Tag Archives: Joyce Rankin

Saguache News – October 13

New School Construction Continues in Saguache Today

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The crew from FCI continues with the new construction of Mountain Valley School in Saguache. Many neighbors were a bit surprised by the four-foot rise in baseline elevation before the first brick had been laid. The center frame work represents the new building’s entrance way. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

Reading: It’s Number One!

By Joyce Rankin, Colorado Board of Education

Joyce Rankin

Colorado Board of Education Rep. Joyce Rankin

I pointed out in my July column that teachers have many responsibilities. For example, understanding technology, suicide, depression, mental illness, bullying, drug use and provide sex education, and safe schools.  They also monitor breakfast and lunch programs and, oh yes, did I mention math and reading? But if reading and math aren’t the highest priority, how are our Colorado students performing on assessments? According to the 2018 English, Language Arts (ELA), or reading test, we’re not doing well. The Colorado Measurement of Academic Success (CMAS) ELA scores for third graders show that only forty percent are reading at grade level. Research has shown that students who cannot read by the end of the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. And according to the National Adult Literacy Survey, 70% of all incarcerated adults cannot read at the fourth grade level. They lack reading skills necessary to hold down anything but lower paying jobs.

Reading is at the core of learning and our legislature recognized this in 2012 when they passed the READ Act. The READ Act was to ensure students in grades K-3 were getting the help they needed to read at grade level when they exit the third grade. Grants were made available to help students reach this goal and in the 2017-18 school year 40,533 students with significant reading deficiencies (SRD) were eligible for these grants. The total amount directed at these students last year totaled $33M.

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The Mountain Valley School’s new $3.7 million dollar renovation project will bring the buildings and facility up to a 21st century safe, learning environment. Photo: Saguache Today.

With the release of the 2018 Colorado test scores in English, Language Arts (ELA) we found that 40 percent (4 out of 10) of our third graders are reading at or above grade level as they exit the third grade. That means sixty percent are not reading at grade level and, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, Colorado mirrors what is happening in the United States and it’s been that way since the 1990’s.

There’s still some good news this month. I’d like to shine a spotlight on two schools in the Third Congressional District receiving the Colorado Succeeds Award for Transformational Impact. Awards were based on a data-driven process conducted by an external analyst to select public schools making transformational gains in academic achievement. Only one elementary school, one middle school and one high school in the state are selected.

Carbondale Middle School in the Roaring Fork Valley was the recipient of the Middle School Award, with Jennifer Lamont, Principal. I met with Ms. Lamont last week and she discussed the reasons for their success.

Delta County School District’s Paonia Elementary School was the winner in the elementary category.  Principal Sam Cox spoke with elected officials recently about the pride he takes in his students, teaching staff and community. On the English Language Arts assessment from last spring, his sixth graders scored 81.5% proficient. That translates to 8 out of 10 students at or above grade level.

Both schools impressed me by their administrative leadership and partnership between teaching staff, parents and community. Could this be the secret to success?

Thank you for the honor to serve on the State Board of Education, 3rd CD.

Joyce Rankin, a retired teacher, is on the State Board of Education representing the Third Congressional District, which includes Saguache and Saguache County. She writes the monthly column, “Across the Street” to share with constituents in her district.  The Department of Education, where the State Board of Education meets, is located across the street from the Capitol.

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The view from the corner of 6th and Pitkin Avenue in Saguache Today slowly changes with the building of a new school. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell

Saguache News – September 30

Entrepreneurship Camp for Saguache Students

What do you want to be when you grow up? It’s an age-old question!

But thinking about the answer to that question when you have your whole life ahead of you can be exciting. And so it will go for students from Mountain Valley School in Saguache this week as they participate in a three-day Entrepreneurship Camp.

Mountain Valley School Sign

Mountain Valley School District host an Entrepreneurship Camp this week.

As part of HEART of Saguache/KV Student to Career Pathway Initiative, 8th -12th grade students will participate in the program from Thursday – Saturday, Oct. 4 – 5 at Mountain Valley School.

Then on Saturday, Oct. 6 from 2:30 -3:30 p.m. the Entrepreneurship Camp Business Presentation will take place, including the awarding of certificates. Members of the public are invited to come out and support the students, and hear the business presentations that they will have developed during the workshop.

The Entrepreneurship Camp is sponsored by HEART of Saguache/KV, Mountain Valley School and Youth Engagement Expert, Craig Schroeder. For more information please contact Stacey Amos Holden, HEART of Saguache/KV. (719) 849 0957

About the expert . . . .

Craig Schroeder _HEART Saguache

Craig Schroeder

Craig Schroeder grew up on his family’s farm near Holbrook in southwest Nebraska, and earned a Bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1986. In 1989, after an early career in international agriculture trade, Schroeder and his new bride, Dawn, a Los Angeles native, moved back to his hometown of 223 people and experienced firsthand what it is like for a farm boy to come home and a city girl to move to the country.

This decision resulted in an 11-year experiment in young adult recruitment and rural revitalization emerging from the eighties agricultural crisis. Schroeder’s work during this period included the conversion of his former high school into a regional business incubator that has also served as home base for GROW Nebraska for the past two decades.

Schroeder has committed his career to helping rural communities create more prosperous futures; working as a local economic developer, rural telecommunications policy leader, Executive Director of the Nebraska Rural Development Commission, Senior Fellow with the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, and President of the Heartland Center for Leadership Development. He has also served on several prominent state and national rural development boards and commissions during his career.

Schroeder’s work extends across 47 states involving well over 40,000 youth, and in Canada, Australia and Russia, helping community leaders, educators and economic development professionals implement effective youth engagement, workforce development and entrepreneurship strategies. And this week, he will be in Saguache working with students from Mountain Valley Schools! The results will be exciting – see you on Saturday!