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The information provided throughout this paper will serve the purpose of discussing the setting

and context of the High School in which I am completing my Practicum, the school district it resides
within, the county and the state of Colorado. It is important to research and fully understand the setting
in which I am teaching because I will be able to cater my teaching practices towards my students. I can
come to an understanding of the majority of socioeconomic status' of my students. I am able to
understand and realize the resources that will be available to me and my students. I can plan on making
adjustments in my classrooms with a better understanding of where my students come from and the
potential struggles they may face in their lives and family structure. Understanding the culture of the
school in which I will be teaching in, and in which my students spend a great deal of their lives in, is an
important aspect of my teaching experience this semester.
The state of Colorado, according to the United States Census Bureau, housed 5,268,367
residents with the largest cities being Denver, Colorado Springs, Aurora and Fort Collins. The state of
Colorado has been divided into 64 counties. The county with the largest population is El Paso County.
The demographics of Colorado can be broken up according to the 2010 census and is shown to consist of
81.3% of the population being white, 20.7% Hispanic/Latino, 4.0% Black, 1.1% American Indian, and
2.8% Asian ( The percentage of individuals living in Colorado below the age of 18 is
23.5%. According to the Census Bureau's Report in 2011, Colorado spent $8,124 per pupil which is down
from $129.03 in 2010. With this change, Colorado is ranked 41st out of the 50 states for the amount of
money spent on each pupil. The median family income in Colorado is $72,100 for a family of four, which
is higher than the national median family of four income of $64,400 (Larimer County, 2013 data). The
unemployment rate for Colorado is 5.3%
Larimer county is the sixth largest county in the state of Colorado when based on population.
Larimer county's population is estimated around 316,00 people (Larimer County). Larimer county
encompasses Fort Collins, Berthoud, Timnath, Wellington and Loveland. Based on the 2010 census, Fort
Collins was home to 140,087 people (Larimer County). In Larimer County the top three private industries
that provided employment to residents are Poudre Valley Health System, Hewlett Packard and Center
Partners. The population of Larimer County consists of 91.4% white residents. Enrollment numbers in
Larimer County have increased by 8.5% over the past 10 years. The eligibility for the free or reduced
lunch program grew by 59.2% or 5,256 students from 2004. In the 2012-2013 school year, over 14,100
students in public schools received free or reduced lunches (Larimer County). The median family income
for a family of four in Larimer County is $75,800, which is higher than the state and national averages
(Larimer County, 2013 data) . The unemployment rate for Larimer County is less than the state average
at 4.3%.
Poudre School District is the district that all of Fort Collins schools are a part of with the motto
"Great Happens Here". PSD covers 1,800 square miles across Northern Colorado. PSD has 28 elementary
schools, 8 middle schools, 4 comprehensive high schools, 6 option (100% choice) schools, 2 alternative
high schools, and 3 charter schools (Poudre School District). The district supports school of choice which
allows families to send their students to any school in the district, yet 70% of families chose to send their

students to neighborhood schools. PSD enrolls 26,085 students PK-12 grades. The demographics for PSD
include students that are White 74.31%, Hispanic/Latino 17.93%, Asian 3.06%, Black/African American
1.37%, and Native American 0.53% (Poudre School District). The percentage of students participating in
Free and Reduced Lunch Programs comes to 30.79%. The graduation rate for PSD is 86 % while the
dropout rate is 1.44%. During my Practicum I will be at Fossil Ridge High School in Poudre School District.
Fossil Ridge High School stands behind "Excellence Everywhere", which is their motto. They
guide their students in the classroom with the school wide implemented expectations using their school
name RIDGE. Ridge stands for Respect, Integrity, Determination, Gratitude and Excellence. Fossil Ridge is
located on the South side of Fort Collins. Fossil Ridge is the newest high school in Fort Collins opening in
2004. Fossil Ridge has an enrollment of 1974 students with 189 staff members. Fossil Ridge exemplifies
learning together, improving together and celebrate together. Fossil Ridge has students that mainly
come from middle-upper class families. They have provided incoming freshman with a laptop that they
keep all four years at fossil ridge. My classroom at Fossil Ridge includes both Freshman and Sophomores
that are required to take this Earth Systems Science class. The science department at Fossil Ridge has 16
staff members, with six of those staff members teaching Earth Systems Science.
This document illustrates the setting and context of where I will be teaching. it is very important
to research the location of the school in which I am going to teach in order for me to get a bigger picture
of where my students are coming from. It is very useful to know what resources I may or may not have
when I begin to teach. These researched facts illustrate the setting of Fossil Ridge. These facts do not set
limits. The type of students and their backgrounds will never be cookie-cutter. The relationships I
establish with my students will allow me to know exactly where they come from and the resources they
have available to them.

Works Cited
Fossil Ridge High School. About Us. (2014). Retrieved September 15, 2014, from Fossil Ridge High School:

PSD Profile. (2010). Retrieved September 15, 2014, from Poudre School District:
PSD Demographics. (2013). Retrieved September 15, 2014, From Poudre School District:
Economy at a Glance. Colorado. (2014). Retrieved September 15, 2014, From United States Department
of Labor:
About Larimer County. (2014). Retrieved September 15, 2014, From Larimer County:
Median Family Income. (2014). Retrieved September 15, 2014, from Compass of Larimer County:
Education K-12. (2014). Retrieved September 15, 2014, From Compass of Larimer County:
Colorado. (2013). Retrieved September 15, 2014, from United States Census Bureau Quick Facts:
Education Spending per Student By State. (2013). Retrieved September 15, 2014, from Governing The
States and Localities:
Colorado. (2014). Retrieved September 15. 2014, from Infoplease: