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Back To School Guide 2012

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2 • 2012 La Plata County Back to School Guide • Sunday, August 12, 2012

Back To School Guide 2012 Publisher Richard Ballantine General Manager Ken Amundson Vice President of Advertising Paul C. Hay Director of Sales and Marketing Mark Drudge Design Manager Brady Sutherlin Editor Karla Sluis Designer Tracy Willbanks Advertising Design/Prepress Mitchell Carter Jennifer Dickens Janelle Farnam Hanah Noland Michelle Uhl Tracy Willbanks Advertising Sales Darryl Hunt Karolann Latimer Shawna Long Chuck Jillson Ralph Maccarone Teressa Fenn Cora Younie


4 Durango superintendent’s welcome, plus 9-R academic calendar 5 Durango High School’s NEW class schedule 6 Durango 9-R primary schools at a glance 7 New 9-R superintendent values community’s support 8 Get the most out of your student’s open house, plus open house dates 9 Durango 9-R secondary schools at a glance 10 What’s new at Mountain Middle School & Animas High School 12 Fort Lewis College got even greener over the summer 14 Bayfield superintendent’s welcome, plus Bayfield academic calendar 16 Bayfield School District 10JTR at a glance 18 Ignacio superintendent’s welcome, plus Ignacio academic calendar 19 Ignacio included in Southwest Science Collaboration 20 Ignacio Middle School plans launch $50M bond projects 22 Help your child cope with back-to-school stress 23 Fight back against fall crud with health tips

A publication of:

2012 La Plata County Back to School Guide • Sunday, August 12, 2012 • 3

DURANGO SCHOOL DISTRICT 9-R Soaring to new heights, one student at a time


ear Members of the 9-R Community, It is with great enthusiasm that we welcome back all 9-R students and families to the 2012-13 school year. As your new superintendent, I am excited to work with staff, parents, students and members of our community as we continue the quest for increased educational excellence. Our administrators, teachers and support staff have worked hard to ensure that we are ready to provide students a successful school year filled with productive learning. Each and every employee in our district has a part in ensuring that our students have a positive experience throughout their day – from our bus drivers, Snowberger cooks, security guards, custodians, teachers, office staff, classroom assistants, administrators and central office staff. As the old saying goes, “it takes a village,” and I’m mighty proud of our team and their contributions. As a parent myself, I recognize the trust involved in sending your child(ren) to our schools. I take that very seriously, and will work closely with our staff as we ensure that we provide a safe and effective learning environment in all of our schools. Most importantly, we need your partnership. We know that our economy and society in general has led to fast-paced lives often requiring prioritization. I invite you to make our partnership a high priority: Participate in parent conferences, attend school events, and volunteer in our schools when time permits. In the coming year, we will provide lots of opportunities for you to give honest and candid feedback on our work. It is through such feedback that we improve our practice and ensure the highest quality of service to our students. In addition, school board members and I will be holding quarterly forums around the district inviting parents and members of the community to learn about our efforts to improve our district and maximize learning. I hope you will attend when I’m in the neighborhood and provide your thoughts and feedback as well. Education today is both exciting and challenging. In years past, we prepared kids with the basics for a pretty fixed set of occupations and experiences available as they left high school. Today, our teachers and administrators have the task of preparing students for an ever-changing world and careers that we can continued on page 5 4 • 2012 La Plata County Back to School Guide • Sunday, August 12, 2012

DURANGO SCHOOL DISTRICT 9-R 9-R superintendent’s welcome continued from page 4

hardly imagine. Education has shifted from the learning of facts to learning how to learn, gain information from a variety of sources and apply learning in relevant ways. Such change often creates questions regarding what is going on in our classrooms. When questions exist, I encourage you to contact your child’s teacher or school leader and get answers. It is through such dialogue that we can maximize learning for your child and prevent misunderstandings. Every day, our staff comes to work with the best intent and a strong desire to make a difference. When mistakes are made, our system has opportunities to improve. I recognize that parents have choice in education. We’re glad that we are able to provide your child a successful academic experience preparing them for the many options they will have following their PreK-12 education. We are also excited that we continue to provide opportunities in the arts, music, physical education, and career and technical programs embedded within our schools. It is our intent to ensure that we produce not only academically capable students, but students who have the opportunities to explore their areas of interest and develop lifelong passions. It is our intent in the coming year to focus our efforts at truly identifying the needs of each individual student and that we provide effective learning opportunities to help students achieve to their fullest. I invite you to join us as we “Soar to new heights, one student at a time!”

Dan Snowberger Superintendent, Durango School District 9-R

Durango High School Schedule DHS will run an alternating-day, block schedule for the 2012-2013 school year. Classes begin at 8:35 a.m. each day and classes end at 3:55 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Friday remains an early release day for students, and classes end at 2:30 p.m. Periods 1-4 will meet on Red Days and periods 5-8 will meet on White Days. Monday-Thursday 8:35 - 10:00 a.m. 10:05 - 10:45 a.m. 10:50 – 12:15 a.m. 12:15 – 1:00 p.m. 1:00 – 2:25 p.m. 2:30 – 3:55 p.m.

Period 1/5 Advisory Period 2/6 Lunch Period 3/7 Period 4/8

85 minutes

Friday 8:35 – 9:50 a.m. 9:55 – 11:10 a.m. 11:10 – 11:55 a.m. 11:55 – 1:10 p.m. 1:15 – 2:30 p.m.

