School programs in Silverthorne relocating |

School programs in Silverthorne relocating

summit daily news
Summit County, Colorado

SILVERTHORNE ” With the Summit Education Center in Silverthorne slated for demolition this summer, the preschool and alternative education programs it houses will be forced to relocate.

The 30 full-day preschool students using the building will be split evenly to Silverthorne Elementary and Dillon Valley Elementary, said Cindy Donahue, chair of Summit School District’s Early Childhood Committee.

A new location for the alternative programs hasn’t been selected. Many of the students have spoken strongly against merging with Summit High School, for they came to the alternative programs to get away from the high-school atmosphere.

District staff have met with people at the Dillon site of Colorado Mountain College to discuss possibly using some classroom space for the programs.

“That is our most favorable option at this point in time,” said district assistant superintendent Karen Strakbein.

Nicole Fazande, instructional chair for the CMC Summit Campus said there have been some “preliminary discussions” but nothing for certain.

“We’re always looking for ways to partner and support each other,” Fazande said.

The district’s ALTAS program offers students in grades 10-12 an SHS diploma, with specific requirements for graduation but a more flexible and individualized program.

School board members, alternative students and others discussed at Tuesday’s board meeting the possibility of changing the program to offer a separate diploma ” perhaps based more on competency than actually sitting through classes to earn credits.

“That’s certainly something that people would want to investigate more,” Strakbein said Wednesday.

Lou Marchesano, Summit Schools’ director of instruction and chair of the Alternative Education Work Group said that with no foreign language teacher available to ALTAS students, perhaps they could demonstrate “cultural proficiency” through staff-approved independent projects.

He also said concurrent enrollment for these students with CMC or trade-certificate programs are other options that may be worth exploring.

This is among several changes ” such as competency-based credit ” considered for the ALTAS program to focus curriculum on providing “21st century learning.”

Strakbein formerly worked for Eagle County Schools, where Red Canyon High School offers alternative students a diploma separate from those of the other two high schools.

Changes to ALTAS diploma requirements would require a vote of the school board.

The Summit Diploma Opportunity Resource program, for high school dropouts aged 17-21, is also offered at the Silverthorne SEC building.

The DOR program already uses competency-based guidelines and plans are under way to expand online options for students to meet their requirements. The program offers a separate diploma through the Mountain Board of Cooperative Educational Services.

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