‘Riverview’ urged as name for new K-8 school south of Glenwood
December 7, 2016
"Riverview" should be the name and dual language, project-based learning should be the educational focus of the Roaring Fork School District's newest school.
That, according to the recommendations of an advisory team that has been planning the pre-kindergarten-through-eighth-grade school under construction on the district's Eastbank property overlooking the Roaring Fork River near the intersection of Colorado 82 and Garfield County Road 154.
The new school, which will serve the population centers along the Colorado 82 corridor between Glenwood and the Cattle Creek area, as well as Spring Valley, is expected to open for the 2017-18 school year.
An advisory team of students, parents and other residents has been meeting since early October to gather surveys and other input on a name, mascot and school colors, as well as a vision and educational programming.
Riverview School came out on top over two other considerations, Elk Meadow and Iron Cliff, said Adam Volek, who was hired earlier this year as the principal for the new school.
School colors would be blue, green and silver, and at this point the group is still wrestling with either the hawks or ospreys as a mascot, he said.
More to the substance of the matter, the advisory team is also recommending a project-based, dual-language program focused on "real-world learning, integrated arts and student choice," according to a description presented by Volek to the RFSD Board of Education on Wednesday.
A full presentation will be made at the school board's regular Dec. 14 meeting, at which the board is expected to take action on the recommendations.
Roaring Fork Schools Superintendent Rob Stein said that a commitment to dual language instruction will require some more discussion.
It's an educational approach that is supported by research, he said, but it presents a challenge in terms of attracting and retaining teaching staff.
Dual language, which has been used in different RFSD schools in the past with varying success, was something that came out of parent and community surveys seeking input for the new school.
"Additionally, the riverside site where the school resides and ease of access to the local community ensures unique experiential learning opportunities in health and wellness, and outdoor environmental," according to the group's preliminary recommendations.
Meanwhile, the school district has also been refining an enrollment policy designed to allow families some flexibility in having their children remain in their current schools, or attend the new school if they reside within the new attendance area.
Families who live outside the Eastbank attendance area can also choose the new school under the enrollment policy, as long as it doesn't push the building over capacity or create an imbalance in the student demographic.
The new school will primarily draw from Sopris Elementary School and Glenwood Springs Middle School, and was included as part of the district's $122 million bond issue in an effort to ease overcrowding at those two schools.
Students who currently attend Sopris and GSMS but who live in the new school attendance area can stay where they are for next year, but parents will need to notify the district of that decision the middle of January.
The new enrollment process will be explained to students and their families after the board formally adopts it Dec. 14. School enrollment will officially open when school resumes after the holiday break in January.