RANGELY I Through the years, the Rangely School District has become accustomed to change. Changes in staffing, funding and programs are common in the district. However, for the first year in many, all administration staff, including the superintendent and principals, will be returning.
“It is great for students and staff,” District Superintendent Matt Scoggins said. “No lost learning or wasted time due to turnover.”
One of the benefits of this consistency is the ability to set goals, which the district is currently working on, he said. One area of focus for the starting school year will be improving students’ writing skills.
One way they hope to do this is through implementation of Cambourne’s Seven Conditions on Learning, which include immersion, demonstration, expectations, responsibility, use, approximation and response. The district also sent six staff members to writing-geared training programs over the summer.
Additionally, Scoggins plans to spend time focusing on “bringing our district safety training and supporting documents up to speed,” he said. It is also planned to continue work on the Positive Behavior Intervention Supports programs, which focus on improving student behavior.
One thing Scoggins and district staff will be watching closely as the school year begins is student enrollment numbers.
At the end of the previous school year, each building was reporting a reduction in student population size. In Colorado, the number of students enrolled is directly tied to the amount of funding the schools will receive from the state, and is, therefore, closely monitored.
“We are an oil, gas and coal community, and, as such, we recognize there are ups and downs,” Scoggins said. “Unfortunately, the lack of leadership at the state and federal level has certainly had a detrimental effect on the industry and so follows the economy in our community.
“The State Finance Act funds us on a per-pupil basis, so, as the student population trends down, so does our funding,” he said. “Our buildings and grounds do not shrink, and, as our facilities age, our costs are increasing. It makes it really tough for our community, but we have a great staff who are committed to the children of this community.”
Because of the downturn in the economy, the district will also be expanding its breakfast program for students. During the previous year, breakfast was offered for students at Parkview Elementary School.
However, recognizing the need, Scoggins and the Rangely School Board decided this year to expand to the Junior/Senior High School.
Support from the community has contributed to the ability for the expansion. Scoggins said the district has received more than $2,500 in donations.
As the 2015/2016 school year begins, district goals and student population size are sure to be a common theme throughout the year.