Tag Archives: Saguache Schools

Latest News – May 10

Celebrate Student Art at The Range

Tomorrow, Thursday May 11 the students from Mountain Valley Schools will present their Spring Concert and Art Show. This is your chance to see all of the great, creative projects students have been working on this year.


The arts are alive at Mountain Valley Schools in Saguache. Pictured here are students who participated earlier this year in the sculpture project for the Telluride Fire Festival. 

The community is welcome and encouraged to attend. The program will begin at 6 p.m. at The Range, Saguache’s Art Gallery located downtown at 307 4th Street.

The evening will begin with some wonderful music played by the pre K – 5th grade students. Then attendees are encouraged to tour the K – 12th grade art show which will be on display at The Range. Refreshments will be provided, so come and join the celebration of the arts in the Saguache schools!

In January, the 3rd Annual Telluride Fire Festival premiered the fire-spewing, three-headed Youth Pyros sculpture created with the help of several Saguache students. You can READ FULL STORY and see the final fire-breathing sculpture HERE. This sculpture was created in November by regional youth in a special workshop produced by Coldharbour Institute and Telluride Fire Festival through grants from Coldharbour Institute, Saguache County and scholarships from Telluride Fire Festival.

The Range

The Range Art Gallery.

The Range Art Gallery which will be hosting the local student art show on May 11, is described as an artist space for exhibitions, events, and visiting artists. It was established in 2015 by  Alex DeCarli & Adrienne Garbini. The Range is located at 307 4th Street and visitors are encouraged to ring the bell or by set an appointment.

Latest News – March 21

From The State Board of Education: School Choice

The topic of school choice continues to gain momentum at both the state and federal levels. To that end, Saguache Today offers the following column on the matter from Joyce Rankin, your Colorado State Board of Education Representative for th eMountain Valley School District. She may be reached at joycerankin@yahoo.com.

School Choice: Your Options May Be Changing

By Joyce Rankin, State Board of Education, Third Congressional District.

School choice is a term for K-12 public education options describing a wide array of programs offering students and their families’ alternatives to those publicly provided schools assigned based on the location of their family residence. Two popular school choices are Charter Schools and Open Enrollment.

Charter Schools are public schools that are founded by parents, teachers or community members. They provide alternative educational programs that differ from traditional public schools. Colorado charter schools operate by way of a contract (charter) that has been authorized either by a school district or the Colorado Charter School Institute (CSI).

Colorado State Board of Education Representative Joyce Rankin (photo)

An example of school choice in Western Colorado offers the Durango School District in southwest Colorado both types of charter schools and multiple other offerings.  Durango has two Charter School Institute schools and four private schools. This year the district opened their first online school with Colorado Connections Academy @ Durango, an online platform available to students across the state.  They also have a new elementary school as well as a new public charter school sponsored by the district.

Superintendent, Dan Snowberger, is a supporter of school choice. Last November, Durango passed a $1.7 million mill levy override that would be shared equally with charter school students.  Schools under the Charter School Institute typically do not get a piece of mill levy override money.  Said Snowberger, “The district’s actions said loud and clear that it embraces and values each and every one of the students in their public schools.”

In Lake County School District (LCSD), as reported in Leadville Today the online news source serving Lake County, parents are taking advantage of open enrollment to select a school that they believe is the best choice for their children. Open enrollment allows students to enroll in schools outside the district for which they are zoned.

The State Board of Education, Third Congressional District. includes the Mountain Valley School District in Saguache County.

LCSD includes three schools: West Park Elementary, Lake County Intermediate and the recently upgraded Lake County High School. Lake County also has a charter school, Greater Heights Academy with 52 students. Even with a physical school upgrade many parents choose to travel in order to exercise their educational choices. With a total of 911 students enrolled within the district, 61 Leadville students, travel to Buena Vista School District, 32 are enrolled in Summit County School District and 22 students are driven over Vail Pass daily to attend Eagle County School District. 

Parents want to be involved in their child’s education and often take advantage of opportunities other than their local neighborhood school. In Durango it was a fairness issue of distributing tax dollars equally to include Charter Schools and expanding online choices. In Leadville it united parents with carpooling and community discussions about what neighboring schools had to offer. In both cases parents are taking an active role in selecting the school that best fits their child. Under the new administration there may be more school choice programs on the horizon…..stay tuned.

