Awards and Achievements
There are many exciting things happening at schools in the Roaring Fork School District. Here are some things that illustrate a culture of academic excellence in our district.
Roaring Fork Schools awarded $531k BEST grant
The Roaring Fork Schools was recently awarded a BEST (Building Excellent Schools Today) grant for $531,909 from the Colorado Department of Education. Funding from the grant will go towards constructing safe, secure, and welcoming entry vestibules at Glenwood Springs Middle, Carbondale Middle, Bridges High, Basalt Elementary, Basalt Middle and Basalt High schools. Additionally, the grant will provide partial funding for security camera upgrades and access card readers at these schools.
The district’s matching funds for these projects was made possible from the taxpayer-supported $122 million bond. “We are so grateful to our communities for their support to pass this bond,” said Superintendent Rob Stein. “We are also very appreciative of the Colorado Department of Education’s BEST Grant program. This grant funding will allow our bond dollars to go further in improving our facilities for 21st Century learning.”
The district’s grant application scored in the top five out of the 50 applications submitted. This application is one of many successes with the state’s BEST Grant program in recent years. The district’s owner representative, NV5, has played a big role in achieving this success. “The NV5 team has been a great partner and has lived up to their promise to make sure our bond dollars go as far as possible and to look for additional resources and funding opportunities,” said Stein.
The district was also awarded over $9.1 million to partially fund the addition and renovation at Glenwood Springs Elementary School in 2015, prior to the bond passing. The successful bond measure provided the matching funds necessary for the Glenwood Springs Elementary School project to proceed.
“The district made a commitment to our community that we would explore avenues to leverage our bond funding with grant programs, and I’m happy to report we have been successful with BEST and other grant applications,” Stein said.
Construction of all the bond projects are underway, with the majority of the facilities projected for completion at the start of the 2017-18 school year.
Basalt High School Teacher Leticia Ingram Honored by Jared Polis Foundation
The Roaring Fork Schools is excited to announce that Leticia Ingram, a Basalt High School teacher, has been honored with a Teacher Recognition Award from the Jared Polis Foundation. Leticia is currently an English language development and Geography teacher at Basalt High School and was the 2016 Colorado Teacher of the Year.
Every year, the Jared Polis Foundation honors Colorado teachers with the foundation's Teacher Recognition Awards. This year, Ingram is one of 11 teachers from across Colorado recognized as a highly effective, dedicated and hard working teacher making a positive impact in the lives of her students every day. As a 2017 honoree, Leticia will receive a $1,000 discretionary award; a $500 technology award; a $1,000 teacher-directed school grant; and the Foundation’s crystal apple award
Upon receiving notice of the award, Superintendent Rob Stein said, “This is an exciting honor, and Leticia is truly deserving.”
Leticia expressed gratitude to the foundation and the school team at large: “I am surprised and honored. I will do my best to elevate our students, schools, and educators with this honor. This award is due to all of us as a team working for our students.”
Local School Wellness Program Success Garners State Recognition
The Roaring Forks Schools is excited to announce that Carrie Godes, parent and Public Health Specialist with Garfield County Public Health, has been recognized as an honorable mention for the Colorado Action for Healthy Kids’ “Parents Are the Power 2017 Healthy School Hero Award.” Parents are nominated for their demonstrated exceptional dedication and service towards the vision, mission, and goals of Action for Healthy Kids through volunteer work at their school.
Nominated by Sopris Elementary School (SES) Principal, Kathy Whiting, Godes is recognized for the work that she does as a leader and parent wellness champion at SES. “The work that Carrie has done at SES has become a model to our school district. The conversation began with healthy eating and movement during the school day and the conversation now moved to life-long sustainable healthy eating and movement for kids and faculty both in and out of the school day. She truly has made a positive, lasting impact upon our wellness practice at Sopris Elementary and with our community as a whole.”
Because students spend most of their waking hours in school, and the average student consumes about 50% of their calories on school grounds, SES started a wellness committee in the Spring of 2015. The committee’s goal was to get students eating better and moving more. And these efforts have made a difference. A 2016 student survey asked how much do the adults in your school care about your health, and 91% responded favorably--a 10% increase from 2015 and above the district average in the wellness category.
Some of the programs that have been implemented at SES include a “No Sugar in School Week” for which the school partnered with Safeway to ensure that any student bringing an unhealthy snack to school could swap it for a healthy one. The committee also launched a program that provided balls and recess equipment for the playground and purchased a karaoke machine and other fun items for the “celebration binder,” a program that entices kids to celebrate their birthday with fun alternatives to unhealthy treats.
“Without the dedicated commitment and support of Sopris Principal Kathy Whiting, the Wellness Committee would not have been able make as lasting of an impact,” Godes said. “To be successful. it takes a close partnership between school administration and wellness advocates. The end result is a great school with healthy and happy students and staff, and I’m proud to be a part of that.”
Parents interested in starting or collaborating with other school wellness programs are encouraged to contact Garfield County Public Health.