Eagle County students go back to school
Ryan Summerlin August 20, 2013
EAGLE COUNTY — Here’s a roundup of what’s new for the school year:
Avon Elementary School
Address: 0850 W. Beaver Creek Blvd., Avon, CO. PO Box 7567, Avon, CO 81620
Mascot: Bear Cubs. Royal Blue and white
Principal: Melisa Rewold-Thuon
What’s New: The school won a national Blue Ribbon School award for improvement last year, and returns for more improvement this year. The Doctors Plus Kid Care Clinic is open in the building, providing health care for uninsured and underinsured for any Eagle County school student.
Brush Creek Elementary School
Address: 333 Eagle Ranch Road, Eagle. PO Box 4630, Eagle, CO 81631
Mascot: Bobcats. Teal and silver
Principal: Anne Heckman
What’s New: Brush Creek Elementary takes pride in its robust parent volunteer corps and its innovative options including a school greenhouse and young chefs program. Centered in the Eagle Ranch neighborhood, Brush Creek Elementary encourages all students to bike or ride to school every day as a way to help the earth and live a healthy lifestyle.
Eagle County Charter Academy
Address: 1105 Miller Ranch Road, Edwards, CO. PO Box 169, Wolcott, CO 81655
Mascot: Hawks. Red and black
Principal: Kim Walter
What’s New: Everything is new. The charter academy is moving into a new $12 million building. Dedication is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday. The Eagle Valley Charter Academy is kindergarten through eighth grade.
Eagle Valley Elementary School
Address: 727 Third Ave., Eagle. Post Office Box 780, Eagle, CO 81631
Telephone: 970-328- 6981
Mascot:Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorText ColorText ColorText Color Eagles
Colors: Green and white
Principal:Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorText ColorText ColorText Color Tiffany Dougherty
What’s New:Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorText ColorText ColorText Color Eagle Valley Elementary School has distinguished itself as a school of choice in the valley through its adoption of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme. “Students in the 21st century are faced with the challenge of learning about an interconnected world where knowledge is constantly developing,” notes the school website. “IB prepares students to be active participants in a lifelong journey of learning. The IB Primary Years Programme, for students aged 3 to 12, focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside.” More information about the IB model is available at http://www.ibo.org/facts/fastfacts/index.cfm
Edwards Elementary School
Address: 0022 Meile Lane, Edwards, CO 81632
Color: Silver and black
Principal: Heidi Hanssen
What’s New: The majority of Edwards Elementary’s 450 students are in the dual language program. The goal is for them to be as bilingual as possible by the time they finish 5th grade.
The Vail Academy
Address: 31621 Highway 6, Edwards, CO 81632
Colors: Blue and white.
Headmaster: Clint Holden
What’s New: Holden is the new Vail Academy headmaster. He’s a native Coloradoan, and a graduate of Columbine High School in Littleton. He has spent the last 20 years in Christian school leadership and development Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin and Colorado. “While I greatly value a rigorous learning atmosphere and am a vibrant champion for strong athletics and quality fine arts, my most earnest conviction is that the Christian school wholly esteem Jesus Christ and the gospel message. It will be my goal to guard, promote, and direct VCA to be a school of choice in the Eagle Valley because of its commitment to Christ, its value of family, and its dedication to academia.”
Homestake Peak School
Address: 750 Eagle Road, Eagle-Vail, CO. PO Box 5810, Avon, CO 81620
Colors: Blue and green
Principal: Bobby Young
What’s New: Homestake Peak is an expeditionary learning school. Students investigate real community problems and collaborate with peers and local professionals to create solutions. It’s for grades kindergarten-eighth grade.
June Creek Elementary School
Address: 1121 Miller Ranch Rd, Edwards, CO 81632
Colors: Plum and black
Principal: Erika Donahue
What’s New: Erika Donahue is June Creek’s new principal. She comes to the position with 15 years with Eagle County schools. Most recently she was both a mentor and master teacher at Edwards Elementary, as well as a district instructional coach. June Creek is hosting is annual back-to-school ice cream social from 5-6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Red Sandstone Elementary School
Address: 551 North Frontage Rd W, Vail, CO 81657
What’s new: Marcie Laidman was tabbed to lead the Vail elementary school. Laidman has been a master teacher at Brush Creek Elementary in Eagle since 2011. She has been an educator in the Eagle County school district since 1989. Laidman earned her master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Northern Colorado. She earned Master of Arts in elementary education from Adams State in 1997. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary/middle school education.
Red Hill Elementary
Address: 100 Grundel Way, Gypsum
Mascot: Bear Cubs.