Joyce Rankin is on the State Board of Education representing the Third Congressional District. She writes the monthly column, “Across the Street” to inform constituents in her district.  The Department of Education, where the State Board of Education meets, is located across the street from the Capitol. 


Latest News – March 1

Saguache’s MVS Healthiest Schools in Colorado

Mountain Valley School (MVS)announced it was one of 46 schools named as a 2017 Healthy School Champion last week. This Friday, March 3, MVS will receive $500 Excellence Award for school health efforts at the Summit: Putting the Pieces Together, presented by The Colorado Education Initiative (CEI), Colorado Coalition for Healthy Schools, and the Colorado Healthy Schools Collective Impact, and sponsored by The Colorado Health Foundation, at the Sheraton Denver West Hotel, in Lakewood.

Megan Cleaver, right, stands with seventh-grader Laura Morfitt, in the greenhouse at Mountain Valley School in Saugache, where Megan helped get the greenhouse up and running last year. Photo: CDE

Megan Cleaver, right, stands with seventh-grader Laura Morfitt, in the greenhouse at Mountain Valley School in Saugache, where Megan helped get the greenhouse up and running last year. Photo: CDE

“We are so proud of our school and community for its commitment to making healthy choices and striving to educate others about health and wellness ” said Principal, Kathy Hill.

The annual summit recognizes schools that create and support a healthy school environment and also successfully implement effective school health efforts that support student learning.  Schools are awarded based on their implementation of best practices in school health through an assessment tool called Smart Source, a narrative outlining their work, and letters of support.

“For the winning schools, health and wellness is embedded into the culture and systems.  It’s about having an intentional investment to meet the needs of their students and staff in order to achieve academically,” explained CEI Director of School Health Amy Dyett.

The program has granted more than $300,000 in awards over the past seven years in the range of $300 to $7,500 per school.  Congratulations Mountain Valley Schools!spacer

Mountain Valley Schoosl Video Newsletter

Latest News – January 18

Saguache Students’ Sculpture Highlighted In Telluride

This weekend as the 3rd Annual Telluride Fire Festival ignites up the small mountain resort town with a FREE interactive fire art experience, a sculpture created by local Saguache students will be shining bright in its own right!spacer

From left to right—Andy McKim, clay instructor from Moffat Consolidated School District 2, Ryker Poor, Taleb Nelson, Ida Green, Casey Groom, Alyssa Chavez, Jodeelee Rigdon. Photo: Telluride Fire Festival

From left to right—Andy McKim, clay instructor from Moffat Consolidated School District 2, Ryker Poor, Taleb Nelson, Ida Green, Casey Groom, Alyssa Chavez, Jodeelee Rigdon. Photo: Telluride Fire Festival

spacerIt was back in mid-November when students from Mountain Valley School met with other students from around the state in a cave in Telluride and made art, science and alliances.

The scholarship program was a resounding success and gave students the opportunity to discover how they could operate in any environment while learning new skills. The kids’ fabulously artful sculpture is up and running in Sunset Plaza in Telluride. But if you can’t make this weekend’s Fire Festival, not to worry as readers will be able to see the sculpture a bit closer to home when it will be on display in Gunnison later this year.

Glazed and baked and ready for FIRE! the three-headed student created sculpture will be on display at the Telluride Fire Festival this weekend.

Glazed, baked and ready for FIRE! The three-headed student created sculpture will be on display at the Telluride Fire Festival this weekend.

About The Telluride Fire Festival
The Fire Festival, a 501c3 event, scheduled for Jan. 20-22, 2017 will create a free interactive fire art experience on the pedestrian plazas of Mountain Village and Telluride’s Oak Street Gondola Plaza. Like Burning Man, the Festival will feature multi-storied, fire emitting “art cars” and burn barrels, while other larger-than-life, interactive, and fiery art installations will line these public spaces. Fire dancers will also be on stages offering breath-taking performances. 

For more information about the Telluride Fire Festival, to become a sponsor, volunteer, or to submit a fire installation for consideration, please visit www.telluridefirefestival.org, or email erin@telluridefirefestival.org.


Latest News – December 7

Saguache School News: What the Students Are Doing!

