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Photo of school board president

I wanted to say thank you to everyone who attended our school board meeting last week, either in person or via Zoom. Your presence and engagement truly make a difference. 

If you have not been to a board meeting, especially one at a Garfield Re-2 School, I would highly encourage you to join us. When we have meetings at a school, the building leaders have the opportunity to “Shine the Light” on the really great things happening.  We start around 4:45 and have an opportunity to meet staff and learn how the school is moving forward with the strategic plan.  I encourage all community and staff to come to a “Shine the Light” and see for yourself.  It is part of our culture.   

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Garfield School District

At the December 13, 2023 School Board Meeting, the Garfield Re-2 Board of Directors certified the mills for the 2024 school year. This is an action that is required by the State of Colorado at the end of each year - typically prior to December 15 -  before property taxes are assessed in the following year. 

The total mill levy for the Garfield Re-2 School District for 2024 is 20.856 - a reduction of 4.460 mills from 2023. This is possible because of the significant increase in assessed valuation in the District explained Garfield Re-2 Chief Financial Consultant Jeff Blanford.

Read More about Re-2 School Board Certifies Mill Levy/Rate reduces by nearly 4.5 mills
Techno Titans team controlling a robot

After a four-year hiatus, Coal Ridge High School's Titan Technos made a comeback at this year’s FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Tech competition.

The Titan Technos took to the competition field at Coal Ridge High School last weekend proudly showcasing their sleek robot, equipped with four wide-tires and Titan Blue wheel trim. The mechanical arms were poised for action, the controllers in hand, and the Titans were eager to make their triumphant return to the world of robotics.

Read More about Coal Ridge High School's Titan Technos Triumph Over Murphy's Law at Robotics Competition
Three students holding microphones while singing

Last weekend, Alexis Bahena performed as part of the prestigious All State Jazz Choir. All State performing groups are made up of students from the entire state of Colorado. To be a member in one of the All State Jazz Choirs, students must place in the top 48 scores overall, and those 48 students will then be divided into 3 different jazz choirs with 16 members each.

Read More about Coal Ridge High School student performed as part of the All State Jazz Choir!
Teacher and student speaking at an assembly

In the face of adversity, the human spirit has an uncanny ability to shine its brightest. Kathryn Senor Elementary student Asher Bourquin is a remarkable young man who, at just one-year-old, embarked on a journey that would test his resilience. Six years later, he finds himself in the position to give back, with a little help from his Garfield Re-2 family.

The Bourquin family's world was turned upside down a week after Asher's first birthday when he was diagnosed with an exceptionally rare and cancerous brain tumor known as Atypical Rhabdoid Tumor (ATRT). The road ahead was filled with medical procedures. In that challenging year, Asher underwent three brain surgeries and faced the relentless battle of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, each step requiring courage from this young warrior. His journey was not one traveled alone; it was a collective effort by his family, friends, and an entire medical team. 

Read More about Young Jedi Asher Bourquin pays it forward with some help from his friends
Photo of School Board members as of November 2023

Garfield Re-2 School District student enrollment continues to increase, despite the State seeing the lowest overall PK-12 enrollment levels since 2013.

The District added 124 students or 2.66% over last year, continuing a steady increase in students following the 2020-21 low of 4,526 as the nation emerged from COVID restrictions and online learning. According to the Colorado Department of Education, Garfield Re-2 is one of 65 Districts reporting flat or increased student enrollment.

Read More about Garfield Re-2 bucks state trends: Student enrollment up nearly 3%
Re-2 students raise almost $10,000  for Make-A-Wish Colorado

Students around the Garfield Re-2 School District participated in a student-led Wish

Week to fundraise for Make-A-Wish Colorado, featuring Asher, a 7- year-old wish kid

from New Castle who was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Asher is in second grade at

Kathryn Senor Elementary School, a feeder school for Coal Ridge High School. Asher’s

wish to go to Walt Disney World Resorts was granted in 2022. Asher, his family, and his

entire second-grade class participated in an all-school assembly Coal Ridge High

School on Thursday.

Read More about Re-2 students raise almost $10,000 for Make-A-Wish Colorado
Rifle HIgh School Choir

The students of the Rifle High School Choir Program have been putting in incredible efforts throughout this school year, and their hard work has paid off with an invitation to perform January 25, 2024, at the State Music Convention. This is an extraordinary honor not only for Rifle HIgh School but also for the entire community of Rifle. It's a testament to the exceptional talent and hard work of our RHS choir students.

The State Music Convention is a highly prestigious event where choirs from all over the state audition for a limited number of performance slots. In a typical year, only 16-17 choirs are selected to participate. Our Varsity choir, categorized as SATB (High School Mixed Choir), will deliver a captivating 25-minute concert at The Broadmoor. The Colorado Music Educators Association (CMEA) music council, responsible for evaluating anonymous electronic submissions, chose our Varsity choir to represent the High School Mixed category.

Read More about RHS Choir To Travel to The Broadmoor and Sing for the Music Educators of Colorado
Coal Ridge High School Student Council

Coal Ridge High School, like most schools, has a tradition of fostering excellence and community leadership among its students and staff. Coal Ridge has State championships, Boettcher Scholars, and the staff nurtures the next generation of community leaders. Beyond these accolades, the school's commitment to well-rounded education shines through during the holiday season.

The heart of this exceptional holiday spirit is the Titan "Needs Tree," a heartwarming initiative that began approximately six years ago, inspired by the vision of the Athletic Director's Captain's Council. Recognizing that high school students can be hesitant to ask for help, the school decided to create a needs-based program, rather than a traditional gift-giving activity.

Read More about Coal Ridge High School's Titan "Needs Tree" Shines Bright During the Holiday Season
Swashbuckling fencers descend upon Rifle High School

The art of fencing has often served as a dance of steel and strategy, captivating audiences on the silver screen for generations. From the swashbuckling duels of Errol Flynn in "The Adventures of Robin Hood" to the high-stakes clashes of Inigo Montoya and the Dread Pirate Roberts in "The Princess Bride,"  audiences have been thrilled with powerful moments of swordplay that have left us longing for adventure. Beyond the dazzling choreography and dramatic flair seen on television and in the movies, fencing is a sport steeped in tradition, technique, and a rich history that extends far beyond the realm of make-believe. 

Rifle High School may seem a pedestrian venue for such climatic efforts, but last weekend, fencers from around the state and region clashed their foils and épées as RHS hosted a small, regional fencing tournament. 

Read More about Swashbuckling fencers descend upon Rifle High School
Highland elementary student council students November 2023 serving at the extended table.

Spaghetti holds a special place in the heart of Colton Niederwerder, a fifth-grader at Highland Elementary - it’s one of his favorite meals. His excitement to share his love of spaghetti with those less fortunate than himself is palpable.

Colton is a member of the Highland Elementary Student Council, a group of third, fourth and fifth graders who make a difference in their community. About once a month, the Highland student council members come together to prepare a meal at Lift-UP's Extended Table, hosted at the United Methodist Presbyterian Church.

Read More about Highland Elementary extends service and love at Extended Table
Photo of School Board members as of November 2023

RIFLE, CO – On November 29, 2023, the Garfield Re-2 School Board met for a special session to reorganize after the November 7, 2023 election.
Board members Cassie Haskell, Chance W. Jenkins and Fathom Jensen were sworn into their positions. All three are new to the board. Haskell defeated Kaylin Harju in a contested race in Director District B (east Rifle to Silt). She takes the seat of Jason Shoup, who leaves the board after over nearly four-years of service.

Read More about Re-2 Welcomes Three New School Board members