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Education & Childcare

Roaring Fork Schools / Facebook

Students in the Roaring Fork School District will begin online learning April 20. District officials said they are working with students, their families and teachers to assess their needs until then.

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The Aspen School District's Board of Education announced Tuesday its next superintendent will be David Baugh. He will move to the Roaring Fork Valley in the coming months from Conshohocken, PA where he was Centennial School District's superintendent.

Elise Thatcher / Aspen Public Radio

Census day comes every ten years on April 1. When Coloradans fill out the census, it determines how federal funds are allocated to each state. After the 2010 census, Colorado received over $13 billion throughout the decade for schools, transportation services and other state-funded projects and programs. 

Molly Dove / Aspen Public Radio

Colorado public schools are closed until at least April 17, so Aspen School District is rolling out virtual learning for its students beginning April 1. 

Students will access content on their own time and work at their own pace, instead of teachers and students meeting online in real-time each day. 

Garfield RE-2 School District / Facebook

While the Garfield RE-2 School District is closed until April 17, at the earliest, due to COVID-19, the district has been working to still provide free breakfast and lunch to its students.

Thursday, March 18 is the last day for students in Rifle, Silt and New Castle to get those meals since spring break technically begins Friday. Local organizations LIFT-UP and the River Center will provide mobile lunch services during the break.

Governor Jared Polis said Tuesday that all public schools will be closed until April 17. The executive order directs Colorado school districts and the Charter School Institute to work to provide alternative learning opportunities during this time.

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The Roaring Fork School District announced Friday all district schools will be closed until March 29 as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19.

The two week closure, one week including spring break, will allow custodial teams to deep clean schools, and district officials to monitor the coronavirus outbreak with local public health officials. 

Molly Dove / Aspen Public Radio

Aspen School District will be closed Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 20, in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Interim superintendent Tom Heald said in a letter to parents and community members that school principals will meet Friday with staff to go over plans and expectations going forward.

Alex Hager / Aspen Public Radio

Colorado Mountain College announced Thursday all campuses will extend spring break until March 20 and hold classes online for three weeks starting March 23 as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19. 

Molly Dove / Aspen Public Radio

The Roaring Fork and Aspen school districts are putting plans into place as coronavirus spreads. Sporting events are canceled, schools are preparing for conducting classes online and penalties for absences are being waived if they are related to COVID-19. 

Courtesy Photo / Sage Kaufman

Four eighth-grade students at Riverview School are hosting Empowerfest Friday. The event highlights female leaders as well as local organizations working to promote equality for all genders, races and abilities.

Students Sage Kaufman, Kate Hardaker, Taia Nykerk and Lily Stelzriede worked since the beginning of the school year to recruit speakers and local organizations for Friday's event.

Allison Johnson / Basalt Middle School

Actors from the Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s Violence Prevention Program performed at Basalt Middle School last week. The program uses live performances and roleplay to teach students Shakespeare literacy and ways to intervene when they see violence in school.

Aspen High School / Facebook

Aspen School District's Board of Education announced four finalists for the district's new superintendent. The board initially interviewed 24 candidates and now the finalists will head into the final-round interviews on Tuesday, March 3. 

Every ten years, people all over the country take part in the census, a national headcount that decides how government resources are distributed that's responsible for bringing 13 billion dollars of federal funding to Colorado. 

School districts in Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield County received 25 million dollars from the last census, which took place in 2010.  Aspen School District receieved $1.4 million from the previous census. $11.7 million went to the Roaring Fork School District.

Molly Dove / Aspen Public Radio

UPDATE 11:10 A.M.

Pitkin County officials say Watson Divide Road from Highway 82 to Snowmass Creek Road is closed to all traffic until further notice. If you live on Watson Divide Road, officials say you will have access through. 

Eagle County says their county government offices and departments will have reduced services today. Glenwood Springs City Hall has closed for the day. 

Molly Dove / Aspen Public Radio

The Aspen School District is currently searching for its next superintendent, and the Board of Education has made community outreach a priority in the process. 

Consulting company Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates worked with the district to create a leadership profile outlining what the community would like to see in the next superintendent. 

Aspen High School / Facebook

As Aspen School District looks for a new district superintendent, it is encouraging community members to help with the process. 

The district is working to create an advisory group made up of students, parents, staff and other valley residents. Board of Education President Susan Marolt says the group will sit in on final-round interviews and give input to help inform the board’s decision. 