Period 1/5 Period 2/6 Lunch Period 3/7 Period 4/8

75 minutes 75 minutes 45 minutes 75 minutes 75 minutes

85 minutes 45 minutes 85 minutes 85 minutes

2012 La Plata County Back to School Guide • Sunday, August 12, 2012 • 5

DURANGO SCHOOL DISTRICT 9-R 9-R at a glance Durango School District 9-R is a high-performing school district located in western La Plata County in Southwest Colorado. Its seven elementary schools, two middle schools and a comprehensive high school serve approximately 4,700 students. Visit www. for more information.

Animas Valley

Florida Mesa

Fort Lewis Mesa

Elementary School

Elementary School

Elementary School

Principal: Lisa Schuba School Day: 7:45a.m.–2:50 p.m. Early Release: 7:45 a.m.–1:20 p.m. School Phone: (970) 247-0124 Students: 272 Teachers: 24 Support Staff: 12 Address: 373 Hermosa Meadows Road Website:

Principal: Cindy Smart School Day: 7:50 a.m.–2:50 p.m. Early Release: 7:50 a.m.–1:20 p.m. School Phone: (970) 247-4250 Students: 312 Teachers: 19 Support Staff: 15 Address: 216 State Highway 172, Website:

Needham Elementary School Principal: David Tanaka School Day: 8:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Early Release: 8:00 a.m.–1:30 p.m. School Phone: (970) 247-4791 Students: 375 Teachers: 30 Support Staff: 16 Address: 2425 West Third Avenue Website:

Park Elementary School Interim Principal: Kathleen Lau School Day: 8:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. Early Release: 8:00 a.m.–1:30 p.m. School Phone: (970) 247-3718 Students: 450 Teachers: 31 Support Staff: N/A Address: 510 East 6th Avenue Website:

Riverview Elementary School Principal: Doug Geygan School Day: 7:55 a.m.–2:55 p.m. Early Release: 7:55 a.m.–1:30 p.m. School Phone: (970) 247-3862 Students: 440 Teachers: 34 Support Staff: N/A Address: 2900 Mesa Avenue Website:

Principal: John Marchino School Day: 7:30a.m.–2:35 p.m. Early Release: 7:30 a.m.–1:05 p.m. School Phone: (970) 588-3331 Students: 170 Teachers: 16 Support Staff: 10 Address: 11274 Colorado Hwy 140, Hesperus Website:

Sunnyside Elementary School Principal: Vanessa Fisher School Day: 7:50 a.m.–2:50 p.m. Early Release: 7:50 a.m.–1:20 p.m. School Phone: (970) 259-5249 Students: 163 Teachers: 14 Support Staff: 9 Address: 75 County Road 218 Website: Photos by Hal Lott

Q: When is registration for preschool, kindergarten & elementary students? * Pre-School: Please contact the District Office at (970) 247-5411, ext. 1400, for more information. * Kindergarten and Elementary: Registration took place at each elementary school on Monday, August 6. Please contact the school to register your student.

Q: How old does my child have to be to start school in School District 9-R? To enter kindergarten, a child must be 5 years old by Oct. 1, 2012. Durango School District 9-R also offers preschool at its elementary schools. Priority is given to children who are 4 years old by Oct. 1, 2012, and who live within the school attendance area. 6 • 2012 La Plata County Back to School Guide • Sunday, August 12, 2012

DURANGO SCHOOL DISTRICT 9-R New superintendent values community’s support of the ‘whole child’ We caught up with Daniel Snowberger, the new superintendent of the Durango 9-R School District, during a busy week of meetings and appointments in late July. He has been a school administrator for 20 years, and most recently worked as the assistant superintendent for Harrison School District in Colorado Springs. To give the community a sense of his voice and personality, he answered a few questions. Q: Why did you choose Durango? A: I have five kids of my own, and three of them are K-12 school age. I was looking for a community and school district that I wanted my family to be a part of. We aren’t quite settled yet, but everyone is looking forward to the start of school. But living here will take a little adjustment. This morning I woke up to see a large black bear up the tree in our front yard (along Florida Road), which was right over my car. The Snowberger family learned we don’t put garbage outside anymore. Q: What is unique about 9-R compared with other districts in the state?


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A: This is a district that financially hasn’t had to cut back on music, art or P.E. 9-R educates children well in critical reading and writing, and it also exposes them to future potential interests: It educates the whole child. The support of the community for the schools is unique, too. I appreciate that, because unfortunately the support is not as strong in many Colorado districts. From all indications, it seems we have parents who are very passionate about the quality of education for their kids. That’s a tremendous draw. Q: What are your thoughts on Small Learning Communities at Durango High School? A: It’s a nice thing that Durango has done to provide diverse options to maximize children’s different learning styles. High school teachers and administrators have taken on an awful lot of work. I’ve met with staff many times, and I’m impressed that they’re willing to go above and beyond because it’s the right thing for the kids. As they enter these learning communities, we will be flexible and make sure kids get into the environment that works for them. If they need to switch, they can do that. We’ll do continued on page 9

Photo by Jerry McBride/Herald

New 9-R Superintendent Daniel Snowberger listens intently during a meeting about school technology on July 12 at the 9-R Administration Building.

