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Education & Childcare

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.

 


Molly Dove / Aspen Public Radio

In 2011, one percent of eligible Latino preschoolers in the Roaring Fork Valley were enrolled in school. Parents said one of the main reasons was transportation.

That is according to Valley Settlement, an organization working with Latino families in the Roaring Fork Valley. It decided if these children cannot get to preschool, the organization will bring the preschool to them by putting the school on wheels. 

Michael Bennet / Wikipedia

Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado is vowing to implement free preschool and community college if he becomes president.

Bennet is in a crowded field competing for the Democratic presidential nomination. He was superintendent of Denver Public Schools before entering the Senate. On Thursday he released a sweeping education plan from preschool to college.

The Roaring Fork School District is starting the new school year by looking for three new members for its Board of Education. 


Rocky Mountain Preschool Coalition

On Tuesday, Basalt hears from a group trying to solve one of the toughest problems facing the Roaring Fork Valley: affordable and accessible early childhood education.

 

They're proposing a special tax district from Aspen to Parachute to fund preschool for all kids.