Here’s the latest school video newsletter from the Social Media Class at Mountain Valley School in Saguache. 

spacerBreakfast for Dinner and Bingo On Thursday at School

Tomorrow, December 8, Mountain Valley School (MVS) in partnership with Saguache County Prevention Partners and Saguache Sharing Christmas will be hosting a Bingo Breakfast and Sharing Christmas food/toy drive. The event will begin in the evening at 5 p.m., serving breakfast for dinner.

Bingo playing is free to participants and has some great prizes to be given away, including a $25 gift card to Colorado Sports in Alamosa.

It's Parent Teacher Conference time for Mountain Valley Schools.

It’s Pancakes & Bingo on Thursday at Mountain Valley Schools.

In addition, to prevention bingo and breakfast for dinner the school district will be collecting unused toys for Saguache Sharing Christmas. They will also be collecting food items as follows: canned green beans, cranberries and corn, stuffing mix, other non-perishable food items such as nuts and dried fruit, as well as cash donations to purchase needed items. 

While you’re at the Thursday Dinner & Bingo event you can also hear the details  regarding the Community MVS School Facility Action Plan Work Session! MVS Superintendent Travis Garoutte invite sthe public to help build the school’s future. This meeting will be held in the gym on Thursday, Dec. 15 at 5:30 p.m. Bring your great ideas and questions!spacersaguache-school-planning_best-grant

Latest News – November 28

Saguache Students Fire It Up in Telluride!

Students from Mounatin Valley School in Saguache were among those  who attended the Telluride Fire Festival held earlier this month in Telluride, Colo. The weekend program of of science, technology, engineering, ART, and math, and created a fiery masterpiece.  The nine-foot tall, three-headed, fire-spewing sculpture was made almost entirely of found objects welded into a fabulous creature with larger-than-life hands reaching toward the sky.

Teacher Students.jpg: from left to right—Andy McKim, clay instructor from Moffat Consolidated School District 2, Ryker  Poor, Taleb Nelson, Ida Green, Casey Groom, Alyssa Chavez, Jodeelee Rigdon

Teacher Andy McKim, clay instructor from Moffat Consolidated School District 2 poses with students: from left to right:, Ryker Poor, Taleb Nelson, Ida Green, Casey Groom, Alyssa Chavez, Jodeelee Rigdon after making the three heads from clay for their fiery beast which will be on exhibit at the Telluride Fire Festival in January 2017.

Students were treated to dinner at the home of Erin Ries and Chris Myers on Friday evening where they met with mentor artists and teachers. “It was great opportunity to share ideas before jumping into the creative process,” explained Suzanne Ewy, Executive Director of Coldharbour Institute, a collaborating partner of the event. The next day, teams were formed and one group of kids joined forces at the Ah Haa School for the Arts to create the multiple heads of the sculpture out of clay for what was decided (Friday evening) to be a three-headed “being”.

The remaining creators went to an old abandoned mine, home to the artist collaborative called Deep Creek Experimental, to find suitable objects to weld the “body”, which became a two piece installation that included a fire cauldron with skeletal hands as well as a propane fired “poofer” that will release fire puffs from the multiple heads of the creature.

Saguache students who particiapted included: Alex Willard Alpine Achievers Initiative/AmeriCorps member; and Mountain Valley School’s Alyssa Chavez, Jodeelee Rigdon, Taleb Nelson, Ryker Poor, and Casey Groom. Well-done! 

The fiery sculpture is to be exhibited at the January 20 – 22 Telluride Fire Festival. The Festival has applied for grants to support bringing all the students back to Telluride for the premier of their special sculpture. The Festival then wishes to have the sculpture travel to each of the student groups’ communities after January 22—Moffat, Crestone, Saguache, Gunnison, and Norwood, CO.
The student workshop was made possible, in part, through grants from Saguache County, Coldharbour Institute, and a GoFundMe Campaign. “We also could not have done this without the tremendous generosity from the Telluride community,” remarked Ewy.

Students (left to right): Alex Willard & Chris Myers in The Mine. Photo: Telluride Fire Festival.

In The Mine (left to right): Saguache student Alex Willard & Teacher Chris Myers help with the three-headed fiery beast creation. Photo: Telluride Fire Festival.

Artists, Experts, and Teachers

The artist/teachers for this unique STEAM class were Scott Harris from Telluride, Brent Cain from Moab, and Andy McKim from Moffat Consolidated School District 2.

