‘Neighbors’ help school build new classrooms | PostIndependent.com
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‘Neighbors’ help school build new classrooms

Ryan Graff

The Carbondale Community School has built two new classrooms, with some help from the school next door. Students in Colorado Rocky Mountain School’s El Pomar Youth in Community Service program donated money to build classrooms for CCS’s English Language Learners and special education students. El Pomar runs the EPYCS program, but El Pomar awards chapters in high schools throughout Colorado that raise $500 on their are awarded an additional $7,500. At CRMS, students raised the initial $500 through art sales, then 10-15 students typically decide how to distribute the money, said Jennifer Gee, a CRMS art teacher and advisor for the EPYCS program. Aspen High School and Glenwood Springs High School both have EPYCS programs. CCS certainly appreciated the money CRMS donated. “The school was not originally designed and built with special education and ELL in mind,” said CCS principal Leslie Emerson. Since the school began English Language Learners and special education programs, those groups of students have worked in the school’s central space or small library. Both of those locations are fairly noisy, though, and were far less than ideal for ELL and special education students, Emerson said. “Those are the kids that really need quiet space, and we’re able to provide that now,” she said. In addition to the help CCS received from CRMS, the Aspen Thrift Store, volunteers, and the Gay and Lesbian Fund for Colorado also helped.The Gay and Lesbian Fund typically focuses on arts and culture, civic leadership, families and public broadcasting, according to its Web site. The group also focuses on social justice, Emerson said, and so was interested in helping special education and ELL students. Though most schools raise funds, charter schools do a bit more fund-raising than noncharter schools because of a slight decrease in funding. Charter schools receive 95 percent of the funding per student that a regular schools do, Emerson said. In other Re-1 news: • Roaring Fork educators will present “Implementing a Standards-based Approach at the High School” at the Colorado Association of School Executives statewide winter leadership conference on Jan. 13-14 in Denver. Glenwood Springs High School is ahead of the curve in implementing a standards-based curriculum, said GSHS principal Mike Wells. • The Bond Oversight Committee and the Re-1 school board interviewed seven architectural firms over the weekend. The committee faced not only recommending to the board which of the seven firms interviewed to hire, but also how to distribute the work. With the help of the firm Architectural Resource Consultants Inc., the Committee decided to recommend one firm for each town, with the exception of Glenwood Springs, where RTA Architects of Colorado Springs will handle GSHS, and DPA Architectural Group will handle the rest of the projects in Glenwood. The decision was to break up the work by town was made in an effort to ensure each town has schools that reflect the spirit of that town, said Re-1 assistant superintendent Judy Haptonstall. The firm Bennett, Wagner and Grody of Denver will design the Basalt projects, and LKA Partners of Colorado Springs will design the Carbondale Projects.Though the Bond Oversight Committee makes the recommendation, the board will not make an official decision until its meeting tonight.


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