Tag Archives: Dr. Wendy Wyman

Latest News – June 19

How Will HB 17-1375 Affect Local Schools?

From political junkies to educators across Colorado, the passage of HB 17-1375 is being closely watched to see how one-more-carrot added to the school choice plate plays out around the family dinner table when it comes parents’ decision about their children’s education.

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The Lake County High School Class of 2018 shows off their Panther Pride at the 2016 Homecoming Parade in Leadville. This year they will rule the school! Photo: Leadville Today

So what does that mean for Lake County? A quick check with local and state school representatives indicates it should not have any impact, at least in the short term. For those unfamiliar with the new legislation passed during the recent 2017 Colorado Legislative Session, the new law will directly affect rural schools because it specifies that Charter Schools will now share in the per pupil revenue generated from local mill levies.

But wait, isn’t Greater Heights a charter school? Good question!

New Greater Heights Academy Director Marvin Sandoval explained it this way, “We have a Co-OP with Hope Online Learning Academy, which is chartered under Douglas County School District (near Denver). Our funding is a per student rate that is received from HOPE.”  For readers who may not know Greater Heights Academy will be K-8th grades for the 2017/18 school year and will be located at 1600 Harrison, which is in the Mt. Crest Baptist Church building. 

Lake County School Superintendent Wendy Wyman interpreted the impact of HB 17-1375 in the same manner, adding information about efforts underway in the Leadville schools surrounding student retention:

Wendy Wyman

Superintendent: Dr Wendy Wyman

Currently HB 17-1375 doesn’t affect Lake County School District since the only charter/online school in Lake County is chartered through Douglas County Schools. 

We are incredibly proud of the work we are doing in our schools and we are working to get the word out.  We respect parent choice.  We also want to be sure that as local families consider schools they are aware of the high-quality teaching and learning that occurs daily in our classrooms. This spring, we held two open houses for parents to consider or reconsider our schools. This invitation was extended to all families who live in Lake County and have enrolled their students in other districts, including Greater Heights families.  Over the past five years we have made significant improvements across our system.  The climate in our buildings is welcoming and focused on learning.  We have made much progress in our efforts to support teachers and instruction.  Our infrastructure has consistently improved, for example our 7th through 12th grade students participate in a one-to-one Chromebook laptop model at our beautifully renovated high school campus.  Additionally we continue to support education of the whole child ensuring that our students have access to the performing and visual arts, technology, physical activity and sports, healthy meals and health care.  We invite the community to come in and see our great work when school starts again in August.  If a parent or community member is interested in a tour or learning more about our schools, we welcome them to contact our superintendent Wendy Wyman at wwyman@lakecountyschools.net or 719-486-6810.

And finally at the state level, Lake County’s Representative Joyce Rankin weighs in on HB17-1375 in addition to SB17-267 and the new legislation’s impact to rural schools.

Education Legislation and Summer Vacation

By Joyce Rankin, Lake County’s Rep. on the State Board of Education

Last month I reported on the education bills that were considered during the 2017 legislative session.  Senate Bill (SB) 267 and House Bill (HB) 1375 are two new acts that have significant impact on the rural schools that I represent.  SB 17-267 is called Sustainability of Rural Colorado.

Joyce Formal sport coat

State Board Representative Joyce Rankin

Among other things, this bill sets aside $30M to be used for rural and small rural school districts. HB 17-1375 specifies that Charter Schools will share in the per pupil revenue generated from local mill levies.

After bills are signed into law the state board is tasked with approving rules that determine how the laws are applied.  At this month’s board meeting we will issue final determinations of the Turnaround/Priority Improvement process, based on a law passed in 2009. The Board will determine whether the plans the districts and schools previously presented implement the change necessary for the students to improve in math, reading and language arts. We may need to ask the legislature for additional direction and authority to help low performing schools.

Another new act, HB 17-1340, creates a legislative interim committee to study school finance issues. The bill specifies issues that the committee must study and tasks this committee to make recommendations for legislation to meet the funding needs of students.  Since school finance is always on the minds of district administrators and local school boards, this will be an important committee to watch.

Summer vacation is upon us and we’ve been able to take a little time off for recreational activities.  Right after the legislative session ended we decided to experience the E-Bike and joined a group for a “test drive”.  Unfortunately my E-Bike ride didn’t go well. After a fall, two hours of surgery and thirty stitches later I decided it wasn’t for me. Stitches are out, I’m on the mend, and look forward to visiting on the Western Slope this summer.

Be safe out there, and thank you for the honor to serve.

OldSchoolhouse

The Old Malta Schoolhouse’s red color paints a stark contrast against October’s bright blue skies in Leadville, much like school choices for Lake County families

 

Latest News – December 15

Publishers Note: In this story, we celebrate Leadville’s beautiful, precious children and the schools’ educators and staff, while our hearts break for the same at Sandy Hook. God Bless Newtown, CT!

Winter Festival Celebrates Penguins!

