Weld County School District RE-5J

From the upcoming book Weld County Towns. To learn more about the book, please read “Gathering History” in the Your Stories section of this site.

Weld County School District Re-5J is one of the fastest growing school districts in Colorado, having more than doubled in size to nearly 3,300 students in the past few years. The district is located in both Weld and Larimer Counties and includes the towns of Johnstown and Milliken as well as small portions of the town of Berthoud and the city of Greeley.

Early pioneers were determined to provide a good education for their children and the first schools were started in the Johnstown and Milliken area in the 1860s and 1870s. The first schools were the Brush School, located on the Big Thompson River Brush family homestead, and the Smith School, named for Winton Smith, located on the Little Thompson River to the south.

Welcome High school 1917-1918 Additional schools were established as more settlers arrived. Some were named for their location, such as Thompson Valley, Hillsboro, Twin Mounds, Welcome Hill, Wren, Sunnyside, and White Hall. Others schools were named for people who helped establish the schools such as Lory, Erkenbeck, Elwell, and Pearl Howlett.

Several of the county schools united with District 48 in 1910 to form Colorado’s first high school, Johnstown Union High School. Soon after that voters in Milliken passed a referendum for $10,000 to build a new high school. Milliken High School was dedicated on December 10, 1915.

Old Johnstown High School on Charlotte Street just west of Olde Bricke Market.

Voters in Johnstown and Milliken approved the reorganization of local schools in 1961, following the School Reorganization Act passed that same year by the Colorado legislature. The new district was named the Weld County School District Re-5J. The reorganization resulted in the need for different learning centers and meant the end of Johnstown and Milliken having separate high schools. A new high school was constructed in Johnstown and a new middle school was constructed in Milliken to serve both communities.

Weld County School District Re-5J provides a wide variety of outstanding educational opportunities for students from preschool through the twelfth grade. All district schools meet Colorado State Accreditation standards.

Milliken High School Preschool education is provided for three and four year olds through the Colorado Preschool Program and the federal Individuals with Disabilities Act. Preschool programs are housed in the Early Childhood Center at Milliken Elementary School in Milliken and at Letford Elementary School in Johnstown.

The District has three elementary schools which follow a K-5 format. Letford Elementary, Milliken Elementary and Pioneer Ridge Elementary each utilize self-contained classrooms offering a well-balanced academic curriculum along with music, art, band and physical education.

Milliken Middle School houses grades six through eight, offering a well-balanced academic curriculum and exploratory classes to assist students in selecting future courses of study. Milliken Middle School also offers choir, band, and interscholastic competition in football, volleyball, basketball, wrestling and track.

Knowledge Quest Academy charter school offers students in kindergarten through the eighth grade a well-balanced academic curriculum along with music, art and physical education.

Roosevelt High School offers a comprehensive secondary course of study that includes vocational programs and college preparatory studies. High school students may also enroll concurrently at Aims Community College for high school and college credit. Roosevelt High School also offers choir, band, theater, and interscholastic competition in softball, football, volleyball, cross country, soccer, basketball, wrestling, swimming, baseball and track.

Students at all levels have access to state-of-the-art technology, including computer labs and classroom computers. Weld County School District Re-5J is fortunate to have a dedicated and caring staff that provides aggressive instructional programs, cares for the facilities, prepares breakfasts and lunches, transports students to school and events, and administers the affairs of the school.

A color photo of a small brick school building with a front porch with ornate columns.