LEAD October: School Spotlight
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
School Services Team
On Monday, October 15, members of the League’s School Services Group traveled to the Roaring Fork Valley to connect with several member schools. Teresa Tate, VP of School Services; Kaci Coats, Director of Exceptional Student Services; and Kia Murray, Director of Academic Services, visited Ross Montessori, Carbondale Community School, Two Rivers Community School and Eagle County Charter Academy. These three staff members have been at the League under a year and are visiting schools to introduce their departments and assess the varied needs of member schools.
One of the many goals of the School Services group is to expand professional development opportunities across the state of Colorado. During this trip, the group was assessing the desire for professional development in the area. School leaders were excited by the idea and even offered to host workshops at their schools. Academic Services and Exceptional Student Services are planning to kick off these expanded professional development offerings with a full-day Educator Summit in the Roaring Fork valley this June! More details to come.
Here are some of the school highlights this trip included:
- The middle school students run a coffee shop in the school. The school’s staff and parents are their customers! The money they make pays for school trips. The students choose their work shifts during the school day and are responsible for making up the school work missed.
- This school has a thoughtful approach to teacher pipeline challenges. They have housing options on site for their teachers. There were two houses on the property when they purchased it. They demo’d one; used the other as their temporary office during construction. After the building was complete, they rent out one of the the houses to teaching staff in need of housing.
Carbondale Community School
- This school has a positive district authorizer relationship that includes funding, access to special education trainings and for bus maintenance. They share their full mill levy. The school owns their buses but the authorizer provides bus maintenance, replacement buses in emergencies, and training for the charter school’s bus driver.
- Carbondale Community School has a unique building design allowing for fluid student movement between classes. “Project” rooms are dispersed throughout the building for varying grade levels. The building is shaped like a “flower” with the classrooms as the petals and the large, common space in the center. The common space is used for a school theater performance annually called "The big event".
Two Rivers Community School
- This school’s focus is on project-based learning with seed-to-table project work for kindergartners. Local, overnight and international trips including an 8th grade trip to Mexico is offered to their students.
- Two River’s full service kitchen showcases a fresh salad bar and an innovative approach to reduce waste while not using the federal food program.
Eagle County Charter Academy
- Their Character Ed program focuses on integrity and is modeled by observing students working independently on science investigations and staying on task without direction.
- This school’s emphasis is on small class size (19:3 in lower grades including teacher aide plus a parent volunteer); 20 students max per class in upper grades. The cost of extra support staff is covered by family financial pledges.