Tag Archives: Mountain Valley School Superintendent Travis Garoutte

Saguache News – September 6

Saguache Grieves, Saguache Believes

The Superintendent’s Corner

By Travis Garoutte, Mountain Valley Schools, Saguache

August of 2018 was an incredibly hard month for the small community of Saguache. In that short timespan, hearts were broken over and over again by the passing of so many loved ones. I have seen the tears flow freely lately, and I struggle to make sense of it all. I do know that living in a small community is a blessing, a place where you are more than just a number, more than just a face in the crowd. In Saguache, people are deeply connected and their lives touch each other in unique ways.

While Saguache grieves, it also believes in compassion and kindness. I have witnessed an amazing outpouring of comfort, support, and love these past few weeks during community vigils, memorials, athletic events, and daily interactions between caring people. I am proud to call Saguache my home.    

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This weekend I watched our high school students come together and dedicate football and volleyball games in honor of friends and former teammates that were taken from this earth much too soon. Their dedication, cooperation, and effort produced some remarkable results. For the first time that I can remember, both teams won with impressive shutouts. The volleyball team won the match against Primero in three straight games (3-0), while the football team beat the Bulldogs by a score of 58-0. The human spirit never ceases to amaze me.

Volleyball players dedication_school_Saguache Today_1

I was equally impressed by the community support at our first home games against the Primero Bulldogs. The sizeable crowd was loud and proud as they cheered for the Mountain Valley/Moffat Indians. The games were so exciting that even the construction workers building our new school could be heard cheering from the platform west of the football field. After the games, as I was walking home, the construction crew stopped me and asked if I could get them some Mountain Valley shirts. It appears as though our athletes have some new fans!

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At a time when our community needed something positive, the “Field of Dreams” was completed just before our first football contest with Primero, allowing us to host home games in Saguache. I am so thankful that our community has chosen to stand up for our kids. Corey and Aubrey Hill, as well as the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust, graciously allowed Mountain Valley to utilize the land east of the school as a football field for the 2018 season. Athletic Director Larry Joe Hunt, Facilities Director Anthony Salaz, and FCI Construction Superintendent Troy Sergesketter have put in countless hours prepping the new field. Joel Johnson, Justin Wilson, Michael Roberts, Scott Alexander and the football team also worked hard to help build their very own “Field of Dreams.” Thank you, Saguache!

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It is my hope and prayer that we continue to rally around each other, not just during times of grief and struggle, but always. We are a stronger and more compassionate community because of the past few weeks. As we move forward, I hope everyone continues to focus on building positive relationships, connecting with neighbors, and supporting those in need. Together, we can and will make a difference.

 

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Latest News – August 28

It’s Back-To-School Time in Saguache Today

You can feel the excitement that new notebooks and notepads bring to students in Saguache Today as the 2017/18 school year is officially underway.

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Students in Saguache Today are Back-to-School. Make it a Great New Year! Photo: Mountain Valley Schools.

 “We have an adventurous school year ahead,” stated Mountain Valley RE-1 Preschool Director Lacy Reed via social media. While today marks that program’s first day, parents should note that the Pre-School’s enrollment has also been reported as FULL, with a growing waiting list. Questions may be directed to 719-655-2578 or email Reed directly at reedl@valley.k12.co.us.

Readers can access the FULL calendar for the 2017/18 academic year for Mountain Valley Schools HERE.

Also, parents and students should note that the official “Back-To-School” night is scheduled for this Thursday, August 31. This is a great opportunity to visit with teachers and school staff and see you child’s classroom, if you haven’t already!

Back to School Night

In other schools news, the district continues to make its case for the passage of a bond issue which will be taken to voters in the November election. Here is the latest information from Mountain Valley School Superintendent Travis Garoutte with a reminder of the next public meeting to be held tomorrow, August 29 at the school at 6 p.m. (details below).

