RFSD super: Rally a lesson on ‘how to make a difference’ | PostIndependent.com
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RFSD super: Rally a lesson on ‘how to make a difference’

With hundreds of Latinos attending Monday’s immigration reform rally in Glenwood Springs, many classrooms in the Roaring Fork and Colorado river valleys were empty or near empty. High school students from Basalt to Rifle took the day off to participate in the rally, while elementary school students were pulled out of school so their parents could attend the rally.The largest percentage of absences was in Carbondale, where 55 percent of Carbondale Middle School students skipped school, 48 percent of Crystal River Elementary students were absent, and only 25 percent of Roaring Fork High students were absent, according to Roaring Fork School District Superintendent Fred Wall. Carbondale Middle School assistant principal Patti Present said five teachers at the school had no students to teach on Monday. Absenteeism was less severe in Glenwood, but Glenwood Springs High principal Paul Freeman said that out of 151 Latino students at the school, 137 were absent. “I understand that families have to make decisions based on what they conscientiously believe is the right thing,” Freeman said. “Education is so precious, I don’t think anyone should miss a day of it.”Wall said that students were asked that they notify their school ahead of time if they planned to be absent Monday. That way, students could receive an excused absence. How many students attending the rally who didn’t get permission ahead of time is not yet known, Wall said. Those students will be marked truant. Faculty were given a chance to use vacation time or personal days to attend the rally, Wall said. Those who didn’t have personal or vacation days were given the chance to have one day’s pay deducted from their paychecks if they notified school administrators ahead of time. Those who skipped school without notifying anyone, Wall said, will be disciplined. Wall said he doesn’t believe the rally was a worthy reason for students or faculty to miss a day of school. “We wish the students would have picked a different day or after school to be absent,” he said. “But I realize this is a reason for students to experience social studies firsthand. I understand that. Hopefully, it is a lesson in what goes on and now to make a difference.”

Re-1 Glenwood Springs High: 22 Glenwood Springs Middle: 39 Glenwood Springs Elementary: 39 Sopris Elementary: no data available Crystal River Elementary: 48 Carbondale Middle: 55 Roaring Fork High: 25 Basalt Elementary: 43 Basalt Middle: 32 Basalt High: 10 Re-2 Rifle High: 27 Coal Ridge High: 20 Rifle Middle: 31 Riverside Middle: 18 Wamsley Elementary: 18 Highland Elementary: 31 Roy Moore Elementary: 19 Kathryn Senor Elementary: 13 Source: school districts


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