Two Rivers Community School joins Roaring Fork School District

Students slide down a frozen staircase during recess at Two Rivers Community School on January 13.
Rich Allen/post independent

Glenwood Springs Charter School Two Rivers Community School is set to become the 14th educational facility in the Roaring Fork School District.

Following the unanimous approval of K-8’s licensing application Wednesday night, the district and school now have 90 days to negotiate a licensing contract beginning the fall semester. The application process that began over a year ago is entering its next phase.

“This vote sets the stage for increased collaboration and communication between our organizations and for the benefit of the whole community,” said Two Rivers School Principal Jamie Nims.

The district is on the verge of controlling the school – which served mainly as a pipeline to Glenwood Springs High School. It will monitor registration procedures and measure performance standards.

In turn, the school should earn a financial bump that could exceed 20% per student. By joining the district, Two Rivers has access to its factory tax replacement funding.

Funding is based on the number of students within district boundaries, whether or not they attend a district school, including Two Rivers. The only way for the school to receive these funds, however, is by being a member of the district.

Nims previously told the Post Independent that this increase in funding would allow them to be competitive in hiring and retaining staff.

But, as Two Rivers social-emotional coordinator Amy Spradlin said during public comments, the partnership is believed to have benefits both ways, leveraging district resources and corporate strengths. charter school.

“I really see it’s a ripple effect if we can join forces and the collaboration can happen,” Spradlin said. “Through this ripple, we can use and support each other for the best possible outcome.”

The resolution was not approved without amendment. Board member Jasmin Ramirez initially requested that language be added for two board members to be represented in negotiations. After some discussion, the board and Superintendent Rob Stein decided to check in with the board during the negotiation process to satisfy the board’s ability to provide terms for an acceptable contract and Stein’s ability to “move quickly” into the negotiations. .

The language was also changed to make the council the ultimate enforcer of the contract, after Stein and the district were initially in charge of negotiation and execution.

Council member Kenny Teitler raised two conditions for an acceptable contract during the discussion, including a stipulation that Two Rivers increase its diversity among its student body to align with district levels. The other was to give students from the Roaring Fork School District an advantage in the Two Rivers enrollment lottery over other applicants. Two Rivers has a minority population of about 40% compared to the district’s rate of 60%.

Two Rivers began lessons in 2014. At this point, he was licensed by the Colorado Charter School Institute. Nims said talks about permission for Roaring Fork began with a presentation to the District Board of Directors in 2013. He didn’t seek permission until fall 2020, withdrawing that initial request. due to the financial uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

The school applied in November 2021.

The school and the district will have until the end of March to negotiate and enter into a contract, which the resolution says will cover five school years.

Journalist Rich Allen can be reached at 970-384-9131 or [email protected]

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