Garfield Re-2 trying to improve staff retention through grants |

Garfield Re-2 trying to improve staff retention through grants

Garfield Re-2 substitute teacher and Rifle High School graduate Garrett Robinson is a regular in Re-2 classrooms.
Theresa Hamilton/Garfield Re-2 Schools

The Garfield Re-2 School Board approved going after two substantial grants aimed at increasing training for non-certified staff.

Garfield Re-2 Assistant Superintendent Lisa Pierce told the board during a March 9 meeting that staff like paraprofessionals, some of the lowest-paid positions on staff, could benefit from these extra funding opportunities.

“There’s so much that goes into that position,” she said. “One of the reasons people are leaving us is because there’s too much going on.”

Right now, the district has an opportunity to apply for a portion of $9 million in Mentor Grant Program funds available through the Colorado Department of Education.

If acquired, those funds could further train paraprofessionals.

In addition to the Mentor Grant Program, the district is also going out for a $100,000 educational workforce program grant through the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

Pierce said the funds are intended to support long-term planning opportunities and teaching and learning cycles.

Pierce said some Garfield Re-2 elementary schools have in the past used similar department of education funding to support teaching and learning cycles. Educational workforce program funds, however, would target district middle and high schools.

“It basically gives teachers paid time to develop lessons,” Pierce said.

The deadlines for the mentor and educational grants are March 19 and 25, respectively.

Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or

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