide the absolute minimum funding needed to operate. 
  • Accreditation Funding: Funding that addresses behavioral and academic gaps at the most significant demographically-impacted schools.  

ZBB: Zero-Based Budgeting

Historically, certain programs have operated outside of SBB because the SBB formula was not designed for unique programs and the higher costs of their designs. Each year, zero-based school budgets are prepared, reviewed, and approved by administration.  

Contact Information


Chief Information Officer
Madeline Novey |