The students were also assisted by Christian Arel, an Americorps Vista student from the Master of Environmental Management Program at Western State University, Alex Willard an Americorps volunteer with San Luis Valley’s Alpine Achievers.


The Telluride Fire Festival was able to offer this two-day workshop through support from various companies in Telluride and the region: Coldharbour Institute,
Alpine Achievers,
Saguache County Sales Tax Grant,
Moffat Consolidated School District 2, Ah Haa School for the Arts, Deep Creek Experimental, The Mountain Market, The Victorian Inn, Clark’s Market, Baked in Telluride, La Cocina de Luz, High Pie Pizzeria. 

About the Telluride Fire Festival and Coldharbour Institute
The Telluride Fire Festival, a 501c3 organization, is an interactive fire art experience offering free outdoor displays of fire artistry to attendees to enable all to immerse themselves in fire arts. Workshops are offered through scholarships for this January. Dates for 2017 are January 20-22.

Coldharbour Institute is a 501c3 organization in Gunnison that facilitates education, innovation, and demonstration. Its Coldharbour Youth Development Initiative, whose students engaged in this program, links Gunnison Basin high school students to Western’s Environment and Sustainability program through students from Western’s Master in Environmental Management program and a very generous grant from the Colorado Department of Higher Education.  www.coldharbourinstitute.org.

For more about the Telluride Fire Festival, next year’s youth workshop and youth scholarships, volunteer positions, or to subscribe, visit www.telluridefirefestival.org or email erin@telluridefirefestival.org.


Latest News – October 25

Parent/Teacher Conferences in Saguache Today

The Mountain Valley School parent/teacher conferences are set for today and tomorrow, October 25 and 26. Parents’ visiting time with their child’s teacher(s) are available from 4 – 7 p.m. each night or schedule an appointment.

It's Parent Teacher Conference time for Mountain Valley Schools.

It’s Parent Teacher Conference time for Mountain Valley Schools.

“The teachers are excited to share data assessments, grade reports, portfolios, and information about your child,” said MVS Principal Travis Garoutte.

In addition, all parents who attend conferences will have the opportunity to WIN an Amazon Fire Tablet, which can be used as an educational tool at school and home.

The more teachers you visit, the better the odds of winning. Each parent will receive a card to be signed by teachers. For every teacher signature a ticket will be entered in the drawing. Three tablets, (elementary, middle, and high school ) will be given away!

Also, the Science Club will be having a fundraising dinner tonight, Tuesday, Oct. 25, beginning at 4 p.m. The Future Business Leaders of America will host the dinner on Wednesday, Oct. 26. Please join the school district in an educational evening and secure your chances to win a free Amazon Fire Tablet!

Remember NO SCHOOL on Thursday, Oct. 27. For more information, call 719-655-2578. 

Win a Fire Tablet when you attend Parent Teacher Conferences today and tomorrow at Mountain Valley Schools.

Win a Fire Tablet when you attend Parent/Teacher Conferences today and tomorrow, October 25 & 26 at Mountain Valley Schools in Saguache, Colorado.


Dias de Los Muertos Student Art Exhibit Friday

Recueda los antepasados: Remember the ancestors, the ones on their journey.On Friday, Oct. 28 there will be Mountain Valley School (MVS) student art work on display at The Range in downtown Saguache. Join the seasonal celebration of Los Dias de Los Muertos with an opening reception from 6 – 8 p.m.. Food and beverages will be served, with introductory comments and ceremony at 6 p.m.

Los Dias de Los Muertes holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey. Photo: Lynn Nowiskee/Saguache Today.

Last year’s “Los Dias de Los Muertes” art display focused on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey. Photo: Lynn Nowiskee/Saguache Today.

Additionally, the MVS art students invite the community to contribute photographs of loved ones who have passed, special objects in remembrance of their interests, or a favoite food to share.

Items can be dropped off on Friday between noon – 4 p.m. . Personal items can be retrieved at the end of the exhibition.

The Range is located at 307 4th Street in downtown Saguache. The Los Dias de los Muertos will be on view through November 10. To see it for yourself, stop by, ring the bell, or call 646-734-1373 to schedule a visit.

The Latest Video Newsletter from Mountain Valley Schools