Colors: Red and Black
Principal: Eric Olsen
What’s new for 2013-14: Gypsum’s Red Hill Elementary School has a new man at the helm this year as well as some fun new opportunities that included an ice cream social Monday. A kindergarten parent breakfast is in the school cafeteria at 8 a.m. Thursday.
Principal Eric Olsen, Ph.D., started his new job at Red Hill Aug. 5 after three years as vice principal of Homestake Peak School in Eagle-Vail.
“Doing things like the ice cream social is a good way to get to know the community,” he said. “I will also be doing a ‘coffee chat’ every Friday from 8 to 9 a.m. Having a relationship with the community is so important for having a strong school.”
Other important dates for Red Hill Elementary include:
Back to School Night is 6 p.m. Sept. 4.
Volunteer Orientation is at 3 p.m. Sept. 10 and is open to anyone interested in becoming a volunteer at the school.
School picture day is Oct. 2.
Address: 0720 Schoolside Street, Gypsum
Colors: Blue and Yellow
Principal: Mitch Forsberg
What’s new for 2013-14: Principal Mitch Forsberg highlighted the continuation of a program for children entering kindergarten. All the kindergarten teachers go as a team to visit the incoming students and families at their homes before school starts and during the first weeks of school.
“Families sign up when they register in the spring and they will have another opportunity to register when school begins,” said kindergarten teacher Tonya Farmer. “The visits help the parents as much as the students, and when a child comes to school, he already has three people he knows there.”
The visits last 10 to 30 minutes and the teachers let the parents lead the conversation.
“One of the big differences it makes for me as a teacher is that I know all the kids and not just those in my class,” Farmer said.
The team has already visited between 20 and 30 homes, bringing small welcome-gifts for each student. Farmer estimated that 80 percent of the families participate.
Stone Creek Charter School
Address: 500 Red Table Drive, Gypsum
Mascot: Mustangs. Maroon and gold.
Principal: John Brendza
What’s new for 2013-14: Stone Creek Charter School’s Gypsum branch is opening at a new location this year — the former US Bank building near Costco. Headmaster John Brendza said the school is currently leasing the bottom floor of the building — along with a grass field for a playground in front — and has the option to move into the second floor in the future.
“In terms of square-footage, the space is almost identical to the old location but the arrangement is better and we have capacity for significant growth,” Brendza said.
He said moving the school closer to Eagle has boosted enrollment.
“We’ve seen a fairly significant increase,” he said. “We’re very excited to serve the Gypsum-Eagle area.
This is Stone Creek’s second year in Gypsum. Its first official day of class is Friday, Aug. 23.
Stone Creek also has two locations in Edwards — a K-4 campus and fifth-through-eighth grade campus. The Gypsum branch is K-8.
Eagle Valley Middle School
Address:Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorText ColorText ColorText Color 747 Third Ave., Eagle. Post Office Box 1019, Eagle, CO 81631
Telephone:Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorText ColorText ColorText Color 970-328-6224. Fax: 970-328-8915
Colors: Gold and Black
What’s new:Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorText ColorText ColorText Color Late start Wednesdays is a new feature for EVMS this year. Students will start class a 9:30 on Wednesdays beginning Aug. 28 this year. All other school days get under way at 8:30 a.m.
Gypsum Creek Middle School
Address: 401 Grundel Way, Gypsum
Colors: Maroon and Silver
Principal: David Russell
What’s new for 2013-14: “Late Start Wednesdays” begin the second week of school, on Wednesday, Aug. 28. The school day will begin at 9:30 a.m. and end at the normal time of 3:50 p.m. This program is being expanded from the high schools to include the middle schools across Eagle County School District. The late start allows teachers to collaborate with one another to build stronger and more consistent lesson plans.
Berry Creek Middle School
Address: 1000 Miller Ranch Road, Edwards, CO. PO Box 1416, Edwards, CO 81632
Mascot: Wildcats. Purple and black
Principal: Amy Vanwel
What’s New: Nearly 85 percent of Berry Creek students participate in sports or after school programs. The Youth Foundation provides students after school academic support. The Literacy Project pairs students with mentors through the Study Friends program. The Eagle River Youth Coalition works with teachers and students to help students learn to make positive choices.
Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy
Address: 1951 South Highway 24, Minturn, CO. PO Box 369 Minturn, CO 81645
Principal: Geoff Grimmer
What’s New: VSSA is the first public winter sports academy in the United States. It offers students in grades 5-12 the opportunity to train six days per week in the winter months through flexible scheduling and online interface.
