Education

Good afternoon and welcome to Mountain Edition.

Schools in the Roaring Fork Valley get graded- some of the best and the worst in the state are here.

Basalt has its first menorah lighting to celebrate the beginning of Hanukkah.

Aspen’s new Airport Director takes the helm as County Commissioners decide how to widen the airfield.

New owners at Krabloonik aim for a kinder, friendlier era and they are receiving a “thumbs up”, so far, from a group whose aim is to make sure the sled dogs are well cared for.

Creative Commons/Brad Flickinger

The Aspen Community School is one of the top-ranked schools in the state, according to a new analysis. The school near Woody Creek, ranked six out of 500 middle schools.

The organization Colorado School Grades releases its report card annually. Nearly 2000 public schools are ranked. The group uses data from the Colorado Department of Education and a formula that looks at academic achievement, academic growth and gaps in education.

Today on CrossCurrents, Roaring Fork School District is holding a series of community meetings throughout the month to discuss the RFSD Facilities plan.

Guests are Dr. Diana Sirko, Superintendent of RFSD and Shannon Pelland, Assistant Superintendent in charge of the Facilities Project.

http://www.rfsd.k12.co.us/

Elise Thatcher

On Sunday, October 5th, Aspen High School hosted just under three thousand students and parents from Lake City, Durango, and other far flung Colorado towns. They quizzed University representatives and took workshops as part of the Colorado Western Slope College Fair. It’s been around for years, but this time, the focus was on helping students with the details, like essay writing and affordability.

Elise Thatcher

Colorado Mountain College is turning its focus to what kids are learning before they walk in the door. Right now more than half of incoming students are severely lacking in certain subjects, usually math and English. So now the community college… the largest such network in the state… is working on finding a way to improve what kids are learning in elementary, middle, and high school. It’s part of a larger effort to better serve mountain communities.

Kate Lapides

A growing education program in the Valley is teaching preschoolers how their brain works so they can focus on learning. The “Focused Kids” program is being taught to low income, mostly Latino kids, in a unique preschool. As Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports, this new program is happening inside a school bus.

Inside El Busesito, a small group of students and teachers are playing games on the carpeted floor. It’s a comfortable space that doesn’t look at all like a bus. The seats have been removed to make way for books and toys.

Marci Krivonen

On Thursday we told you about how the Aspen-based Valley Marijuana Council is working on educating people about retail pot. Today we’ll explain how the State of Colorado is using tax money from marijuana sales to create an education campaign of its own. The Colorado Department of Public Health is planning to roll out television commercials, radio spots and billboards early next year around how to use marijuana safely.

Creative Commons/Flickr/Mike Johnston

State Representative Millie Hamner carried three times the number of bills this legislative session, than she did in the previous session. The democrat, who represents several Western Slope counties including Pitkin County, chairs the House education committee. She told Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen that she's most proud of two measures that bring hundreds of millions of dollars to Colorado schools.

gailschwartz.org

Snowmass Village democrat Gail Schwartz wrapped up her career as a state senator this week. The lawmaker is term-limited after spending eight years under the gold dome in Denver. Her impact on issues like education, healthcare and water have been felt around the state, including here in the Roaring Fork Valley. Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen reports.

On the last day of the 2014 legislative session, Schwartz’s colleagues saluted her service, including Senate Majority Leader Rollie Heath.

Marci Krivonen

Environmental education is expanding in schools across the Roaring Fork Valley. The Aspen Center for Environmental Studies grew its teaching programs over the last two years to include schools like Basalt Elementary and Carbondale’s Crystal River Elementary school. As Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen reports, studies show schools with environmental programs score higher on standardized tests.

Environmental educator Melanie Poole instructs a group of kindergarten students plopped down in a semi-circle. Today’s lesson is about duck adaptations.

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