Glenwood Springs charter school moves forward
Ryan Summerlin March 28, 2014
Two Rivers Community School, a tuition-free public charter school based in Glenwood Springs, will open its doors to up to 168 K-7 students this fall.
Originally approved in June of last year as Two Rivers Expeditionary School, TRCS will integrate place-based projects and emphasize relationships and collaboration. Glenwood Springs Elementary, one of two public elementary schools in Glenwood, also recently adopted expeditionary learning.
The process hasn’t always been easy. In 2011, Judy Haptonstall, then-superintendent of Re-1, submitted a letter to the Colorado Charter School Institute board expressing concerns about the founding of a new charter school. The letter cited demographic shifts that sometimes result from educational alternatives. She also expressed concerns that a charter school may not be equipped to handle the needs of special education students, she said.
Two Rivers has tried to address both items. Several members of the Two Rivers board and leadership team have experience in cross-cultural education, and their plan calls for a full-time special education teacher.
“The school founders and leadership team have demonstrated the very characteristics that we hope to instill in our students: tenacity, resilience, creativity, innovation and an unwavering insistence on excellence.”
interim president of TRCS’s board
The school will operate under shared leadership. Its interim board is composed of Manehe Anderson, Rick Blauvelt, Rachel Conner, John Gorman, and Nancy Metrovich. A permanent board will be appointed on July 1.
TRCS was awarded the Colorado Department of Education’s Start-Up Grant earlier in March. Beginning in June, school officials are planning to renovate the former Postal Service distribution center at 195 Center Drive, across the street from Gregory Park in West Glenwood. The space will require new windows, security, and modifications to the interior. Inspections and fundraising for the initial deposit will continue through next month.
Parents and community members who wish to get involved can join one of several committees. Goals include a bilingual marketing campaign, finalization of student enrollment packets, grant writing and fundraising planning, and initiating the hiring process for teachers and staff.
Two Rivers Community School leaders will also conduct two community meetings next month: 6 p.m. on April 16 at the Glenwood Springs Library, and 6 p.m. on April 22 at the Glenwood Springs Community Center. They will discuss enrollment, the calendar and conduct a question and answer session.
“We are thrilled to take our next steps toward the realization of a three-year effort,” said Anderson, interim president of the school’s board. “The school founders and leadership team have demonstrated the very characteristics that we hope to instill in our students: tenacity, resilience, creativity, innovation and an unwavering insistence on excellence.”
TRCS intends to add an eighth grade in 2015. Official K-7 enrollment begins in April. An intent to enroll form, as well as more information on Two Rivers Community School, is available on its website: www.tworiverses.com.