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Looking back at a busy school year

With graduation ceremonies on tap this week, it is already time to look back at the top happenings from a busy school year in the Roaring Fork School District.

This “top 10” does not recognize the many accomplishments of individual teachers and students, but tries to capture some district highlights:

1. The district embarked on $86 million in voter-approved school construction projects and building renovations, including major projects being designed at Glenwood Springs High, Basalt Elementary and Crystal River Elementary, as well as a new campus for Roaring Fork High. The extensive planning process includes involvement by teachers, students and community members in Design Advisory Groups and a Bond Oversight Committee.



2. Voters approved a mill levy override that resulted in an average 7.4 percent pay increase for all teachers and staff, excluding the district’s top three administrators, who abstained. The increase boosts the base salary for new teachers by more than $2,500 per year, and for master’s level or experienced teachers, by $3,000 per year or more.

3. Colleagues bemoaned the retirement of 17 talented teachers and staff members who together devoted 362 years of service to the RFSD during their educational careers. The retiring educators range from 25-year GSHS leader Mike Wells to 41-year elementary educator JoEllen White.



4. The board of education approved the promotion of two high school assistant principals ” Paul Freeman at GSHS and Dale Parker at RFHS ” to the role of principals for next school year. The board also promoted Carbondale Elementary co-principal Karen Olson to principal of the two sister elementary schools in Carbondale. Because of retirements or promotions, the district also hired five new assistant principals for the three traditional high schools, as well as for Glenwood Springs and Crystal River elementary schools.

5. Carbondale and Crystal River elementary schools merged leadership and planning efforts in preparation to become one school at an expanded CRES campus in 2006-07.

6. Standards-based grading and reporting was implemented in the high schools, and district leaders spoke about the process during a national educators conference.

7. CSAP spring scores for third-grade readers showed great gains at Carbondale Elementary, forecasting that the school is moving in the right direction with new leadership, a school improvement plan and curriculum changes. Latino third-graders at Basalt Elementary also showed continued impressive CSAP gains. Excellent scores continued at Sopris Elementary, with largely stable scores across the district.

8. The district allocated grant funds to hire three new bilingual community liaisons, one for each attendance area, to better serve the needs of the growing Spanish-speaking population.

9. District high schools offered a record number of advanced learning and dual college-credit classes through cooperative efforts with CU Succeed and Colorado Mountain College. Students in Basalt could earn the first year of college credit while still in high school.

10. Student competitors continued to excel on the state and national level in academics and the arts, ranging from an all-state jazz band member, to a third-place finish at international DECA, to an eighth-place finish at the national mock trial competition.

Open house covers

design for new school

The community is encouraged to contribute public input regarding the 50 percent conceptual design for the new Glenwood Springs High School during an open house at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 2, at the GSHS Media Center. The remodel project for Glenwood Springs Middle School also will be under review.

For questions, contact the school district at 384-6000 or Chris Hulse at Architectural Resource Consultants at 949-5100.

Suzie Romig is the RFSD’s public information officer.


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