Development and Standards

Development under construction


Smart Planning Begins with Projection of Growth

Student enrollment is projected annually in order to plan for school calendars, mobile classrooms and new schools.  The Long Range Planning Committee continually analyzes community population changes and evaluates population impacts on schools.  The committee also informs the Board of Education regarding school attendance boundaries, facility usage, dedicated school site land inventory, and anticipated capital requirements.  Every year the committee presents these findings in the five-year Master Capital Plan to the Board of Education.

Accommodating New Residential Development

When determining the impact of residential development, Douglas County School District evaluates how many students are expected from any given development based on density. Once the student generation is calculated, it is then determined how much land would be required to build a school as well as capital funds to construct a school.

Often times, a development will generate acreage, but not enough for an entire school site. In these cases, the District may choose to accept a smaller site. These smaller sites would help mitigate the growing needs for support service space as the District grows, such as support facilities or administrative buildings, Early Childhood Centers, or special needs and alternative facilities. The District may also collect cash-in-lieu of land, or a combination of both. Collecting cash-in-lieu for smaller dedications allows the District to consolidate cash-in-lieu funds and use this money to purchase school sites to address growth in enrollment.

Development Standards and Guidelines

Land Development Standards
When making calculations for development land requirements, Douglas County School District (“District") uses standards in all responses for referral requests from local jurisdictions within the District. The minimum school site land requirements are as follows;

Facility  Acres per Student 
Elementary (Grades K-6)   0.018
Middle School (Grades 7-8)  0.030
High School (Grades 9-12)  0.030

Site Acreage

Site Type Acreage
Elementary School 12
Middle School 30 
High School  60
Combined Middle/High School Campus 90

Many factors go into these calculations including student capacity demands per school type, the topography of the school site(s), stormwater requirements, and two separate access points into the site. A net calculation is conducted that only takes into account the residential properties acreage. This is the residential lot and public road acreage. The final factor in the calculation is to divide the net by the number of dwelling units (DU).

For purposes of development land requirement calculations, the District uses updated student capacity factors as follows;

School Type

Number of Students

Elementary School


Middle School


High School


The development land requirement acres per student is 0.018 acres per elementary school student (12 acres/680 students = 0.018 acres per student), 0.030 acres per middle school student (30 acres / 1000 students = 0.030 acres per student), and 0.030 acres per high school student (60 acres / 2000 students = 0.030 acres per student).

The student generation to density ratios are the following;

The development land requirement acres per student is 0.018 acres per elementary school student (12 acres/680 students = 0.018 acres per student), 0.030 acres per middle school student (30 acres / 1000 students = 0.030 acres per student), and 0.030 acres per high school student (60 acres / 2000 students = 0.030 acres per student).


The student generation to density ratios are the following;

 Density by Dwelling Unit per Acre  Grades K-6 Grades 7-8  Grades 9-12   Total
x</=0.1  .50  .20 .4 1.10
0.11<x</=0.5  .54  .15 .31 1.00
0.51<x</=2.0  .52  .15 .29 .96
2.1<x</=5.0  .48  .14 .28 .90
5.1<x</=7.5  .39  .12 .24 .75 
7.6<x</=9.0  .26  .08 .16 .5 
 .19  .06 .12 .37
 .17  .05 .11 .33
15.1<x</=22.0   .07  .03 .05 .15
22.<x  .05  .008 .017 .075


Douglas County School District Review Process

The District has a review process for all land dedications. DCSD reviews these sites and can accept, accept on the condition or deny the dedication of these sites. The District welcomes involvement early in any land use design The documentation for this review will be provided by the developer and includes but is not limited to:

  • Phase I (EA-1) Environmental Audit
  • Soils Report and/or Geo-Technical Report
  • Grading Plan (if available)
  • ALTA Survey
  • Review of street access
  • Availability of Wet and Dry Utilities
  • Stormwater Plans
  • Title Commitments

Design Criteria for Schools

DCSD has several design criteria for the types of schools that are planned for throughout the District. Design Criteria are generally the followings;

Multi-Story, up to (3) three stories if possible
A flat and constructible site free of easements, land encumbrances, and located away from hazardous land uses.
Separation of traffic is needed for busses and cars.
A minimum of two access points from a collector and/or major arterials depending on the type of school and surrounded on a minimum of (2) two sides, preferably (3) three sides with streets.
Secondary schools need to be adjacent to a minimum of (1) one arterial right of way.

The School District can provide further information for more specific details.

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In compliance with Titles VI & VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and Colorado law, the Douglas County School District RE-1 does not unlawfully discriminate against otherwise qualified students, employees, applicants for employment, or members of the public on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, religion, ancestry, or need for special education services. Discrimination against employees and applicants for employment based on age, genetic information, and conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth is also prohibited in accordance with state and/or federal law. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees, and members of the public. The School District's Compliance Officer and Title IX Coordinator to address complaints alleging sexual harassment under Title IX is Aaron Henderson, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado, [email protected], 303-387-0127.

Outside Agencies

Complaints regarding violations of Title VI, (race, national origin), Title IX (sex, gender), Section 504/ADA (handicap or disability), may be filed directly with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite 310, Denver, CO 80204. Complaints regarding violations of Title VII (employment) and the ADEA (prohibiting age discrimination in employment) may be filed directly with the Federal Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 303 E. 17th Ave., Suite 510, Denver, CO 80202, or the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 1560 Broadway, Suite 1050, Denver, CO 80202.


Special Education records which have been collected by Douglas County School District related to the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or the provision of special education in the district, must be maintained under state and federal laws for the period of five (5) years after special education services have ended for the student. Special education services end when the student is no longer eligible for services, graduates, or completes his/her educational program at age 21, or moves from the district. This notification is to inform parents/guardians and former students of Douglas County School District's intent to destroy the special education records of students who exited special education services as of June 30, 2016. These records will be destroyed in accordance with state law unless the parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student notifies the school district otherwise. After five years, the records are no longer useful to the district, but may be useful to the parent/guardian or former student in applying for social security benefits, rehabilitation services, college entrance, etc. The parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student may request a copy of the records by requesting the records at this link ( Douglas County School District Transcripts and Records Requests ).