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While students enjoy a day away from school in observance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, the teachers and staff of Garfield Re-2 will be hard at work.

Jan. 19 is one of five staff development days that teachers, staff and principals use to learn new skills. On Monday, the Re-2 staff will learn more about the adopted school reform model, from Dr. Phil Schlechty. Schlechty is the founder of the Center for Leadership in School Reform.

“Phil Schlechty is one of the top five authors and designers of effective school-change initiatives in the country,” said Garfield Re-2 Superintendent Dr. Gary Pack. “He knows how to implement school change and how people feel empowered through the process.”



Garfield Re-2 adopted the CLSR model of school reform just over two years ago after staff, administrative, and board members investigated many different models. The CLSR model changes the focus of school reform away from trying to change the students or the teachers. It is based on the premise that when students are provided challenging, interesting, and satisfying school work, students are more likely to engage in and persist with the work. Hence, students are more likely to learn what schools, parents, and the community expect and value.

Simplified, it is called “Working on the Work” or WOW.



“The biggest reason we felt we needed a school reform model was that the board did not want to be an average school district. Average is not good enough,” said Dr. Pack. “The board wanted to know how we could get better as a school district, and how could we help our kids achieve at higher levels.”

He explained that while the schools in Garfield Re-2 have always been good, the CLSR framework has been able to elevate them to even higher levels.

“We could not sustain the high-achieving status of Kathryn Senor or Roy Moore without the support of CLSR. This gives our staffs the opportunity to really evaluate the work and lessons that we are providing to our kids,” added Dr. Pack.

Four students from Rifle Middle School were crowned as grade-level champions in the Reader’s Digest National Word Power Challenge this fall and will advance to the Colorado state level championship on Feb. 27. Fifth-grader James Whitehead, sixth-grader Tanner Russell, seventh-grader Luis Iniguez and eighth-grader Kori Kosht have moved one step closer to $50,000 in college scholarships.

The school level of the Challenge, at which students answered oral and written questions on vocabulary, was the first round in the 2nd annual competition. The Reader’s Digest National Word Power Challenge will provide an all-expenses-paid trip to the national championship for state champions. The first place national winner will receive a $25,000 scholarship. The second and third place winners will receive $15,000 and $10,000 college scholarships respectively.

Jan. 13: Roy Moore Elementary Awards Assembly, 9 a.m.

Jan. 19: No school; Re-2 Professional Development Day

Jan. 27: RHS Variety Show RHS auditorium, 7 p.m.


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