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Charter school community meetings planned

CARBONDALE, Colorado – A series of information meetings in each of the three Roaring Fork School District Re-1 communities will give the public an opportunity to learn about and comment on a new charter school proposed to be located in Glenwood Springs.

The Re-1 school board, meeting in Carbondale on Wednesday, outlined a two-month process to formally review the Two Rivers Expeditionary School (TRES) charter application, which was submitted last month.

The first in a series of community information meetings will take place at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17, at the Hotel Colorado.



The Glenwood Springs meeting will also serve as the required community input meeting for the Colorado Charter School Institute. TRES has jointly applied to become a state charter school.

The state charter board must make its decision by Nov. 27. Re-1 officials have until Dec. 10 to decide on the applications.



Charter school proponents have said they would prefer to operate as a district charter, but want to leave their options open.

Two more Re-1 community meetings will take place this month, on Thursday, Oct. 25, at Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale, and Tuesday, Oct. 30, at Basalt High School. Both of those meetings begin at 6 p.m.

A formal public hearing before the Re-1 school board is scheduled for the regular Nov. 14 board meeting.

“Anyone who would like to comment can submit them in writing before then, or come to that meeting,” interim Re-1 Superintendent Diana Sirko said.

An online comment board will also be set up on the district website, at http://www.rfsd.k12.co.us. The website will have information about the charter proposal as well, Sirko said.

In addition, Jon Mann, the regional director for the national Expeditionary Learning organization, has been invited to visit the district.

“This will be a good opportunity for us to build our knowledge base about expeditionary learning, and to have him answer any of our questions,” Re-1 board president Matt Hamilton said.

The school board is also arranging to visit the Homestake Peak Expeditionary Learning School in Eagle. Homestake operates as a charter school with the Eagle County School District.

Expeditionary learning includes typical classroom learning, but with an emphasis on learning expeditions outside the school setting to do science experiments, outdoor education trips, engage in art projects, or participate in community and civic activities.

TRES is proposed to begin as a kindergarten-through-sixth-grade school with 146 students coming from the Glenwood Springs-to-Rifle area. It would expand to include 190 students in grades K-8 after two years.

Charter proponents are currently looking for a school location, with an eye toward the West Glenwood area.

Charter schools can either be approved by the local school district or by the state charter institute.

Two public charter schools already exist within Re-1, both in Carbondale. The Carbondale Community School operates as a district charter, while the Ross Montessori School is chartered under the state.

jstroud@postindependent.com


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