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Schools reopen; Coronado principal OK with enrollment spike

       Most Westside students in District 11 public schools will start back to school Monday, Aug. 18.
       There will be noticeably more of them at Coronado High. Thanks to the larger attendance area (including areas east of I-25) that D-11 gave the Westside flagship school a year and a half ago, enrollment has grown from barely 1,300 in 2012-13 to an estimated 1,675 for 2014-15.
       But overcrowding should not be a problem, according to Principal Darin Smith. The school had similar numbers in the late 1990s, school officials have previously pointed out. “We are going to be a little understaffed until we see the actual numbers of students who walk in the door, and then the district will make adjustments with [teaching assignments],” Smith elaborated in an e-mail. “Space- wise, we have 'in theory' plenty of room.”
Fresh plantings greet students along the front area of the Academy ACL charter school. The landscaping work was led by office manager and master gardener Sigrid Meadows, with help from building custodians Phil McMullen and Ricky Salazar.
Westside Pioneer photo
       An exception on the district's back-to-school date is the Academy for Advanced & Creative Learning (Academy ACL), a District 11 charter school (grades K-8) that traditionally has a longer year. It opened for classes Wednesday, Aug. 13.
       Waiting for an Aug. 19 start are grades 7-8 at Holmes and West Middle and grades 10-12 at Coronado High. That's because Aug. 18 is being used for freshman orientation at those schools.
       The only new principal in a D-11 Westside school is Smith, who moved up from Coronado's assistant principal to replace Marcia Landwehr, who retired.
       With its “choice” policy, D-11 allows students to enroll in any of its schools, regardless of attendance area, as long as there is room and a way to get the students to the school.
       On the Westside, all the D-11 schools have attendance areas except Buena Vista Elementary (a K-6 Montessori) and Academy ACL.
       Buena Vista had received approval from D-11 last winter to add grades 7-8, but has decided to wait a year to implement that change.
       Below are brief capsules on each school (principal's name in parentheses). With students still being registered, starting enrollment numbers are approximate. “Retirees” are staffers who retired after the last school year.

ELEMENTARIES (K-5)

       Bristol, 890 N. Walnut St. (Manuel Ramsey), 328-4000. Events: kindergarten open house Friday, Aug. 15, from 9 to 10 a.m.; other-grades open house Tuesday, Aug. 26 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Starting enrollment: 225. Retiree: Penny Metoxen (speech). Type of school: Traditional, with emphasis on the arts.
       Howbert, 1023 N. 31st St. (Deb Hawes), 328-4200. Events: open house and ice cream social Thursday, Aug. 14, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Starting enrollment: 290. Retiree: Cindy Scherr (preschool teacher). Type of school: Traditional.
       Jackson, 4340 Edwinstowe Ave. (Sara Miller), 328-5800. Events: meet the teacher/ice cream social, Friday, Aug. 15 from 3 to 4 p.m.; open house, Sept. 25, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Starting enrollment: 430. Retirees: Sherri Bristol (grade 2), Christi Wise (teacher learning coach). Type of school: Traditional.
       Midland, 2110 W. Broadway St. (Jeremy Cramer), 328-4500. Events : ice cream social and meet the teachers, Friday, Aug. 15 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.; back to school parent-involvement nights, Sept. 9 (kindergarten); Sept. 11 (grade 1), Sept. 16 (grades 2-3); Sept. 18 (grades 4-5). Starting enrollment: 150. Retirees: None. Type of school: International Baccalaureate (IB). Note : At an assembly Friday, Aug. 29 from 12:45 to 1:15 p.m., Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach will present Principal Jeremy Cramer and his school with a Spirit of the Springs award in honor of tying for best in the nation for syllabus-completion rate in the game-based ST Math program during the 2013-14 school year.
       West, 25 N. 20th St. (Judy Hawkins, with Assistant Principal Chris Lehman), 328-4900. Events: meet the teachers and drop off supplies, Friday, Aug. 15 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.; open house (whole West campus) Tuesday, Aug. 26 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Starting enrollment: 340. Retirees: Beth Arrowsmith (kindergarten), Don Metz (teacher learning coach), Carolyn Coker (music). Type of school: Traditional.
      
K-6

       Buena Vista, 924 W. Pikes Peak Ave. (David Brilliant), 328-4100. Events: meet and greet Friday, Aug. 15 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Starting enrollment: 265 (including 50 preschoolers, who are part of the age 3-6 Primary class). Retirees: None. Type of school: Montessori.

MIDDLE SCHOOLS

       Holmes, 2455 Mesa Rd. (Rob Utter), 328-3800. Events: open house Sept. 9 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Starting enrollment: 700. Retirees : Don Tomsha (security), Laurie Tomsha (special education), Candy Hahn (choir), Judy Sondermann (gifted and talented). Type of school: Traditional.
       West, 1920 W. Pikes Peak Ave. (Judy Hawkins, with Assistant Principal Karen Newton), 328-3900. Events: Open house (whole West campus) Tuesday, Aug. 26 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Starting enrollment: 270. Retirees : None. Type of school: Traditional.

K-8

       Academy ACL, 2510 N. Chestnut St. (Nikki Myers), 434-6566. Events: Welcome Back Sock Hop (live music), Sept. 19, from 6 to 8 p.m. Enrollment: 290. Retirees: None. Type of school: Emphasis on gifted students.

HIGH SCHOOL

       Coronado, 1590 W. Fillmore St. (Darin Smith), 328-3600. Events: “Back to School Bash,” Thursday, Aug. 21 from 6 to 9 p.m. in school's courtyard and football field, including food and games); open house Sept. 4 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Starting enrollment: 1,675. Retirees: Marcia Landwehr (principal), Judy Bacalan (Spanish), Sally Thacker (science), Donna Stephens, (social studies), Jim Hoy (building manager). Type of school: Traditional.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 8/16/14; Schools: General)

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