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

person chopping vegetables

District pilots composting program in school kitchens

This spring, the School District’s Food & Nutrition department piloted a pre-consumer waste composting program at the district’s 10 school kitchens. They separated and tracked the amount of pre-consumer food waste – fruit, vegetable, and produce scraps – as they prepared meals. In April and May they diverted more than a cubic yard of food waste from the landfill.
Solar panels at Impact

Impact Career Innovation Center earns CHPS sustainability certification

We are proud to announce that the Impact Career Innovation Center has achieved the prestigious Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) Verified Leader Certification for its state-of-the-art building. It’s one of only 10 school facilities in Colorado that hold the certification.
girl and dad with bicycle prize

2024 Summer Bridge makes learning fun and prepares students for next year

School’s out, but the Durango School District 9-R is encouraging students to work on learning through the summer – with fun events as a reward. The Summer Bridge program combines free activity books with checkpoints, events, and prizes to continue learning this summer and be ready for the next grade level. The books include engaging activities and practice in reading, writing, math, science, social studies, and fitness.
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.
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.
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.

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.

Accessibility Statement

It is the goal of Durango School District 9-R that the information on this website be accessible to individuals with visual, hearing, or cognitive disabilities. Good faith efforts are being made to ensure that our website complies with web accessibility standards.

Most pages on our site are available in HTML format, which can be read by screen readers. Some documents are in Adobe PDF format, requiring Adobe Acrobat Reader, which can be downloaded for free from the Adobe website. Additionally, some documents are in Google Docs, and Google Forms. Most modern browsers and screen readers can access Google-based documents. More information about Google web products accessibility can be found on the Google Accessibility website.

In order to ensure that Durango School District websites are accessible to everyone in our community, including those with disabilities, we are using the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.

If you cannot access any page(s) on our site, please email us at [email protected]. Include the location of the webpage/document, your name, email address, and phone number so we can provide the information in another format, and address the issue.