St. Clare of Assisi Catholic School
Address: 31622 Highway 6, Edwards, CO. Box 667, Edwards, CO 81632
Principal: Sister Marirose Rudek, R.S.M. Monsignor Bob Kinkel, Pastor
What’s New: St. Clare of Assisi Catholic School “embraces a challenging, safe, and nurturing environment that enriches the heart, mind, and soul for life.” Along with the rigorous academic curriculum, students participate in community service, plan masses, celebrate the sacraments, and work with one another not only in their own classrooms, but across grade levels. The staff members strives to model themselves on the words of St. Francis, “teach always, when necessary, use words.”
Eagle Valley High School
Address: 641 Valley Road, Gypsum
Colors: Black and White with Red
Principal: Greg Doan
What’s new for 2013-14: The Back to School Night scheduled for Sept. 4 has been moved to Sept. 3 to honor Rosh Hashanah. As for news, Eagle Valley is implementing a program called AVID this year. AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination.
“This is a district supported initiative that is being done at Battle Mountain High School and EVHS,” said Principal Greg Doan. “It is a national program that provides support for students who are traditionally underserved in higher education (ethnicity, socioeconomics, personal struggles, etc.) to achieve a dream of going to college. Students are selected into the program through an application and/or interview process. We will have about 27 sophomores this year that will comprise our first class.”
To be in AVID, a student has to take at least one Advanced Placement, Honors, or Dual Enrollment course. Students also take a special AVID elective course that specifically teaches them skills to be academically successful. They learn things such as writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading skills. They also have a weekly tutoring session that is led by adult volunteers who help lead them in small groups to solve academic problems. The final piece is support for college readiness and preparation.
Battle Mountain High School
Address: 0151 Miller Ranch Road, Edwards, CO 81632 (physical and mailing)
Mascot: Husky. Black and gold
Principal: Phil Qualman
What’s New: More than 750 students are enrolled at Battle Mountain. Approximately 50 percent are of Hispanic origin, including 15 percent limited English speakers. Battle Mountain has 50 faculty members, including three counselors and four administrators, with an average of 12 years experience.
New America High School
Address: Edwards Campus: 1002 Miller Ranch Road, Edwards, CO 81632
Eagle Campus: 139 Broadway Eagle, CO 81631
Principal: Wade Hill
What’s New: The New America High School in Eagle County opened in September 2007 with both day and night classes. The school currently serves around 100 students, many of whom are English language learners. Principal Wade Hill says the faculty and staff is improving in meeting their needs, with the goal of seeing them proficient in English as quickly as possible.
Red Canyon High School/Edwards Campus
Address:1002 Miller Ranch Road, Edwards, CO 81632. Eagle Campus: 139 Broadway Eagle, CO 81631. Mailing Address: PO Box 1411, Eagle, CO 81631
Colors: Red and black
Principal: Wade Hill
What’s New: Red Canyon has a new counselor, Krista Kedrowski. Liz Qualman will be teaching the humanities, language arts and social studies. The school is expanding its STEM program — Science Technology Engineering Math — to include more girls. That project is funded by The Women’s Foundation.
Red Canyon High School/Eagle Campus
Address: 139 Broadway, Eagle. Post Office Box 1411, Eagle, CO 81631
Telephone: 970-328-2852 Fax: 970-328-6976
Colors: Red and Black
Principal: Wade Hill
What’s new: Red Canyon describes itself as a safe “non-traditional” environment, where all students can acquire skills, knowledge, and behaviors necessary to be productive citizens in an ever-changing world.” The school aims to prepare students to be in charge of and apply their academic knowledge; set and achieve academic and personal goals; communicate effectively; respect and work cooperatively with others; and think critically and be creative problem solvers.
Address: 139 Broadway Eagle, CO. PO Box 4807, Eagle, CO 81631
Principal: Wade Hill, 970-328-9072
What’s New: World Academy is in its third year as the school district’s online learning program. Students are assigned local teachers and design their own curriculum, along with their parents and the teachers they work with. Principal Wade Hill says it provides a local support system, not just someone in cyberspace.
Vail Christian High School
Address: 31621 Highway 6, Edwards, CO 81632
Colors: Royal blue and silver.
Principal: Jeremy Lowe
What’s New: Vail Christian High School is a co-ed private school for grades 9-12. The school opened in the fall of 1998. Students develop and nurture their Christian faith, and Christian values are taught and shared.
Vail Mountain School
Address: 3000 Booth Falls Road, Vail, CO 81657
Mascot: Gore Rangers
Headmaster: Mike Imperi
What’s New: Mike Imperi is what’s new. He’s Vail Mountain School’s first new headmaster since Peter Abuisi took over three and a half decades ago. Before VMS he was head of the Alexander Dawson School at Rainbow Mountain in Las Vegas, principal of Dawson Middle School in Lafayette, and has led expeditions in more than 16 countries. He has made two trips to the 19,341-foot summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.