Summer is a time for reflection and fun. . .enjoy

Summer is a time for reflection and fun. . .enjoy
Posted on 06/11/2019
Brent Curtice, Superintendent

Ah summer. The pace slows, the sun warms and the fun begins.

Summer means that the students and staff of a school district can stand back and take a brief and fleeting breath and reflect on the great accomplishments of an incredible year.

Let’s start with the most recent events first. What amazing graduation ceremonies both Rifle High School and Coal Ridge High School put on. Over 260 graduates walked across the stage, turned their tassels and earned over $3.2 million in scholarships. They are heading to college, community college, trade school, jobs, and the military. Kudos to the parents, grand parents, family, friends, teachers and staff that contributed to the success of these students!

This was a year of transition. After nearly a year of planning, Garfield Re-2 kept our fifth graders in elementary school. This met with cheers from both parents and staff. Elementary schools got to develop some phenomenal leaders in their fifth graders. They performed community service, led their schools, and grew in unimaginable ways. Middle schools gained some elbow room and built on an environment that is ready to welcome a new crop of sixth graders in 19-20.

The 2018-19 school year saw our students turn in outstanding athletic accomplishments, unparalleled drama and music performances, and reach for academic heights. Beyond the public events, our students volunteer at animal shelters and hospitals. High school students read to elementary students. Fourth and fifth graders and Veterans read together, and students raise money for others half-way around the world, and in their back yards.
Our students, with the guidance of amazing teachers, staff and Principals do so much to improve themselves, their communities and their worlds.
Arguably, the most significant accomplishment this year came from our School Board that had the courage to place a mill levy override on last November’s ballot and our community that picked up the mantle and found a way to support teachers and staff. The communities of Rifle, Silt and New Castle rallied around their children, their schools and their teachers. They voted to approve a mill levy override that will support teachers and staff in Garfield Re-2 this year, and for years to come.

The significance of this achievement is already being felt. Last year, at this time, Garfield Re-2 was already looking for nearly 70 teachers. This year, we are seeking just about 40. We have candidates for positions we have not been able to fill for over a year.

Is the mill levy directly responsible for this change? Maybe.
But these are the undeniable facts. Members of the community dedicated time, energy and resources to supporting teachers. This does not go unnoticed by our teachers, our staff and our families. For this we say Thank You!

Competitive salary schedules help keep our teachers and staff - our neighbors, our customers and our friends - here in our communities. They also make Garfield Re-2 attractive for excellent candidates to fill any vacancies we may have.For this significant outpouring of support, we are most grateful.

But don’t worry, we are not resting on our laurels. Our staff are already planning for tuition-free full day kindergarten in our District. This is not mandatory, but provides a great option for families that feels it fits into their world. We are installing safety upgrades to our buildings and implementing a new communication platform. We are anxiously anticipating the arrival of our new teachers on July 29. We are designing our professional development to deepen the understanding of the teaching and learning cycle (WHHW), and we are looking forward to seeing you and your children in August.
Have a GREAT summer!

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