Science Career Ladder internships, Sudden Science, Lego Leagues, field trips, and much more from your science, technology, engineering, and math Powerhouse. Subscribe to free Circuit e-news for info on the latest programs and events: TM



2012 La Plata County Back to School Guide • Sunday, August 12, 2012 • 7


Get the most out of your child’s open house By Karla Sluis Durango Herald Magazine Editor The open house is the kick-off of the new school year. Children can locate their new classroom and navigate school hallways to ease those first-day jitters, and parents can make the first connection with teachers and other parents. This event is especially important for the big transitions into kindergarten, sixth grade and high school freshmen. Families are often so busy with end-of-summer activities or vacations, it can be tempting to skip this event. But educators say it’s important to show up, listen carefully and model enthusiasm for your child. Amy Aweida, a Title I Reading/Math Teacher for K-5th grade at Mancos Elementary School, answered a few questions about getting the most out of an open house event. Q: What’s the objective for teachers at an open house? A: We strive to build communication with parents and encourage them be active members of their child’s education. It’s a simple meet-and-greet event meant to encourage school/family partnerships. While some schools want teachers to go over daily schedules, routines and rules, others use the event as a way to make parents feel comfortable and visit their child’s classroom. If the event is held a few weeks after school starts, it can also be used to celebrate students’ work and showcase their strengths. Q: What do you think parents’ and kids’ objectives should be? A: Parents should try to gain a better understanding of what their child will be doing throughout the year. They can figure out ways to support their child. This can be as simple as knowing where their student’s classroom is located. They can learn the best way to communicate with the teacher, and write down good times to reach them by phone, e-mail or in person. Parents can learn what the teacher will be doing to notify them about upcoming events or volunteer opportunities, and ask general questions. Kids can show parents around the room, explain what they do in the classroom: where they sit, what things mean in the class, etc. They should show parents their recent work. If children are older, they can describe the standard or skill being taught, and how an assignment helped them learn it. Also, the child could tell their parents how they feel toward a class or subject area. They can express that they 8 • 2012 La Plata County Back to School Guide • Sunday, August 12, 2012

struggle with math, for example, or that they enjoy reading more than science.

your child about school. Listen to them and give feedback to the teacher when necessary. If needed and appropriate (meaning this may not be appropriate for a high school student), visit the classroom during school for a quick visit. All teachers should encourage family participation. Try to volunteer when needed in the classroom. And, of course, always ask questions if you don’t understand something going on the child’s classroom. Overall, this should be a relaxed, comfortable event for both the parents and teachers. Each teacher has a different style and way of contributing to an open house event. Parents should expect each year’s open house to be a bit different because the student has a different teacher, which means a different person with their own teaching style.

Q: What are some mistakes you see other teachers or parents making at this event, and how can they be corrected? A: One big mistake teachers make is spending too much time talking “at” the families. It should not be a lecture, but rather a casual conversation with parents. (However, some schools/districts may require teachers to review specific protocol.) As a Title I teacher, one of my responsibilities is getting families to be more involved. While I feel comfortable talking with parents, it can be extremely nerve-wracking for some teachers. Talking with parents is very different than teaching children. For parent/guardians, a big mistake is hoarding the teacher. Parentteacher conferences are the appropriate time to discuss specific informa- Durango School District 9-R tion about a child, while Animas Valley Elementary Thursday, August 16, at 6:00 p.m. an open house is a time Florida Mesa Elementary Wednesday, September 5, at 5:30 p.m. to “tour” the school and Fort Lewis Mesa Elementary Tuesday, August 28, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. get a glance at what your Needham Elementary TBD child will be engaged in throughout the year. Par- Park Elementary Wednesday, Sept. 5, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. ents should not think that Riverview Elementary Thursday, Sept. 6, from 6:00-7:00 p.m. an open house is a good Sunnyside Elementary Tuesday, August 28, from 4:15-6:20 p.m. time to sit down with the Escalante Middle School Wednesday, August 29, at 5:30 p.m. teacher and go over their Wednesday, August 29, from 6:00-7:30 p.m. Miller Middle School child’s academic or social Wednesday, August 29, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. issues. Too often parents Big Picture High School will come in thinking Durango High School Thursday, August 30, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. they can pull the teacher aside as if it were a private meeting time. While Bayfield School District 10 JTR some parents want to get Bayfield Elementary Monday, August 20, 4:00-6:30 p.m. details about their child, Bayfield Primary School Monday, August 20, at 4:00-6:30 p.m. the teacher should tell Bayfield Middle School Thursday, September 6, from 4:00-8:00 p.m. them that they can talk Bayfield High School Thursday, August 30, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on the phone or meet at a different time to review their child’s progress.

Open House Schedule

Q: What can parents do to help their child adjust to a new year? A: Get involved. Ask

Ignacio School District 11 JT Please visit for updated open house dates.

DURANGO SCHOOL DISTRICT 9-R 9-R’s first day of school for the 2012-13 school year is Tuesday, August 21.

Superintendent: top three challenges continued from page 7

an even better job next year, because we’ll have a year under our belts; and older students can share information with incoming freshmen. Q: What are District 9-R’s top three challenges of the new school year? A: I think one of our greatest challenges is that we are in a different age in public education than when we went to school. We need to engage parents in the idea of what a 21st education has to be. For many years, we knew what the career paths might be, but now we’re predicting what skill sets might be needed for jobs in the future. We are having to shift our system and strategies. Students need a lot of doors open when they graduate. It’s important that they have a skill that they can use, and that’s again why the district excels by offering such courses as personal finance, technical skills, welding and culinary arts.

Escalante Middle School

Miller Middle School

Principal: Tim Arnold Registration Dates: * 6th grade: Monday, Aug. 13, 2-5 p.m. * 7th grade: Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2-5 p.m. * 8th grade: Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2-5 p.m.

Principal: Tam Smith Registration Dates: * 6th grade: Tuesday, Aug. 14, 3-6 p.m. * 7th grade: Wednesday, Aug. 15, 3-6 p.m. * 8th grade: Thursday, Aug. 16, 3-6 p.m.

School Day: 8:05 a.m.–3:35 p.m. Early Release: 8:05 a.m.–2:20 p.m.

