Education Briefs

9-R team selected to join teaching program

The National Education Foundation has selected a Durango School District 9-R team to join the NEA Foundation Institute for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, a national effort to address challenges facing public education.

Durango was selected because of its strong union-district commitment to collaborative practices in the design of a comprehensive evaluation system, which includes tools for professional development.

During the next year, the team will work to establish collaborative relationships and cultures in schools that will provide for a focused and strategic approach to addressing the achievement gaps in each local school.

Teams were selected based on applications co-written by teacher union presidents and superintendents demonstrating their ability to address issues of systems change and collaborative reform.

The institute supports the work in several ways. Staff members and coaches provide technical assistance and data-based feedback to the teams, in support of their joint reform work. Learning resources also are provided.

Amendment 66 forum to be held Sept. 25

The Durango Foundation for Educational Excellence will host a forum about Amendment 66 from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 25 in the Pullman Room of the Strater Hotel, 699 Main Ave.

In May, the Colorado Legislature passed the Future School Finance Act (SB13-213, sometimes called the “Colorado Commits to Kids” bill), which is a law contingent on passage of a statewide ballot measure to increase state revenues for funding public education. This measure will go before voters in November.

The forum will feature a panel of speakers, including state Rep. Michael McLachlan, Durango School District 9-R Superintendent Dan Snowberger, Durango school board representative Stephanie Moran, Durango Education Association President Gretchen Wilson and others. There will be discussion both in favor and in opposition to the measure. The forum will be moderated by Robert Dawes, DFEE board president.

The panel discussion will begin at 5:45 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

To RSVP, email or call 385-1491, ext. 1106.

Special-education committee to meet

The Special Education Advisory Committee invites parents, educators and community members to learn more about advocating for students with special needs in the school system.

The group will meet at 5:15 p.m. today in the Durango School District 9-R administration building, 201 E. 12th St.

For more information, call 769-4797.

Animas Valley to host farmers market

Gala Gaines and her fifth-grade class are opening a farmers market as part of their economics unit.

They will sell vegetables from their Learning Garden before and after school from Tuesdays to Thursdays.

DHS to host college representatives

Durango High School will host these meetings with admissions representatives:

Northern Arizona State will take place at 9:45 a.m. Thursday.

Montana State University will be held at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 8.

The University of Colorado, Boulder will take place at 9 a.m. Oct. 9.

Interested students should sign up in the DHS counseling center at least one week before the visit. Passes will be sent to the student the day of the visit. All meetings will occur in the DHS counseling center.

Durango High School to host career nights

These college/career nights will be held at Durango High School in the auditorium:

A 12th-grade informational meeting called “College Knowledge,” which will be about the application process, financial aid, how to pick a school and good college fairs, will be held at 7 p.m. Monday.

An 11th-grade meeting called “College/Career Plans,” which will be about the application process, planning ahead and college fairs, will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

A ninth- and 10th-grade meeting called “The Road Ahead,” covering the next four years and how to best use them, will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 25.

For more information, visit Deb Medenwaldt in the counseling center.

Durango school board candidates announced

These are the 2013 Durango School District 9-R School Board candidates:

District B: Stephanie Moran and Steve Brittain.

District C: Andy Burns and Michael Wanger.

District E: Nancy A. Stubbs.

District F: Kim Martin and Erica Max.

District G: Mick Souder, DeeDee Kendall and Carolyn Smith.

9-R board candidate to host meet, greet

Durango School District 9-R School Board candidate Mick Souder will meet residents to discuss their thoughts and concerns about the school district at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Upper East Side Coffee Deli, 28902 U.S. Highway 160.

Souder is one of three candidates vying to represent District G, which is generally southeast of Durango and includes Sunnyside and Florida Mesa elementary schools.

For more information, call Souder at 560-0072 or email

Selling cars at DHS parking lot prohibited

Effective immediately, vehicles left in the Durango High School parking lot with signs indicating they are for sale will be towed at the owner’s expense.

Atlas to host coffee and tea event

Atlas and Miller Middle School parents and community members are invited to attend “Coffee, Tea and IB” from 7:15 to 8 a.m. Sept. 26 in Atlas Hall at Durango High School.

Participants should enter through the front doors and follow the signs. People will have the opportunity to visit with the International Baccalaureate coordinator about authorization, next steps and questions or concerns about the implementation of IB at Miller and Durango High School. Light refreshments will be provided.

Needham third-graders take field trips

The third-graders at Needham Elementary School on Sept. 12 visited Durango City Hall, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad train depot and the Strater Hotel to inquire about decision making and how it has shaped the community.

This is a continuation of their International Baccalaureate unit “Who We Are.” The students inquired about how group decision making creates organization in a community. The students previously visited the Animas Museum to inquire about the decision making of Durango’s more recent past. The students also will visit Mesa Verde to learn about the decision making abilities of the ancient past.

