Tag Archives: Lake County News

Latest News – July 12

Testing, Testing: Academics to Social Skills

“Across the Street” by Joyce Rankin

Joyce Formal sport coat

State School Board Representative Joyce Rankin

President Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) into law in 2001. Since that time Colorado has tested students and used the tests and other assessments to evaluate the effectiveness of the K-12 school system. In 2008-2009 the Colorado legislature added new tests in order to more effectively align standards with accountability. Concerns of parents, teachers and students caused legislators and educators to reexamine the amount of time devoted to testing. Last year the state board determined that the amount of testing should not only be reduced but results should be made more quickly available to help teachers and students.

But wait, more seems to be headed our way.  Up until now, the skills that have been emphasized on these tests are termed “academic” skills.  Enter the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) signed into law in 2015 by President Obama. This law adds flexibility.  Under ESSA at least one additional “nonacademic” indicator is allowed, including, but not limited to, student engagement, educator engagement, school climate, and safety. They have also been determined to include, self-control, grit, growth mindset, and others.  Indicators must be valid, comparable, reliable, and statewide. These are advertised as skills necessary to thrive in the 21st century workplace and referred to by some as “soft skills”.

Many educational organizations across the country enthusiastically support the new federal legislation and opportunities for social and emotional learning (SEL). With federal grant funding available, school districts are beginning to use SEL programs in the classroom.

Students get their lunch from a salad bar at the school cafeteria as some of more than 8,000lbs of locally grown broccoli from a partnership between Farm to School and Healthy School Meals is served at Marston Middle School in San Diego

Many support the legislation for social and emotional learning in schools. REUTERS/Mike Blake

A concern of these programs are the many and variable definitions of social and emotional learning. This is one definition: “SEL is the process of acquiring and effectively applying the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to recognize and manage emotions; developing caring and concern for others; making responsible decisions; establishing positive relationships; and handling challenging situations capably.”

Even if uniform definitions and understanding can be articulated, the next challenge is how these skills can be taught and then measured in the classroom. Are these “soft” skills just as critical to success as other “hard” skills like reading and math? Are current educators confident that they can acquire the necessary talents required to effectively teach these skills for the success of each student? How will we measure such qualities for purposes of educational policy and practice?

There are big challenges to prepare our students for a successful future.  A considerable amount of money has been spent over time to improve academic outcomes, however we’re still where we were when NCLB was established.  Is it reasonable to assume that the new ESSA will improve outcomes for our students or are we, yet again, adding more encumbrances to an already overburdened system?

Joyce Rankin is on the State Board of Education representing the Third Congressional District, which includes the Lake County School District. 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. She is also a Legislative Assistant for Representative Bob Rankin.



Latest News – July 11

Glass Artist Featured for 321 FRIDAY

By Sue Jewell, Leadville Arts Collation

The next presentation in the 321 FRIDAY series sponsored by the Leadville Arts Coalition and Harperrose Studios will be this Friday, July 14.

Robert Burch - glass blower 1

Artist Robert Burch works his magic with glass and fire; see him do it in person for 321 Friday at Harperrose Studios. Photo: Leadville Arts Coalition

This Friday features the talents of Robert Burch, a glass artist. Burch will bring his mobile glass shop to Harperrose at 601 Harrison Avenue, to demonstrate hand blown glass, between 4-8 p.m.. This event marks the second Friday for this summer artist series, and many local businesses are jumping onboard to make this an avenue evening to celebrate the arts.

Glass blowing since he was 16, Robert Burch built his skills with several master glass artists including Tadashi Torii in Georgia, and Martin Blank in Seattle.  There he worked for Chihuly, Inc. Now Burch considers himself an independent freelancer, and his glass work is exhibited internationally.

Presently Burch spends his time between Carbondale and Salida, but he travels to North Carolina every year to create his glass pieces at a special shop that runs off methane from a landfill. 

“It’s the only eco-friendly glass shop in the country,” comments Burch, and “I spend about two months there, creating glass.”  Then he returns to Colorado to work on the finishing, mounting, and shipping, as well as traveling, exhibiting, lecturing, and participating in art walks. 