School Day: 8:10 a.m.–3:35 p.m. Early Release: 8:10 a.m.–2:20 p.m.

School Phone: (970) 247-9490 Students: 501 Teachers: 36 Support: 13 Address: 141 Baker Lane Website:

School Phone: (970) 247-1418 Students: 500 Teachers: 33 Address: 2608 Junction Creek Road Website:

Durango High School

Big Picture

Principal: LeAnne Garcia Registration: Returning students will occur during the first week of school through the student’s advisory period. School Day: 8:35 a.m.–3:55 p.m. Early Release: 8:35 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

School Phone: (970) 259-1630 Students: 1,322 Teachers: 92 Support: 32 Address: 2390 Main Avenue Website:

A second challenge would be operating in a transparent manner. We’ve had the public trust, and we can’t squander it. We have to maintain it. Our parents are stakeholders, and they should know how we use their resources and how we are being efficient and effective in the use of those resources. Finally, we’re in a different age where not every student is choosing to go to public schools. Parents make choices to place kids charter or private schools, and we need to celebrate that and not always fear the competition. We want to reach out to these schools and work on sharing resources. It’s critical that we engage families early. We want to hear their voices. It’s going to be an exciting year for me.

High School Administrator of Secondary Options: Alain Henry School Day: 8:20 a.m.–3:45 p.m. Early Release: 8:20 a.m.–2:25 p.m.

Application information: See website School Phone: (970) 259-0203 ext. 2701 Address: 215 East 12th Street Website: Photos by Hal Lott 2012 La Plata County Back to School Guide • Sunday, August 12, 2012 • 9

Schools of Choice Mountain Middle School to offer visual arts program By Beth Holland Mountain Middle School Board Member Mountain Middle School, Durango’s free, public, statechartered middle school, kicks off its second academic year on Aug. 21 with a full enrollment of 168 students. The first non-district charter school to be approved by unanimous vote by the Colorado Charter School Institute, Mountain Middle School integrates technology and project-based learning into a rigorous liberal arts curriculum that prepares students to be self-motivated, innovative thinkers. New for 2012-2013, MMS will introduce a visual arts program that will teach students new ways to present their project learning to the community. “The Mountain Middle School visual arts curriculum fosters creative, out-of-the-box thinking through hands-on learning,” said Jackie Oros, Head of Mountain Middle School. “Our program will teach skills that students will need to effectively communicate their ideas, skills that they’ll use throughout their academic and professional careers.” The new course will be taught by instructor Brenda

Macon, who last year taught an elective arts course and after-school programs that garnered rave reviews from students. “The student response to her afterschool programs was overwhelmingly positive,” Oros said. “I am certain that Brenda will add an element of excellence to our students and staff that will resonate in beautiful project work.” While visual arts will be presented as an independent course, elements of the curriculum also will be incorporated into students’ coursework in humanities, math and science, reading, writing and communicating, digital media arts and world language. Also new this year, Mountain Middle School was awarded a grant from the Gates Foundation to be used for facilities improvements. Every classroom now has all-new acoustic flooring designed to control noise levels. Returning students also will notice expanded organizational structures that include new cubbies, hooks and shelving. The grant also was used to purchase a sound- and fire-proof curtain to create a separate space for the school’s technology lab, which houses a fleet of 28

iMac computers for student use. New students, parents and anyone who would like to learn more about Mountain Middle School are invited to attend a welcome-back picnic hosted by the Parent Teacher Student Organization at 4 p.m. on Aug. 23 at Rotary Park. For additional information about Mountain Middle School, including a calendar of events and enrollment policies and procedures, please visit

Photo courtesy of Beth Holland

Animas High School adds classes, clubs and rooms By Michael Ackerman Animas High School Head of School Animas High School, Durango’s innovative and much-heralded public charter high school of choice, is preparing for another year of firsts. With the addition of the incoming Class of 2016, AHS will mark its first year at full enrollment. Joining the school’s 266 students are 13 new staff members, who will add to the Animas High’s rigorous academic programs and exemplary culture of excellence. AHS is also adding new classes to its award-winning program this year. Spanish 4, Economics Ackerman and Government, Earth Science and Senior Seminar join the line-up of core classes with electives like Global Issues Now, Journalism, Advanced Physics and the Artist’s Portfolio, rounding out additions to the school’s program of studies. New community partnerships and career explora10 • 2012 La Plata County Back to School Guide • Sunday, August 12, 2012

tion opportunities abound through the school’s LINK internship program, and a unique line-up of Power Lunch speakers are sure to inspire students this year. New projects, advisory curriculum, technology, classroom resources and a new orientation format are sure to excite students and their families. This summer’s campus remodel added a new lunchroom, new Foreign Language, Science, Humanities and Math classrooms, new offices for the school’s Registrar, College Counseling Dept. and the Exceptional Students Dept., and also included an overhaul of the school’s “Heershop,” home base for AHS’s Physics programs, championship Robotics team and the school’s first Technology Specialist. This will be the first full year of publication of the Quill, AHS’s student newspaper, which joins other popular clubs and student-interest groups like Yearbook, Poetry, Gardening, African Dance, Philosophy and Digital Arts. Geocaching, Trail Running and Paddle Boarding join Swimming, Backcountry Skiing, Rock Climbing and Mountain Biking as afterschool

clubs and teams at AHS this year. Animas High is the first high school in Durango honored as an Irwin School of Excellence, an award bestowed to the top 8 percent of public schools in Colorado. The success and impact of AHS’s 21st-century approach to secondary education continues to benefit the school’s students. After three years of Exhibitions, Presentations of Learning and Project-Based Learning, AHS’s Class of 2013 works towards 100 percent college admission this fall, and we will celebrate Animas High’s first graduating class this spring. With so many firsts, it’s no wonder that enrollment at Animas High School is stronger than ever. After its first admissions lottery this past spring, the school maintains a robust waiting list for admission into the ninth grade. However, the school continues to accept applications for enrollment into a limited number of openings in the tenth and ninth grades. For more information about Animas High School’s exemplary programs of excellence, please visit: www.