Two members of Aspen High School’s robotics team have written and illustrated a children’s book, "Betty the Yeti," that extols the joys of STEM -- science, technology, engineering and math. 

Author Jeremy Martin and illustrator Tilly Swanson sat down with kindergarteners at Aspen Elementary School last Friday to read the book, talk about robotics and show off the robotics team's robot. 

Colorado Mountain College / Facebook


For the second year, Garfield County Board of Commissioners authorized the Colorado Mountain College Foundation to apply on the county’s behalf for $75,000 in scholarship funds.

The state’s Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative, or COSI, provides scholarship funds for 501c3 nonprofit organizations to administer. Each such nonprofit must be authorized by a county partner to apply for the funds, and then the nonprofit pledges to provide matching funds.

LIFT-UP / Facebook

Winter break started a week ago for Roaring Fork School District students, and the time off could mean some students are left without food they would typically get in school. 

Sarah Fedishen, the director of Family Services at the Family Resource Center in the district, says to help students and their families who are food insecure, the district gave them food before the break started and also works with local food pantry Lift Up. 

CREATIVE COMMONS/GOOGLE/US NAVY

A group that works to make childcare more affordable and accessible in the mid-valley is asking the town of Basalt to fund a study of the town’s childcare needs.

The Basalt Early Childhood Coalition is asking for $10,000 for that study.  The last needs assessment for the area was completed by Kids First, which coordinates childcare in Aspen, along with the City of Aspen, ten years ago.

WikiMedia

More and more schools are using something called restorative practices in an effort to reduce harmful verbal behavior and encourage positive behavior through building healthy relationships between students, educators and administrative staff.

The Roaring Fork School District is working to move towards more of these restorative practices. To educate parents and community members how these practices would benefit its students, they are holding a three day event series throughout the Valley. 

Creative Commons/Google/US Navy

As of 2014, the average annual cost of childcare was anywhere from $16 to $18 thousand per child in Pitkin County. City of Aspen’s Kids First Childcare Financial Aid helps families bear that cost. The deadline to apply for that aid is Friday, November 1. 

To be eligible for the financial aid, families must work or live in Aspen’s urban growth boundary, which is the downtown area to just beyond the airport. Parents must work while the children are in daycare, and use a service within Pitkin County. The children in childcare must be five years or younger.

Molly Dove / Aspen Public Radio

Three different district seats are open on the Roaring Fork School District’s Board of Education, and the five candidates running for those open seats had a chance to debate at a candidate forum Wednesday night.

Three candidates are vying for the District D seat, which covers north and west Glenwood Springs areas. The candidates are Amy Connerton, incumbent Shane Larson and Jasmin Ramirez. 

Wikimedia Commons

More than 17 million children are nearly hit every school year after getting off a school bus. Most of those incidents are because a car ignored the arm-stop sign from the bus. That is according to a survey by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services.

To help make sure communities nationwide are aware of the rules when driving near a school bus, this week is designated National School Bus Safety Week. 

Molly Dove / Aspen Public Radio

Six candidates are vying for two open seats on the Aspen School District’s Board of Education. Aspen Media held the third and final forum of the week Thursday night. Much of the conversation focused on teachers and how they are paid, and the district’s culture and climate. 

Dr. Ross Greene / Courtesy Photo

Dr. Ross Greene is a clinical psychologist focused on the unsolved problems of children and how they affect behavior, like not being able to focus on homework or not listening well. The model he has created is called Collaborative and Proactive Solutions (CPS). 

The model suggests behaviors are the signals of unsolved problems, and parents and teachers must work with the child to solve those problems, which will then fix the bad behavior. 

Roaring Fork Schools

Carbondale Middle School’s Grace De La Sala was named the 2019 English as a Second Language (ESL) Teacher of the Year by the Colorado Association for Bilingual Education (CABE). 

De La Sala has been with the middle school for 14 years and is a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education teacher. 

The award recognizes teachers who play active roles in their communities and schools and inspire bilingual students to excel. 

“Grace is an amazing teacher and well-deserving of this honor,” Roaring Fork School District superintendent Rob Stein said. 

Basalt High School / http://bhs.rfsd.k12.co.us

A study published in August by the Colorado Education Association, or CEA, and Padres and Jovenes Unidos recommends best practices to improve school safety and decrease the number of school-based violent incidents.

The Roaring Fork School District said they have been implementing those suggestions for years. 

Roaring Fork Schools / Facebook

Three open seats on the Roaring Fork School Board will be contested in November, But, some candidates won’t have their names on the ballot.

 


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