For more information, call 247-4791.

9-R superintendent’s round table to meet

The Superintendent’s Round Table will meet from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 3 at the Durango School District 9-R administration building, 201 E. 12th St.

Parking will be available in the rear. The group will discuss priorities, share information about current spending and seek to gain community input about deficit cutting.

Animas High School announces programs

Animas High School announces these programs:

There are a limited number of openings for ninth, 10th and 11th grades. For more information, call 247-2474 or visit

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 26 at the school’s new Twin Buttes location. The entrance is off of U.S. Highway 160, 1.7 miles west of the DoubleTree Hotel.

AHS will host open houses at its new Twin Buttes campus from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday and Sept. 28. No reservations are needed.

Classes available to child care providers

The Early Childhood Council of La Plata County, in collaboration with Southwest Colorado Child Care Resource & Referral, will offer classes for people interested in becoming licensed home child care providers in the state of Colorado.

Pre-licensing will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 19 and 26 at The Early Childhood Training Center in Durango, the cost is $50.

For more information, call Shannon Bassett at 247-0760, ext. 25, or email To register, visit

Scholarships for women to be discussed

Scholarships available to women will be presented from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10 in Program Room 2 at Durango Public Library, 1900 East Third Ave.

The event will present scholarship options for undergraduate education, vocational training, graduate studies and doctoral programs. This will be sponsored by PEO-Philanthropic Educational Organization and the Women’s Resource Center. Refreshments will be provided.

For more information, visit,, call 259-5649 or 382-9616.

‘Climb to Glory’ film to be screened

The Durango Winter Sports Foundation and Bank of the San Juans will host a screening of the film “Climb to Glory” at 9:30 a.m., 2 and 6 p.m. Nov. 11 at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis College.

The Colorado Ski Museum collaborated with Warren Miller Entertainment to produce a 45-minute documentary that tells the story of the 10th Mountain Division Ski Troopers. There will be two matinee screenings and a VIP screening and cocktail reception.

Chris Anthony, who produced the documentary, will introduce the film and to answer questions after the documentary.

Ticket proceeds will be divided between the Durango Winter Sports Foundation and the Adaptive Sports Association Veterans Scholarship Fund.

For more information, call Greg Betzing at 769-6994, visit and

Tickets may be purchased at the Community Concert Hall’s Downtown Ticket Office at Eighth Street and Main Avenue, or by calling 247-7657. Discounts are available for school groups and veterans.

Exchange program seeks families

ASSE International Student Exchange Programs is seeking volunteers to serve as area representatives in their community.

ASSE provides academic year and semester exchange programs in the United States for high school students from around the world. Students are 15 to 18 years of age, and have passed a series of academic and character requirements. Representatives recruit and screen prospective host families, interview students to study abroad and supervise the exchange students in their community. Representatives are compensated based on the number of students they are supervising.

For more information, call (800) 733-2773 or email

Continuing education available at FLC

Fort Lewis College Continuing Education Program will offer these classes:

“Social Security Planning” will be presented by David Rick on Sept. 26. The objective of this is to increase knowledge of how Social Security works, and how it fits into an overall retirement plan. Discussion topics will include strategies to maximize lifetime benefits, coordinating spousal benefits, how taxes affect benefits, integration with Medicare and long-term care, survivor benefits, spousal benefits and cost-of-living adjustments. The cost is $45.

“Writer’s Workshop: Make Good Writing Great!” will be offered by author Lynn Kuntz on Tuesday evenings from Sept. 24 to Oct. 29. Students will learn to analyze effective writing, to recognize the qualities that separate great writing from adequate writing, and to develop the skills to take their own writing to a higher level. Specific strategies will be introduced, discussed and applied to assignments in each class. The cost is $199 for six classes.

Advance registration is required. For more information or to register, call 247-7385 or visit

Online academy accepting registrations

Goal Academy, a public online charter high school, started the 2013-14 school year Aug. 19 but is still accepting registrations.

Open enrollment for students ages 14-21 will continue until Oct. 1. Applications are available at

Students in Pagosa Springs can visit the drop-in center from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday at 100 Country Center Drive for assistance with an application or to visit and speak with staff members and other students about Goal.

Students in Cortez can fill out applications by going to the above website, or by visiting the Goal drop-in center at 19 North Maple Ave.

Students in surrounding communities between Cortez and Pagosa Springs needing assistance with an application can call 576-8076.

Goal combines online learning with experiential learning, on-site classes, self-designed electives and concurrent enrollment opportunities for students who want to earn college credit.

Academic coaches and support staff members are on site to provide assistance. Course assistance provided by content specialists is available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays.

Herald Staff