Glenwood Springs is located at the confluence of the Colorado and Roaring Fork rivers just off Interstate 70. Glenwood Springs is one of three small towns that make up the Roaring Fork School District. This historic town is famous for the mineral-rich waters of Glenwood Hot Springs and Pool attracting visitors for over 125 years and the towering walls of the 16-mile Glenwood Canyon which was carved by the force of the Colorado River and snow-melt from the Continental Divide. Other attractions include the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park, skiing at Sunlight Mountain Resort, rafting, hiking, mountain and road cycling and much more. According to the U.S. Census Bureau the city population in 2010 was 9,614. Glenwood Springs is also the county seat of Garfield County. For more information on Glenwood Springs visit the Glenwood Springs Chamber site.
Glenwood Springs has two Elementary Schools, one Middle School and one High School.
The town of Basalt is a quaint mountain community located in Eagle and Pitkin Counties at the confluence of the Frying Pan and Roaring Fork Rivers along State Highway 82. Incorporated in 1901, the town was named for the basaltic rock formation on Basalt Mountain and began as a railroad town. It is a now a vibrant and diverse community offering a multitude of recreational opportunities. The U.S. Census Bureau stated that the town population of Basalt was 3,857 in 2010. Students located in designated parts of unincorporated Eagle and Pitkin Counties attend school in Basalt. For more information on Basalt visit the Basalt Chamber of Commerce site.
Basalt has one Elementary School, one Middle School and one High School.
The Town of Carbondale is located in Garfield County at the confluence of the Crystal and Roaring Fork rivers and the junction of State Highway 82 and 131. Carbondale’s horizon is dominated by the 12,953 foot tall Mount Sopris several miles to the south of town. The town is characterized as a base camp for recreation enthusiasts and includes hiking, biking, golfing, kayaking, and world-class fly fishing. In winter, excellent cross-country skiing is just outside of town at Spring Gulch. The U.S. Census Bureau stated that the city population of Carbondale was 6,427 in 2010. For more information on Carbondale visit the Carbondale Chamber of Commerce site.
STRATEGIC PLAN PROGRESS 2015
Following a year-long process of community vision and planning meetings during the 2013-2014 school year, Roaring Fork School District adopted a new mission statement and strategic plan. At community behest, the district increased its commitment to ensure all students have the knowledge, skill and character to thrive in a changing world; that schools be more welcome and engaging for students, teachers, and parents, that students have a broader range of supports for their academic and social-emotional learning, and that students engage in more real-world learning than can be measured by traditional tests. Over the past year, a lot of work has been accomplished in all five strategic pillars –- academic excellence, character development, talent development, community partnership, and strategic use of resources – of the plan.
Academically, teams of teachers and administrators have been working hard to articulate the necessary knowledge and skills to best prepare students for future learning and best engage their minds as lifelong learners and citizens. Not wishing simply to defer to state tests to define the most important learning for our students, teams of math, English, science, and social studies teachers have articulated the common outcomes we wish all students to master regardless which school in the Roaring Fork School District they attend. The Roaring Fork School District adopted new graduation requirements affecting the class of 2018, increasing an emphasis on college readiness and providing more flexibility to meet the needs of each student. The class of 2018 will also be expected to complete capstone projects, which engage their interests and passions, challenge them to find and solve problems outside of the prescribed curriculum, and bridge learning between the school and the outside world.
Character development is already apparent to parents who received, for the first time this year, feedback on their children’s progress within five Habits of a Scholar, in addition to traditional grades on report cards. In the fall, all students will start the year as members of a crew – a team comprising 15-20 students with a teacher as their crew leader, to build positive school culture, provide at least one place where all students belong, develop character, and provide more counseling and academic advisement.
Developing talent entails offering the right working conditions and competitive compensation packages, as well as providing the support, resources and training, to ensure a high quality teacher in every classroom. The Human Resources department conducted an in-depth survey of compensation and benefits of districts around the state, and is proposing a multi-year plan to provide competitive compensation packages for all district employees. Meanwhile, for current teachers, increased emphasis was placed on high quality, targeted professional development. A key to increasing professional development was the adoption of a new school calendar, with early-release Wednesdays providing time for teacher professional development concurrent with engaging enrichment opportunities for students. According to the recently released TELL surveys of staff satisfaction, Roaring Fork teachers are now reporting greater satisfaction with working conditions than their peers in other districts; one of the greatest improvements was in professional development. The multi-pronged emphasis on making Roaring Fork Schools a great place to work, offering competitive compensation, and providing high quality professional development will continue as a core strategy for several years.
This year was a transitional year for community partnership. Following on the intensive engagement process last year for strategic visioning and planning, this year was focused more on building internal systems and capacity among the Roaring Fork School District.
Supporting the other pillars is the strategic use of resources – facilities, technology, and overall funding – to create the conditions for success. The district engaged in a community-wide facilities planning process this year, analyzing current needs and anticipating future demands on the physical spaces where our students learn. The work of finalizing plans and securing funding will continue over the summer and fall.
A final area of strategic investment over the past year has been in the Chromebook initiative. As the digital learning environment increasingly becomes essential to accessing information and materials, producing new knowledge, and collaborating with others, the district has a three-year goal of providing access to a device for every student. In addition to providing hardware devices, the district has ramped up professional development and customized support for integrating technology into the classroom.
Next year will see a continuation of most of these efforts, with an increased emphasis on college advising and counseling, parent and community engagement, and character development.