Students head back to classes Aug. 18
Changes at Westside schools include new principals, academic approach
Classes will start for District 11 public schools - including 13 on the Westside - Thursday, Aug. 18.
Noteworthy changes for the 2005-06 school year include new principals at Washington and Buena Vista elementaries, a 10,000 square-foot modular addition at Midland Elementary and the start of a pre-Advanced Placement (AP) program at Holmes Middle School.
In addition, Montessori is going into its second year at Buena Vista - now as a free program that is available to all age levels - while Ivywild has situated its classes onto the main floor and Coronado High will be getting the help of student teachers from UCCS.
Otherwise, school operations are basically unchanged from past years, with the same locations, principals, attendance areas, academic offerings and hours.
Washington's new principal is Terry Martinez, an 18-year teaching/ administration veteran who was Washington's summer school principal the past two years and served as assistant principal for Rudy and Henry schools in District 11 last year. He replaces Pete Cicatelli, who has retired.
The new Buena Vista principal is Brenda Smith, a seven-year district administrator who was assistant principal at District 11's Sabin Middle School last year. Former Principal Alan Rasmussen retired.
The Midland modular, which District 11 bought from the Renaissance Academy, will help the school handle Midland's increasing enrollment, stemming from its International Baccalaur-eate (IB) program and new housing developments in its attendance area, according to district officials. District crews have been working this summer to prepare a concrete pad for the air-conditioned facility, just southwest of the permanent school.
“They're working furiously to get it done,” said Lynn Jeffords of the Midland school office. “It should be ready when school starts.”
At Holmes, all the staff - teachers as well as administrators - completed training this month in pre-AP strategies, according to Mike Kreidel, the school's gifted and talented head who is also serving as pre-AP director. The training was provided by the College Board, a not-for-profit national association which oversees the program.
Pre-AP in-volves elective classes with teaching strategies aimed at challenging students to learn at a higher level, according to the school. The program at Holmes will dovetail with the AP program at Coronado High School; many universities accept AP classes for college-level credit.
Holmes and Sabin (also starting pre-AP this year) are the first middle schools in District 11 to offer the program.
After its first year of Montessori in 2004-05 - offering classes for ages 3-9 - Buena Vista has increased its Montessori offerings this year to all grade levels, with the formerly fee-imposed preschool and kindergarten now available at no charge, thanks to a Title 1 grant. Kindergarten is only offered with the Montessori teaching approach starting this year, but traditional classes are still available for grades 1-5 (See adjoining story.)
Ivywild Principal Libby Bailey said her school has completed its plan, announced last May, of realigning all its classes on the main floor of the historic building on South Cascade Avenue.
This is allowing plans to move forward for an envisioned “community center” on Ivywild's lower floors. “We're developing a fantastic partnership with the Pikes Peak Community Foundation,” Bailey said. “We're looking forward to additional activities after school to truly make Ivywild into more of a community center.”
Coronado, the flagship public high school for the Westside, is getting the help of 20 UCCS student teachers this year - on a rotation plan in which half of them will be simultaneously providing similar assistance at District 20's Timberview Middle School. The arrangement, part of a three-year partnership in which CHS is deemed a “professional development site,” will have the side effect of taking a load off classroom teachers. “I think it will be very positive for students in the program and at Coronado,” Humphrey said.
Coronado began registering enrolled students this week; this will continue through Aug. 11. Boys golf began Aug. 9, while other fall sports will begin Tuesday, Aug. 16.
Ninth-grade orientation will be from 7:50 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17, starting in the school auditorium, according to Humphrey. “This will be a chance for them to see their classes, meet their teachers and get their feet wet,” she said.
Orientations for sixth-graders will be offered at the Westside's middle schools. Both Holmes and West have scheduled these get-acquainted sessions at their respective schools Tuesday, Aug. 16, at 6:30 p.m.
The following are District 11's Westside schools, addresses and phone numbers (principal's name in parentheses).
Westside Pioneer article