Jules Vigil and her son JoVaan Vigil enjoyed Family Fun Night!

Jules Vigil & son JoVaan Vigil with a reindeer-painted-face (!) enjoyed Family Fun Night!

On Dec. 6 at The Center/Pitts Elementary School there was a penguin-themed Winter Festival! This Family Fun Night was a joint activity between the preschool and kindergarten. 

According to Mary Cannell, Family and Community Partnerships Manager at The Center, the kids signed in and received a passport to do the different activities.  They made igloos out of marshmallows, bowled for penguins, fished, made ornaments, ate cookies, and listened to penguin stories. 

The kids also had an opportunity to have pictures taken with a “special guest” from the North Pole.  A total of 99 families participated.  It was a blast . . of winter fun!

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Dahl Becomes Middle School Principal 

Lake County Middle School Assistant Principal Lacey Dahl is stepping into the role of Principal effective immediately, according to a press release distributed by Lake County School Superintendent Dr. Wendy Wyman on Friday, Dec. 14.  Former middle school Principal, Tim Ridder has resigned.

“I am confident that Mrs. Dahl will do an outstanding job leading the middle school forward and implementing district initiatives within the building,”  stated Superintendent Wyman, adding that she will work with Principal Dahl to fill the Assistant Principal position as quickly as possible.

Dr. Wyman will hold a question and answer session at Lake County Middle School on Monday, Dec. 17 at 6:30 pm.

Lacey Dahl’s Background

As the former Assistant Principal, Dahl is already well connected within the school and to the community, which will be helpful towards  a seamless transition.  She is widely recognized for her ability to build relationships with students and staff as well as her strong skills in instruction and curriculum.

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High School Renovation Takes First Step

On Tuesday, Dec. 11, the renovation process for Lake County High School (LCHS) took its first step during the site walk for Architectural and Engineering (A/E) firms interested in bidding the project. Coordinated by Chris Guarino and Colleen Kaneda with Consilium Partners, LLC, the schools district’s Owner Representatives for the project, the mandatory meeting saw more than 20 perspective design firms gathered in the high school cafeteria.

Representatives from more than 20 Architectural and Engineering (A/E) firms take a tour of the high school.

Chris Guarino of Consilium Partners takes representatives from more than 20 Architectural and Engineering firms on a tour of the high school.

“As you can see, this has got to be one of the best views from a high school cafeteria that there is,” stated Guarino. “In fact, there are great views from all around this site.”

The tour included A/E company representatives,  as well as LCHS Principal Jamie Jeffrey, School Superintendent Dr. Wendy Wyman and several staff members from the district’s maintenance and transportation departments. The main intention of the site walk was to introduce attendees to the school grounds, as well as provide a firsthand experience of how the school’s traffic flows. The tour was intentionally scheduled at the end of the school day, so participants could see how parent pick-up and bus transportation are coordinated.

Site walk participants gather outside to observe school bus traffic flow.

Site walk participants gather outside to observe school bus traffic flow.

 

The $26 million school improvement project was approved by voters in November with the passage of the 3A School Bond Issue. The construction schedule provides for the general contractor and any necessary consultants to be in place by springtime.

“We’ll be breaking ground when school gets out,” announced Guarino.  

Most of the renovation project focuses on the northern portion of the high school, including an expanded wing for 7th and 8th grade classes to be integrated into the new building. One of the planning issues that was discussed during the tour was the need to “touch things twice,” as described by Guarino.

Ultimately the construction process will need to be carefully planned to meet specific timeline benchmarks, so as not to interfere with the education process.  After all, there is not another building to place classes and staff during the renovation process. Additionally, it was noted that there is an expectation that workers will not have any interaction with students throughout the construction process. 

No doubt, the project has its share of challenges, but it’s also worth noting that the Lake County High School renovation is a coveted project, one that has drawn a lot of attention from companies across the state, according to School Board President Keith Moffett.

Representatives from over 20 A/E firms discuss the possibilities of a new entrance to the high school.

Representatives from over 20 A/E firms discuss the possibilities of a new entrance to the high school with Chris Guarino, the school district’s Owner Representative.

The next step for the A/E firms is to submit any questions, which will be answered and shared by Consilium to everyone interested in bidding this portion of the project. This approach demonstrates the district’s commitment to transparency at every stage.  

With the A/E process underway, next up is the quest for a General Contractor. In fact, the Request for Qualifications (RFG) for Construction Management/General Contractor (CM/GC) was released on Wednesday, Dec. 12, with a mandatory site walk scheduled for this Tuesday, Dec. 18. (Note: see  Public Notice  ad on this page). Consilium will be posting solicitations for bids on a number of opportunities on Leadville Today, so stay tuned for updates.

“We’ll manage every detail of the project,” stated Guarino.  “From the procurement of the design team, to the general contractor, to the hazardous material consultant. Through all of the hiring process, we are going to emphasize local support, as much as possible.”  However, making sure that everyone is qualified will also be a top priority, added Gaurino.