Rangely School District to pursue BEST grant

RANGELY | The Rangely School District board met last week. The board approved participation in the 2021 November election with Shari Plummer appointed designated election office.

Board member Sam Tolley shared information with the board about CNCC President Ron Granger’s retirement party.

Superintendent Matt Scoggins commended the district staff for their hard work and dedication throughout their year and their efforts to continue in-person learning. Tolley seconded Scoggins’ praise.

Parkview Elementary Principal Carlene Cantrell’s May update indicated an enrollment of 242 students at the end of the school year. May students of month were Everlea Goddard, Pre-K; Indica Rayburn, Kindergarten; Kylor Henson, first grade; Jayme Roessner, second grade; Kesleigh Kennedy, third grade; Ian Guzman, fourth grade; and Cutler Mergelman, fifth grade.

Field Day was held at Parkview Elementary on May 13 for all kindergarten through fifth grade students. Angie Hill was thanked for all of her planning and organization that made the day a success. All staff also stepped up to help out that day with supervision and running events. A special thank you was issued to Sam Tolley for grilling burgers for all staff and students for lunch on field day.

Elementary students took several field trips in May. Second graders visited the Rangely Outdoor Museum; third graders visited Frank Huitt’s trophy room; fourth graders had a fossil/treasure hunting Canyon Pintado archaeology day; and fifth graders went treasure hunting at Kenney Reservoir.

K-second graders had parties at Elks Park for their hard work on MAPS assessments, and third-fifth graders were rewarded for MAPS and CMAS assessments with an afternoon of swimming at the Rec Center, plus popsicles at Elks Park.

A new English language arts curriculum for kindergarten through fifth graders has been ordered. Teachers will receive training in Benchmark Workshop in July.

Applications are open for an elementary special education and music positions.

Jr. /Sr. High School Principal Crandel Mergelman reported enrollment at the junior high was 133 and 105 at the high school at the close of the school year.

Positive remarks were received about the separation of senior awards and scholarship announcements from graduation ceremonies. The junior high awards ceremony was held during the school day.

Several positions are open at the jr./sr. high school, including HS special education, agriculture education, jr. high math, jr./sr. high science, and two high needs special education paraprofessional professionals.

Superintendent Matt Scoggins began his report with an acknowledgement of the community’s heartwarming response for Isabella Cox and her family.

A large supply of cinderblock at the high school is for a bathroom remodel to accommodate students who need wheelchair accessibility.

The district has a new website and mobile app. Scoggins said both include features such as a live feed, ability to upload photos, and more effective communication in the event of an emergency.

Scoggins also spoke about the Colorado Rural Schools Alliance opportunities. He noted that the Governor’s office was working on a few things. Last year, a lot of effort was put forth early on only to be changed and Scoggins does not want to repeat that. He wants to show Rangely as a strong district especially with its athletics department successes.

Regarding the budget, Scoggins shared plans to step in staff pay increases, obtaining an assistance fund grant, expanding the free lunch program for all students and a specific position for front office admin assistant. Chris Denny is moving into a private office in the administration wing. The new IT position was filled by Jesse McCann. Blake Mobley is stepping down from his role but will serve the district when needed.

The board also agreed to pursue a BEST grant for needed work on electrical, roofing, and HVAC systems at Parkview and the jr./sr. high.

Currently, Rangely’s school buildings are about 35 years old. Scoggins explained the formal process for evaluating needs and how he is applying that to his evaluations. This process includes knowing early figures in the budget and speaking with Meeker Superintendent Chris Selle, as Meeker has recently renovated their facilities. Scoggins emphasized that Rangely has awesome facilities and is dedicated to keep them that way. Board member Jason Cox requested a work session to discuss proposed needs. Scoggins suggested a board “field trip” to look at all of Rangely’s buildings and trips to Meeker and Hayden to tour new facilities and options. Board Member Sam Tolley seconded the need for details to be fine-combed and consideration of opinions from a skilled board.

By KATIE KING | Special to The Herald Times