Durango School District 9-R Home

We help them find their path to success
  • 93%
    Graduation rate at Durango High School
  • 29
    Home languages spoken by students
  • 3
    Schools awarded Governor’s Distinguished Improvement
  • 20%
    CMAS test scores rank in top 20% of all Colorado Schools
Durango High School grads

About Us

Welcome to Durango School District 9-R. We strive to create a learning environment where all students own their learning, act on their learning, and impact their community. We provide learning opportunities where students develop their critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication skills. 
Students examine seedling
Where we’re located
Durango School District map

District News

2024 DEF Award winners - middle school

Educators honored at 2024 DEF Staff Appreciation event

Durango Education Foundation held its annual 9-R Staff Appreciation Celebration on May 16 at Morehart Murphy Subaru. Winners of the outstanding staff awards were announced in the following categories: Elementary, Middle, High School, and Staff/Personnel.
Karen Cheser

A message from Superintendent Dr. Karen Cheser

Dear Families,
Thank you for your continued dedication to our schools and working with us on our mission to ensure every student can find and live out their Ikigai. Together we are making a tremendous difference in their lives! Unfortunately, this is made more difficult because our state is inadequately funding schools at a level that ranks 49 th in the country.
graduates in caps & gowns seated for ceremony

DHS 2024 Graduation Ceremony Details

The Durango High School (DHS) Graduation ceremony is scheduled for Friday, May 24, at 6:00 p.m. For those planning to attend, we have the following tips.
One to One Training in August 2023

Volunteers honored for One to One Reading coaching

The work of a One to One Reading coach is simple: Sit with a young student and practice reading every week. But the impact on a child can be powerful, helping them catch up with peers, increase their confidence, and set them on a trajectory for future academic success.
Walk Stars logo and grads

New "Walk Stars" event gives seniors a red-carpet moment

It will be a peak moment of triumph, inspiration, and reunion. The district's new "Walk Stars" event on May 22 and 23 is an invitation for all graduating seniors from Durango High School (DHS) and Big Picture High School (BPHS) to inspire younger students – and teachers – with a celebration at their former schools.
District office front entry

Durango School District Administration Office - Summer Hours

The Durango School District Administration Office summer hours will be in effect June 3rd - July 26. We will operate with regular business hours Monday - Thursday, 8am - 4pm, and be closed to the public on Fridays during this time period.
Team Impact with jackets

Team Impact students win state award for hosting event

What better way to demonstrate hands-on learning than letting students run an entire event? This unique approach is now an award-winning model for the state. Team Impact students and the district’s Communication Department have been recognized with a 2024 Medallion Award, the highest achievement awarded by the Colorado School Public Relations Association.
TLCC Survey graphic image

District shows positive growth in 2024 TLCC Survey

Educators and leaders in Durango School District 9-R completed a statewide survey last month. We are excited to share that there is evidence of several positive trends. The Teaching and Learning Conditions in Colorado (TLCC) survey data is now available to the public.

Our Mission

The mission of Durango School District 9-R is to ensure each student develops the skills and attributes for lifelong learning and has the ability to compete and contribute in the global community, by guaranteeing equitable educational opportunities in a safe and healthy environment.

What people say about us

Olivia Cruz, Headshot


“I get to work in a supportive environment with empathetic people who love what they do, and who genuinely care about student success.”

– Olivia Cruz, High School Science Teacher
Eduardo Gonzalez headshot


“My kids have thrived in Durango schools because of the quality of instruction. The teachers in these schools do life-changing work.”

– Eduardo Gonzalez, parent of middle school student
Michaela Richardson headshot


“I have so many opportunities, and I have come to love school. Now I want to inspire others, and be on the Board to be that person that others can look up to.”

– Michaela Richardson, high school student and Student Board Member

Superintendent's Message

Welcome to beautiful Durango and La Plata County! Our schools – and our community – are committed to ensuring all students reach proficiency in all content areas as well as have a high level of social-emotional well-being. Our primary objective in the Durango School District is to help every student achieve their life's purpose through Portrait of a Graduate. This is our district's "north star." It inspires students to find their Ikigai. This is a Japanese concept that incorporates four essential criteria: what you love (your passion), what the world needs (your mission), what you are good at (your vocation), and what you can get paid for (your profession). East meets West with this ancient philosophy in a modern mountain town.

Universal Calendar

Engineer Mountain in fall

Quality of Life

Durango is a beautiful place to live and work. It is located at 6,512 feet elevation in Southwest Colorado near the Four Corners region. Families who live here enjoy a historic steam train, ski resort, rivers, vibrant downtown, bike trails, sky-high “fourteener” mountains, and four distinct seasons with an average of 266 sunny days per year. We welcome new families and new staff members, and we offer excellent benefits and competitive salaries. 
Teacher Elfreida Begay

Land Acknowledgement

We respectfully acknowledge that Durango School District 9-R is located on lands and territories taken from the Núuchiu (Ute) people. This land is also the ancestral home of or served as a site of trade, gathering, or healing for Apache, Pueblo, Diné, and other nations. We recognize and honor these peoples and nations as traditional stewards of this land and water and respect their enduring relationship with it.