Back to School Guide 2012

2012 La Plata County Back to School Guide • Sunday, August 12, 2012 • 11

Schools of Choice Over the summer, Fort Lewis College got even greener Going green has been a way of life at Fort Lewis College for a long time – it just comes naturally when you live in a place as beautiful and inspiring as southwestern Colorado. And this summer, the FLC campus has gotten even greener, with several energy- and money-saving projects under way. Fort Lewis College has been actively improving its sustainability since becoming a charter signatory of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, in 2007. Since then, the colleges’ Sustainability Action Plan has led to the construction of “green” buildings, introducing local foods into dining facilities, expanding on-campus recycling, prioritizing recycled products in purchasing, upgrading irrigation efficiency, the installation of a new composter for on-campus dining, and more. And FLC’s efforts are getting noticed. That progress toward sustainability made Fort Lewis College one of “America’s Coolest Schools,” according to Sierra magazine, the official publication of the Sierra Club. In 2011, The Princeton Review, which already listed

12 • 2012 La Plata County Back to School Guide • Sunday, August 12, 2012

FLC as one of America’s “Best in the West” colleges, added FLC to its roster of outstanding Green Colleges, recognizing the college as a leader in green building, energy conservation, recycling, local food and environmental academic programs. Since the Sustainability Action Plan, Animas Hall, the campus’ newest residence hall, has earned the prestigious U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Gold rating for its state-of-the-art environmental design. Also, both the new Berndt Hall Biology Wing, which opened Spring 2010, and the new Student Union, which debuted in 2011, have earned LEED Gold ratings. In March of this year, the Rocket Composter was installed in the college’s new Student Union. The composter will eliminate 76,000 pounds of discarded food each academic year, waste that would otherwise occupy a landfill. The compost will also be used to enrich the on-campus garden managed by the Environmental Center. And the greening of the FLC campus continues.

Last summer and fall, an energy audit of campus facilities identified potential energy improvement measures. This summer, FLC Facilities staff are replacing lighting, lighting controls, boilers, and plumbing fixtures across campus. Eventually almost every structure on campus will be impacted - big steps toward meeting the goals in the Sustainability Action Plan for significantly reducing greenhouse gases and lowering utility consumption by 30 percent. And helping to keep southwestern Colorado - and the world - inspiring and beautiful. Information courtesy of Fort Lewis College. To find out more about FLC, visit

Fort Lewis College Start Dates Fall Semester Classes Begin Last Day of Classes Winter Semester Classes Begin Last Day of Classes

Monday, August 27, 2012 Friday, December 7, 2012 Monday, January 7, 2013 Friday, April 19, 2013

Back to School Guide 2012

2012 La Plata County Back to School Guide • Sunday, August 12, 2012 • 13

Bayfield School District 10Jtr Exciting, productive year ahead


ayfield Parents and Students, I hope that you have taken time to enjoy and relax this summer. It seems like we have become so busy with our day-to-day lives that sometimes we forget to pause and just breathe. It is my hope that you took some time to step back, take a breath, and appreciate what an amazing place we live in. The 2011-2012 school year was an exciting and productive first year for me. I know that with such a talented staff, outstanding students and dedicated parents, the 2012-2013 school year will once again be full of high achievement and incredible accomplishments. Throughout this past year, the BayZabel field School District has been involved in creating a comprehensive strategic plan. On May 24, 2012, the Bayfield School Board took official action to adopt this new plan. The plan was developed through the dedication of over 50 community members who devoted countless hours of work in its development. This committee was a representation of a broad spectrum of the Bayfield community, with representation from students, parents, school district staff, business leaders, retirees and other community members. The strategic plan is centered around four priority areas: Meeting Individual Student Success and Needs, Exemplary Staff, Increase Student Access to Career and Technical Education Programming, and Co-Curricular/Extra-Curricular Activities Support. In each priority area, a guiding vision statement, goals and action steps were created to clarify our direction as a school district. The district is currently implementing many goals and action steps as a result of this important work. This includes providing specific training on student intervention models, adjusting the school calendar to provide meeting time for teachers to better analyze student achievement data that will inform stronger instructional practices, and the addition of a postsecondary and workforce readiness counselor to better guide students towards their career paths. It will take a strong partnership between our staff, students, parents and the community to act on the many goals and action steps within the plan. I once again invite each of you to be part of this partnership and to get involved. Each building, as well as the district, has accountability teams and other committees that need your participation. Contact your individual schools or the district office to ask how you can become involved.

Troy D. Zabel Superintendent, Bayfield School District 14 • 2012 La Plata County Back to School Guide • Sunday, August 12, 2012

Back To School Guide 2012

2012 La Plata County Back to School Guide • Sunday, August 12, 2012 • 15

Bayfield School District 10Jtr District 10JTR schools will begin the 2012-13 school year Tuesday, Aug. 21.

