2023 Colorado Department of Education Governor's Distinguished Improvement Award

Colorado Department of Education John Irwin School of Excellence award

Blue Ribbon



Healthy Schools


Solution Tree

At Zach Elementary our motto is "Together We Inspire".  We believe that all kids can learn and we have the ability to help all students learn.  To best achieve our vision we focus our resources on our Four Diamonds.  This is our framework for all the work we do and allows us to stay focused on high leverage priorities and not get buried by minutia. We believe that the biggest indicator of student achievement is how the adults in the schoolhouse treat each other, thus we have our Staff Agreements and Staff Meeting Norms.  Clear communication on roles and decision-making is what allows our work to be highly effective and so we operate from our agreed ABCD Decision Making Matrix.  

While we are part of one of the largest school districts in the state, the staff works hard to individualize learning in order to meet each of our student's needs.   Zach has been ranked as one of the top performing schools in the State of Colorado.  We have been the recipients every year of The John Irwin School of Excellence and the Governor’s Distinguished School Improvement Awards, for over a decade.  

Additionally, our recent School Performance Framework (SPF), which is the State’s report card for each school, showed that we earned 100 out of 100 possible points! We are not only known for academic excellence, but also for promoting an environment where safety, learning, and fun are the priorities!

A key function to our healthy school culture is our Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) which is a systematic process of encouraging and recognizing positive behavior.  The organizing theme for PBIS at Zach is ROAR.  All conversations with students regarding behavior, are tied to ROAR: Respectful, Organized, Attentive, Responsible.

Teachers use these questions to guide ROAR behavior:

1. What behavioral or social skills does the student need to learn?

2. What is he/she trying to avoid or obtain?

3. Is the behavior highly disruptive to the learning environment? (Does the behavior prevent the teacher from teaching and students from learning despite redirection?)

4. Is the behavior ongoing after adequate staff intervention? (Does the behavior continue despite ongoing and repeated intervention attempts?)

5. Is the behavior a PSD Code of Conduct issue?

If yes to questions 3, 4, and 5, students are typically referred to the Principal. 

When a formal referral to the Principal has been made and consequences are determined, parents will be contacted.  Only behavior that is a violation of the Poudre School District Code of Conduct will be noted on the permanent record.  Consequences could include the following:

          *Warning, informal removal, written apology

          *School Service (picking up trash on school property, washing tables during lunch, etc.)

          *In School Suspension, Out of School Suspension

In addition to classroom reward systems, students showing various aspects of ROAR around the school may be given Golden Tickets, classroom ROAR Awards, Super Zeph Awards and/or Specials Charms.  As a school, we want to reward and reinforce Positive Behavior as often as possible.

PBIS by Grade Level

Stop, Walk, Talk

We place a high priority in providing a nurturing, compassionate environment here at Zach.  We are in the "people business", we clearly recognize that every interaction at school is not necessarily positive.  Conflicts do arise.  We hosted grade level assemblies to explicitly teach students common language and strategies.  

There is a difference between bullying and bothering and we recognize both can be detrimental for kids. 


  • Bothering is when someone's behavior is annoying, but not scary. 
  • When kids are bothering and getting bothered the feelings are about equal. 
  • Bothering visually stops when you use your tools/skills.


  • Bullying can be scary and make you feel unsafe.  
  • Bullying creates unequal feelings.  The student who is being bullied feels very upset, but the bully doesn't.
  • Bullying may not go away when you use your tools/skills.

Please talk with your child about these differences.  We want to empower our children to develop appropriate skills to successfully deal with negative situations - bothering or bullying. It is not automatically bullying every time there is a negative interaction between students. 

As provided in district policy AC (Nondiscrimination/Equal Opportunity), Poudre School District does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, age or disability.

“The Poudre School District is committed to the policy that no otherwise qualified person shall be denied access to, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to unlawful discrimination under, any District program or activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, age or disability.  District compliance with this policy shall be the responsibility of, and reports and complaints of discrimination based on these protected classifications should be direct to:  For District students and community members: Director of Student Services, 1630 South Stover Street, Fort Collins, Colorado 80525, phone: 970-490-3033; For District employees: Executive Director of Human Resources, 2407 LaPorte Avenue, Fort Collins, Colorado 80521, phone: 970-490-3620.”

PSD Inclusively Statement 

The most important thing we focus on as a school district is children.

We appreciate and honor the contributions a diverse student population brings to our school community. With the current political climate, it is important for us to remain grounded in our focus on children and our responsibility to provide a safe and secure learning environment at school. In alignment with our mission, and in accordance with state and federal law, it is the right of every child to access a free public K-12 education. PSD considers any student who lives in our community and attends our school to be “ours,” regardless of their citizenship status, sexual orientation, disability, gender identification or culture. We don’t ask about these things, we just educate and serve kids. PSD values and celebrates diversity. We are proud that our schools are safe places for children, recognizing that we are stronger when we come together as a community and support one another. Our teachers, administrators and classified employees work hard to ensure all students are served and supported so they can be successful in school and life. We want all students to be able to pursue their dreams after graduation. PSD remains dedicated to one primary task: to educate our students. Thank you, PSD community, for supporting our students and remaining focused on children.

PSD does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, veteran status, age or disability in access or admission to, or treatment or employment in, its programs or activities. A lack of English speaking skills will not be a barrier to admission or participation.