David Ulrich: December’s Moffat County School District snippets | CraigDailyPress.com

David Ulrich: December’s Moffat County School District snippets

David Ulrich/For Craig Press

David Ulrich

As we move into the Christmas holiday break, I thought it would be good to update the community on the district's progress on a couple of items. First, as a reminder, the last day for students is Friday, Dec. 21. Students return on Tuesday, Jan. 8. I hope everyone has the opportunity to spend this special time of year celebrating with family and friends.

Reduction of an elementary school in Craig

I want to commend all staff members involved with the closure of East Elementary School and the consolidation from four elementary schools in Craig to three. Everyone has kept a positive attitude and remained focused on ensuring a smooth transition for our students. I feel it is important to highlight that, due to this tough choice, the district is realizing more than $600,000 in operational savings. We have captured those funds to bring new programs to Moffat County School District at all grade levels, including Project Lead the Way Launch for kindergartners through fifth-graders, FIRST Lego League at Craig Middle School, and expansion of iPads for students at the high school.

Yampa Avenue Administration Building

Recently, I have received questions from several community members about the status of the Yampa Avenue Administration Building. I want to assure everyone we will follow through with moving the district's administrative supports to the former East Elementary school building. However, due to scheduling of two major projects (which I'll describe below), we have delayed the move until June of next year. The MCSD Board of Education is committed to following through on the promise of finding a way to repurpose the Yampa Avenue Building.

Career and Technical Education (Vo-Ag) building update

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I am excited to announce that, by Friday, Dec. 14, the new ventilation system will be installed in the vocational-agriculture education classrooms. The new system replaces outdated equipment with new, state-of-the-art equipment that will ensure the safest environment possible for our students. Originally, we had scheduled this work to be completed in June of next year, but, working with our contractors, we were able to have the system installed earlier, so this year's students can benefit from the change.

Pool fill-in project:

As with the ventilation system, the pool fill-in project is moving forward ahead of schedule. I am happy to report we were able to award the contract to a local vendor. Upon notification, the contractor asked about the possibility of starting during the winter months. The contractor worked with Moffat County High School administration to assure the work could be completed without disrupting the school operations, and the work began last month. After the break, we will begin the process to determine how best to capture this space for student use.

Early Childhood Education programming

The move to a single-site for early childhood education programming has also gone smoothly. Last month, we surveyed parents to determine the level of satisfaction with the new single-site model. Of the 108 parents who responded, 93 indicated they were happy with the new model.

Craig Middle School robotics team results

The middle school FIRST Lego Robotics team is in its first year and is being led by sponsors Cristina Vanzo and Lexi Caudell, as well as Mentor Sean Hovorka. I am excited to report the teams performed very well at their first-ever competition in Aspen last month! Each challenge has three parts: the Robot Game, the Project, and Core Values. Guided by the FIRST Core Values, CMS students had to program an autonomous robot to score points on a playing field (Robot Game) and develop a solution to a problem they identified (Project).

The seventh- and eighth-grade combined team took first out of 22 teams in the robotics game portion! The CMS sixth-grade team took second out of 22 teams in the core value component!  Hovorka received the outstanding coach/mentor award out of 22 teams.

I hope you find these updates helpful. All our staff continues to work hard to honor your choice to send your students to Moffat County School District! Again, I hope you are able to spend the holidays with family and friends.

David Ulrich is superintendent of the Moffat County School District.