Bayfield Elementary School Principal: Diane Gardner Open House: Monday, Aug. 20, 4-6:30 p.m. First Day of School: Tuesday, Aug. 21 School Phone: (970) 884-9571 Ratio: Each grade level averages four to five teachers with approximately 24 students per class. Address: 551 E. Mustang Lane Website:

Bayfield Primary School Lead Teacher: Susan Johnson Open House: Monday, Aug. 20, 4-6:30 p.m. First Day of School: * Kindergartners: Staggered on Aug. 22 & 23 * First-graders: Aug. 21 School Phone: (970) 884-0881 Ratio: Kindergarten classes average 17-18 students per class; first-grade classes average 21-22 students per class Address: 658 S. East Street Website: beps



Middle School

High School

Principal: Mike Lister First Day of School: Tuesday, Aug. 21 Open House: Thursday, Sept. 6, 4-8 p.m. School Phone: (970) 884-9592 Address: 615 East Oak Website:

Principal: Scott Story First Day of School: Tuesday, Aug. 21 Open House: Thursday, Aug. 30, 5-7 p.m. School Phone: (970) 884-9521 Address: 800 County Road 501 Website: Photos by Hal Lott

16 • 2012 La Plata County Back to School Guide • Sunday, August 12, 2012

Back To School Guide 2012

2012 La Plata County Back to School Guide • Sunday, August 12, 2012 • 17

Ignacio School District 11JT Ignacio aligns, accelerates and breaks new ground


elcome to the 2012-13 school year. Ignacio School District will continue to strive to improve our performance academically during the coming school year. We will be implementing the new language arts curriculum and making adjustments to the math curriculum. Our goal is to finish aligning all subject areas to the state standards by the end of the year under the direction of our curriculum consultant. Staff has worked hard developing scoring rubrics and will finish that work during our early-release Wednesdays. We will expand our Accelerated Reading program and incorporate Accelerated Math into the curriculum. Fuschetto Ignacio will become part of the Southwest Science Collaboration program with Durango Discovery Museum and Durango Nature Studies to help K-6 students to increase their interest levels in science, technology, engineering and math. This program is supported with funding from BP. The Ignacio School District embarked on a major building project after passing the bond last November. The architects have drawn plans for the new Ignacio Middle School and the addition and renovation of the existing Intermediate School into Ignacio Elementary School. We hope to break ground in the next month and occupy the new middle school by September 2013 and the elementary school in September 2014. The plans for the renovation of Ignacio High School will begin in the future. I invite any community member that would like to be part of that process to contact my office. As a district we will continue developing community support by sponsoring events during the year. Please attend those events to learn more about the efforts that we are making to improve the Ignacio School District. I am looking forward to an exciting year, and welcome into our community our new, young, enthusiastic and energetic staff members.

Rocco Fuschetto, Ed. D. Ignacio Superintendent of Schools 18 • 2012 La Plata County Back to School Guide • Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ignacio School District 11JT The first day of school in the Ignacio District is Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012



Elementary School

Intermediate School

Principal: Karl Herr First Day of School: Tuesday, Sept. 4 School Phone: (970) 563-0675 Address: 115 Ute Street Website:

Principal: Kathy Pokorney First Day of School: Tuesday, Sept. 4 School Phone: (970) 563-0650 Address: 85 County Road 320 Website:



Junior High School

High School

Principal: Chris DeKay First Day of School: Tuesday, Sept. 4 School Phone: (970) 563-0600 Address: 315 Becker Street Website:

Principal: Melanie Taylor First Day of School: Tuesday, Sept. 4 School Phone: (970) 563-0515 Address: 315 Becker Street Website:

Ignacio schools are included in Southwest Science Collaboration By Karla Sluis Durango Herald Magazine Editor

Afterschool programs

Durango Nature Studies offers Nature This year, Ignacio schoolchildren will get to put on lab coats, fill beakers, Club, an afterschool-enrichment program catch lizards and wear snowshoes. at all Durango public schools. The fourIt’s all part of the Southwest Science week sessions have a variety of life science Collaboration, a program funded by BP that provides all Ignacio K-6 and topics, with lots of time playing outside. all Durango K-5 students with field For more information, visit www.durangotrips to Durango Discovery Museum or call (970) and Durango Nature Studies. The goal 382-9244. of the program, which was first offered Durango Discovery Museum offers the to 9-R students last year, is to stimu- Sudden Science program, which is fun late interest in environmental literacy and science, technology, engineering afterschool science, technology, engiand math, and to bring these areas of neering and math (STEM) programming for elementary and middle school stustudy to life for all students. “We want to provide every kid with dents. the same set of experiences to make For more information, visit www.durangoit very fair and equitable,” said Sarah Margoles, DDM education director. She said the program provides educators support with their curriculum We want to make sure students get inthrough DDM labs and DNS field exspired and take that excitement back to the cursions that are based on Colorado state classroom.” science standards. Teachers appreciate loDDM focuses on science and techcal enrichment opportunities that supple- nology, and DNS excursions follow ment their classroom science lessons, life science standards required for each Margoles said, and students and teachers grade. A DNS instructor goes into the have responded enthusiastically. classroom and teaches an hour-long les“At the Nature Center, they get to ac- son introducing life science concepts tually catch lizards, snakes and horny through inquiry learning and activitoads,” said Sally Shuffield, DNS execu- ties. The following week, students visit tive director. “Many times, kids will say the Nature Center or Haviland Lake on that this was the ‘best day of their lives!’ snowshoes for exploring and discovery They forget they are learning and start to of the natural world. love the world around them. That, to me, Shuffield said the collaboration project is what makes them continue in their quest has been a long time in the works. for knowledge.” “DNS has been passionate about During DDM field trips, children put on supplementary science education in the lab coats and goggles and participate in a outdoors for almost 18 years,” she said. 45-minute lab. They also tour the museum “But until last year, we had to do a lot of and learn about different forms of energy marketing, and had motivated teachers and the history of the Powerhouse. Later, that used our programs and shared our they are allowed time to explore the mu- ideas.” In the past, DNS had to rely on seum’s interactive exhibits. PTO fundraisers and asking parents for “As one of the earliest and last remain- field trip money. Funding from BP and ing AC power plants in the world, the support from the school districts means Powerhouse is a great place to teach about “every child will receive an equal eduenergy,” said Margoles. “The kids some- cation when it comes to supplementary times go home and educate their parents. science,” said Shuffield.