Robert Burch - Red Vase

Glass Art by Robert Burch.

Burch said, “I am excited to be a part of the art walk scene in Leadville.”  He has family connections in the Leadville area, and he enjoys the rock climbing and skate park here.  It’s part of his philosophy to give back to the community.

Recently Burch has been working with glass and metal, an unusual and challenging combination of materials. During his 321 FRIDAY demonstration he will be blowing cups and small vases, as his mobile shop is only outfitted for small glass production.  Several of his unique integrated pieces are on display inside Harperrose Studios.  To learn more about Robert Burch his works, and upcoming events, investigate his website.

Movies In The Park Continues Friday

The Leadville Community Movie Night series continues with its 2017 season this Friday, July 14  with Disney’s “Big Hero 6”  (PG).

“Big Hero 6” is an action-packed comedy adventure that introduces Baymax, a lovable, personal companion robot, who forms a special bond with robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada. BH6_Team_TransparentWhen a devastating turn of events catapults them into the midst of a dangerous plot unfolding in the streets of San Fransokyo, Hiro turns to Baymax and his diverse group of friends— adrenaline junkie Go Go Tomago, neatnik Wasabi, chemistry whiz Honey Lemon and fanboy Fred — who transform into a band of unlikely heroes. Bring home Disney’s “Big Hero 6,” featuring comic-book-style action and hilarious, unforgettable characters — it’s fun for the whole family!

All movies in the park are FREE and begin at dusk, which is generally about 8 p.m-ish this time of year.  The film will be preceded by lawn games, sports, and picnics starting at 6 p.m. 


Some concessions will be available to purchase, and grills are located at Ice Palace Park, so bring some seating, dinner, Frisbees, and your friends. Dinosaur costumes highly encouraged! Ice Palace Park is located north of the Mining Museum (E. 10th Street Entrance).

The rest of the Leadville Community Movie Nights will play every other Friday night from then. So mark the calendar for July 14 & 28, August 11 & 25 and the season wraps up on September 8. Stayed connected to what’s playing on the Leadville Community Movie Night Facebook Page and pass the popcorn! 

This series of movies is funded entirely with private donations from the community. Here’s how you can help this great community event: INFO.

Culpepper Circus In Town This Friday and Saturday

Step right up, Ladies and Gentlemen, and direct your attention to the center ring! The Culpepper & Merriweather Circus is coming to Leadville this Friday and Saturday, July 14 & 15!


The Culpepper & Merriweather Circus will be in Leadville this Friday and Saturday.

That’s right, the big top is going up in America’s Highest City on Friday, July 14, as the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus comes to town for four 90-minute shows.

Performances begin at 5 and 7:30 p.m. on Friday at the Lake County Rodeo Grounds Parking lot, at McWethy & 6th Street. Saturday’s showtimes are at 2 & 4 p.m. at the same location.

Circus-goers can expect to see such magnificent acts as Miss Simone and her breathtaking single trapeze, Miss Paulina’s proud  “Big & Little” prancing ponies , The Arlise Troupe on their wild and crazy unicycles and let’s not forget the one-and-only Miss Georgia who will be “displaying flexibility  to the extreme – for the first time.”


Everybody lends a hand when the Culpepper & Merriweather Circus Big Top comes to Leadville this Friday & Saturday

Along with the shows, people are invited to come out to the rodeo grounds at 9 a.m. to watch the raising of the big top and take a free tour of the circus grounds. The circus is being sponsored by Leadville Lions Club.

Advance tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for senior citizens 65 and older and children age 2 to 12. They are available at Peoples Bank, Centennial Real Estate and Saturday’s Discount. Ticket prices go up to $13 for adults and $8 for senior citizens and children on the day of the show. Children age 2 and younger are admitted free.

Circus Big Top

Locals can watch the raising of the big top with Mt. Elbert looming in the background. Then take a free tour of the circus grounds on Friday morning, July 14. Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell