Garfield School District Re-2 considers changing school calendar
RIFLE — Don Olmstead’s family has been in the valley for more than 100 years. He grew up seeing his mother and grandmother baking and quilting and participating in the Garfield County Fair & Rodeo.
He has a child who will be starting school in the Garfield School District Re-2 in the upcoming year.
Olmstead, of Silt, says he thinks a proposed school start date in the Re-2 district of Aug. 3 or Aug. 12 would take away important family time and harm activities they’ve participated in with 4-H and Garfield County.
The proposed new calendars would have school starting on either Aug. 3 or Aug. 12 as opposed to the current Aug. 18 start date.
“It’s taking away summertime with the family and changing the way our kids are raised,” Olmstead told school board members Tuesday night. “It’s taking away from family time. It’s taking away from how we used to operate outside of school. “I understand it, but it would be tough on parents to find daycare.”
Silt Police Chief Levy Burris, who is also the president of the Garfield County Fair Board, said the move to an earlier school start date would hurt the fair.
“We’ve got about 400 kids that participate in the fair,” Burris said. “This would impact their involvement. We want you to be aware of how this impacts them. Please look at it long and hard. Please don’t move the school year back.”
Garfield County Commissioner Mike Samson also asked that the board rethink the idea of backing up the start of the school date.
“We have put $3 million towards the fairgrounds,” Samson told the board. “If you start school that soon, that will really mess things up.”
The school district is looking at two different scenarios under the guidance of the Collaborative Solutions committee, which has come up with two scenarios that include a “hybrid calendar” and a “balance calendar.”
Under the hybrid calendar, the school year would be very much like the historical calendar, beginning slightly earlier and ending school prior to Memorial Day.
The balance calendar would begin school earlier in August and providing breaks throughout the school year.
Both calendars are drafts at this point.
Residents are encouraged to submit their comments to a survey through Feb. 19. The school board will review the comments at its meeting on March 19.
Community feedback may be made to http://www.garfieldre2.org.
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UPDATE: Both westbound lanes and one eastbound lane of Interstate 70, according to a 12:20 a.m. update from Garfield County.