Photos by Hal Lott 2012 La Plata County Back to School Guide • Sunday, August 12, 2012 • 19

Ignacio School District 11JT

This artist’s rendering by RTA architects of Colorado Springs shows a perspective on the Ignacio Middle School’s main entry.

Image courtesy of Scott Schuster/RTA

Ignacio Middle School plans launch $50M bond projects By Karla Sluis Durango Herald Magazine Editor The future looks bright for Ignacio schools. A state-of-the-art new building filled with energy-efficient windows and passive solar panes is giving educators and students a sunny outlook. A $50 million school-bond measure passed by one vote in Ignacio in November. The 20-year bond will pay for construction of a new middle school and renovations to Ignacio’s intermediate, junior high and high schools. The district will vacate the elementary school because of air-quality concerns and will tackle asbestos issues in all of the school buildings. At the end of the three-to four-year process, the students will consolidate into three schools instead of four. The elementary school will be grades K-5, the middle school will be 6-8, and the high school will be 9-12. “I’m glad we did it,” Ignacio Superinten-

dent Rocco Fuschetto said in a Durango Herald story in Nov. 15. “It will be great for the whole community of Ignacio.” Renovations also will include replacing air flow, plumbing and roofing systems with more energy-efficient models and installing new fire-detection and alarm systems. Single-pane windows will be replaced by energy-efficient versions, and the sustainable facility will utilize passive solar heating and cooling strategies. Fuschetto, who is heading into his third year as the Ignacio superintendent, said July 30 that the middle school design is close to being done. “The state is still approving the final Image courtesy of Scott Schuster/RTA drawings (by RTA architects of ColoThis artist’s rendering by shows the Ignacio Middle School’s cafeteria and stage area. rado Springs),” he said. “It will be put out to bids, and we’re hoping to have a

20 • 2012 La Plata County Back to School Guide • Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ignacio School District 11JT groundbreaking in early December.” The district plans to occupy the new middle school by September 2013. After renovations to the elementary school, kids will occupy the new space in September 2014. High school renovation plans are the final phase. Fuschetto said kids and parents helped shape the early design process, and he encourages community members to be part of the Design Advisory Team. “They can stop by my office and just talk to me,” said Fuschetto. “It’s their money, you know?” The new school will be a state of the art, high performing building that

draws inspiration from the region’s materials and forms. “The school is going to be different,” said Fuschetto. “It’s very openconcept, with a lot of areas and classrooms designed for flexible use of space,” he said. Teachers will each have an office, but they won’t be assigned to classrooms. The Ignacio student population is very stable, according to Fuschetto, who notes that a “big number” of children in Ignacio commute to attend Durango schools. “We hope with the new schools that we can bring some of those students back to our district.”

Registration for Ignacio Schools New student registration begins Wednesday, Aug. 10, and will run until the first day of school, Monday, Aug. 29, from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Only students new to the Ignacio School District need to register. Current immunizations and birth certificates are needed to register your child. All others have already been pre-registered.

Image courtesy of Scott Schuster/RTA

Ignacio Elementary School students view the model of their future middle school.

2012 La Plata County Back to School Guide • Sunday, August 12, 2012 • 21

Survival Guide/Tips Help your child cope with back-to-school stress By Dori Walden Special to the Herald As school approaches, both students and their parents have familiar thoughts and anticipation about going back to the classroom. Beyond academic performance, as parents we often grapple with the concerns of what is “normal social/emotional development,” and at what point we should be concerned or intervene. As back to school time approaches, students may express their anxiety, excitement and worries about school in several ways: • Increased levels of overactive (hyper) behaviors due to not being able to manage their intense feelings • Increased irritability and moodiness • Worries about being prepared for school, including school supplies and school clothes • Worries about making new friends, or not being in the same class as current friends • Increased tearfulness • Expressed desire of not wanting to go to school Walden These behaviors may be misunderstood by parents and identified as “getting into trouble” right before school starts. Parents can assist their children by: • Spending focused time listening to their concerns • Acknowledging their worries by not saying “get over it” or “everyone gets nervous” • Encourage their child to list their worries (more than three). It may take time for them to identify their biggest concerns. • Encourage them to list things they are excited about school. Listing positives can help shift their thoughts into a more hopeful perspective. • Role play by discussing possible scenarios at school and encourage your child to practice positive ways to handle the situation. Visiting the classroom or locker prior to the first day of school can assist them in visualizing what to expect. Resist the parental desire to “fix everything” in order to prevent your child from experiencing distress. As involved parents, we work to prevent our children from being hurt both physically and emotionally. As 22 • 2012 La Plata County Back to School Guide • Sunday, August 12, 2012