Schools Make Case for Bond Issue

By Travis Garoutte, Mountain Valley RE-1 School District Superintendent

As you have probably heard, Mountain Valley School District has received a twenty-seven million dollar BEST Grant to build a new school and athletic facilities for our students and community. This grant requires a twelve percent match, which will come from a  $3.7 million bond to be voted on in November 2017.

I am excited about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to improve our school while providing a modern and updated educational facility for our community. Our school is the heart of the community, with numerous events taking place at MVS throughout the year.  

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Representatives from Mountain Valley School District were available to distribute information and answer quesitons regarding the upcoming Bond Issue at the recent Saguache Art Festival on August 19. Photo: Saguache Today/Kathy Bedell.

In a 2009 site assessment, it was estimated that Mountain Valley School had almost $17 million in needs with a bonding capacity of only $3.7 million. Since that time, our needs have only increased. We currently have countless plumbing, electrical, roofing, HVAC, and security issues, with several components of our facilities well beyond their useful life. Without help from the BEST Grant, we will never be able to improve our situation or sustain our school district facilities in the future.

We will be having a BEST Grant and 2017 bond election community informational meeting at Mountain Valley School on Tuesday, August 29, 2017, at 6:00 PM. During this meeting, we will celebrate our success in obtaining the BEST Grant, review the proposed plan for the new school, discuss the 2017 bond election, answer questions, and seek community input.

EVERYONE is invited! We welcome and need everyone’s input! I hope to see you at our BEST Grant and 2017 bond election community meeting!

High School Students Access to Dual Enrollment

Educators across the state continue to provide additional opportunities to high-achieving students. In the following column, readers can hear from the State Board of Education’s representative for Saguache Today, Joyce Rankin who discusses some changes for high school students access to dual enrollment programs. Rankin is on the State Board of Education representing the Third Congressional District, which includes Saguache County. She writes the monthly column, “Across the Street” to share with constituents in her district.  

Education? “It’s complicated.”

By Joyce Rankin, State Board of Education

Joyce Formal sport coat

State Board Representative Joyce Rankin

Have you ever asked a question and been given the answer, “It’s complicated”? Me, too. It’s a frequently used phrase around the Colorado Department of Education.

Recently I was having a conversation with constituents when the following question was raised: “What are we doing for our high achieving students?” Well, it’s complicated.

In May 2009, the Colorado State Legislature passed House Bill 09-1319 and Senate Bill 09-285, the Concurrent Enrollment Programs Act. The concurrent enrollment program is defined as, “the simultaneous enrollment of a qualified student in a local education provider (high school) and in one or more postsecondary courses, including academic or career and technical education courses, which may include course work related to apprenticeship programs or internship programs, at an institution of higher education.”

Basically dual and concurrent enrollment are terms used interchangeably to describe college courses students take while in high school.  They can be taught by qualified high school instructors or through an agreement with a local community or four year college.

The 2009 bill also creates another program for students completing 12 post-secondary credit hours prior to the completion of 12th grade. The Accelerating Students through Concurrent ENrollmenT (ASCENT) program provides qualifying high school students a 5th year of tuition free college. At the end of the fifth year at their local education provider (high school), the student will receive their high school diploma.

AP or Advanced Placement is another way for students to take content rich courses over a wide range of information. Currently 34 courses are offered by highly qualified teachers in some Colorado high schools. Every May AP Examinations are administered to evaluate the skills learned in these courses. The tests are not mandatory however students taking the tests and performing well can earn college credit and advanced placement at many colleges.

Early college is also a chance for students to gain college credit. In this case enrolled high school students have the opportunity to graduate with either an associate’s degree or 60 credit hours toward the completion of a postsecondary credential.

These are a few of the opportunities currently being offered in Colorado high schools. Of course there are also blended learning classes that allow for coursework helpful in attaining certifications and college credit.           

At our August board meeting the education department will give us an overview of Postsecondary Workforce Readiness, and yes, it’s complicated.

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