Yampa Valley High School benefits from stronger collaboration with Steamboat Springs School District

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— Yampa Valley High School has grown up in many ways over the past year.

“We've got a much more cohesive system now,” teacher Chuck Rosemond told the Steamboat Springs School Board on Monday night after he lead board members on a tour showing off the benefits of an $88,000 renovation project the school district funded to improve the alternative campus.

Rosemond said the renovation made his school — which previously was spread out across the district's administrative building on Seventh Street — feel more like a “real school.” Yampa Valley High School provides a different learning environment for students who either struggled in a more traditional school setting or who simply might benefit from an alternative approach to education.

As a result of the renovation project, the campus's 21 students have lockers for the first time, and a dedicated lunch room.

And the improvements aren't only coming from the district's capital budget.

Rosemond and the district's Curicullum Director Marty Lamansky on Monday night presented the board with an update on the campus' academic progress. They both said curicullum development at the campus has benefited this school year through more collaboration and frequent meetings.

This is the third year Yampa Valley High School has operated under the umbrella of the Steamboat Springs School District.

Rosemond said he is impressed by the recent financial and administrative support being offered by the district.

“For a while I think we were flying under the radar,” Rosemond told the School Board. “There weren't enough checks in place to ensure we were meeting all the (academic) standards.”

Lamansky said the district and teachers at the alternative campus are starting a new effort to work together to improve curriculum and better align it with what is being taught at the school district's other campuses.

The district also is working to identify what tools the campus needs to better its curriculum.

Rosemond told the School Board those tools likely will come in the form of new science equipment to complement the new science lab the district constructed. He said the new space already is spurring teachers to add more hands-on science labs to the schedule for students who previously consumed most of their lessons in textbooks.

“This year, I think there's a higher degree of comfort for the Yampa Valley School and the school district” Superintendent Brad Meeks said after Monday's meeting. “There's a better feeling of working together.”

Members of the board also were impressed by the progress at the campus.

"It is amazing to watch this thing grow year after year after year," Board President Brian Kelly said. "And it's exciting."

In other action:

The School Board finalized its plan to select a new board member to fill the vacant District 2 seat. The board will interview candidates Sam Jones and Jim Kissane starting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the district's administrative building on Seventh Street. Public comment on the two candidates will be accepted from 6:30 to 6:40 p.m.

After the public interviews, the board will select the candidate who will serve until November's election.

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