our children learn positive ways to cope with stress in their lives and know they are supported along the way, it will teach them how to tolerate and manage in our imperfect world. • Take time to listen to your child’s ideas and thoughts about school, friends, activities, etc. This can be done at the dinner table (without the television on), in the car driving across town or before bed. • Let their tears flow, if needed. Be supportive if your children need to cry, without shutting them down: “Shhhhh, don’t cry, it’s not a big deal. Pull it together.” Our children will get an opportunity to relieve anxiety, fear, and stress as we quietly listen. Often they can come up with ways to deal with their problem, or be open to your kind and supportive input, once they have cried it out. Red Flags Sometimes behaviors don’t just get better on their own. The following are red flags that may indicate that it is necessary to seek support from professionals: • Changes in mood, including increased isolation from family and friends • Changes in eating and sleeping patterns • Decreased interest in activities, recreation and hobbies • Refusal to attend school • Decreased academic performance • Increased verbal or physical aggression • Change in peer group, including peers that engage in negative and impulsive behaviors • Lack of developmental, age-appropriate behaviors, including hanging out with kids much older or younger and being interested in activities that are too old or young for them, such as a 9-year-old girl hanging out with older girls who are sexually active, or a 12-year-old boy only being interested in playing with Legos with 6-year-olds. • Lying despite clear evidence of the contrary Positive Interventions There are ways to help provide our children support, structure and routine that will provide the tools in order to teach them positive relationship skills. • Strong parent /child bond. As explored earlier, it’s important to spend time with your children in order for them to see you as a resource for encouragement,

support and safety. • Strong parental monitoring. Know where your child is, what they are doing, and with whom they are spending time. Know your child’s friends and their friends’ parents. • Clear expectations of behavior, including consistent rules about household responsibilities (chores), such as when to check in, curfew, etc. • Clear and consistent consequences about misbehavior (same rules from all parental figures and same results). “You lose your phone privileges if you refuse to do your chores…every time). • Strong link with school. Attend school conferences and meetings with teachers, review school assignments. Post a calendar of exams, projects, field trips and events. • Encourage pro-social activities, including involvement with family and friends in sports, clubs, art, drama, Durango Discovery Museum, etc. Dori Walden, MA is a Registered Psychotherapist in private practice. She works with children, adolescents and adults, both individually and in a group setting. She uses her enthusiasm and encouragement to teach positive coping skills in order to handle life’s stressors. Call (970) 903-7767 or e-mail

Survival Guide/Tips Fight back against fall crud By Karla Sluis Durango Herald Magazine Editor The season of sniffling and sneezing is right around the corner. The seasonal shift, combined with hundreds of kids packed together in classrooms, means it’s time to get out the tissues and resupply the medicine cabinet. Sometimes kids need medical treatment at school, or they need easy access to preventative health care. School-based health centers are a great resource for students during school hours. The on-site centers at Durango High School and Florida Mesa Elementary School offer a practical and inexpensive approach for providing preventive and integrated health care services, such as: sports physicals, well-child exams, chronic care management, care for acute illnesses, preventive dental services, referrals, immunizations, behavioral health services, family planning services and health and wellness education. We asked Sherrod Beall, the director of Coordinated School Health Services in Durango School District 9-R, to provide a few preventative health-care tips for parents and students as the new school year begins. Q: What are the most common illnesses you see at the beginning of the school year and the change of season? A: The most common illness is the common cold. Viruses spread from kid to kid with coughing, runny noses, touching each other and putting hands in the mouth. Q: What are some prevention tips for those common illnesses? Hand washing, hand washing, hand washing! Always do it before meals, after using the bathroom and after playing outside. Sanitizer containing alcohol helps reduce amount of germs, but is not the first line of defense and is not equal to the effectiveness of hand washing. Q: Do you recommend a flu shot for all school-age kids? Regular flu shots are recommended for all kids 6 months and older, especially if they have asthma, diabetes or a chronic lung disease. The regular flu shot contains a dead virus that stimulates an immune response to the flu virus but cannot cause flu symptoms. The nasal spray flu vaccine or FluMist is

recommended for ages 2-49. It is important to receive the vaccine yearly. Seasonal flu vaccines protect against the three influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. Q: How do you handle it (and how can parents follow your lead) when you suspect a child is “faking it” to get out of school? A: Most kids who are sick will look sick, often have a fever and have much lower levels of general activity. Fevers have a tendency to go up in the afternoon and may not be evident in the morning. Kids with a continuous cough should remain at home until their cough becomes less frequent. With most common colds, which last between seven to ten days, improvement in symptoms is generally seen after three or four days. If a parent is concerned when they send their child to school, they should notify the school’s health office. Q: Are you concerned about the rise in local cases of pertussis due to parents opting out of immunizations? A: There is a concern about the potential increase in vaccine-preventable illnesses, especially pertussis and measles, in our schools. There is a significant rate of vaccine exemptions that could contribute to the increase in these illnesses in the future. To prevent pertussis or whooping cough, the Tdap shot is required for all students in sixth through twelfth grade, regardless of when they had their last tetanus shot or Td. There is a concern regarding possible imported measles cases from Europe, which has seen a rise in that illness. Q: If a parent has a child with a chronic health issue, who should they notify at a school, and what is the best way to do it? A: If a child in school has a chronic illnesses, it is important that the parent talk to the nurse or aid in the health office at the child’s school, who will make sure that an appropriate care plan is developed in partnership with the District RN. Any child in the district may be seen at two school-based health centers – Durango High School or Florida Mesa Elementary. New fees will apply this coming school year. 2012 La Plata County Back to School Guide • Sunday, August 12, 2012 • 23

Back To School Guide 2012


Structured Flexibility Free College Opportunities Local Academic Team Serving Students in Durango, Cortez, Pagosa Springs, Dolores, Mancos and Beyond! 24 • 2012 La Plata County Back to School Guide • Sunday, August 12, 2012

2012 La Plata County Back to School Guide