BY FREDA MIKLINGOVERNMENTAL REPORTER
Nearly 100 people attended the Cherry Creek School Board’s first meeting of the 2019-2020 school year on August 12 at Campus Middle School (CMS), where Assistant Superintendent of Career and Innovation Sarah Grobbel, showed us some of the new additions to the school before the meeting started.
As outlined in the February 2018 Cherry Creek School District (CCS) report on the $250 million school bond approved in 2016, every CCS middle school was allocated $750,000 “to collaboratively develop an approach to the systemic implementation on 21st century teaching and learning with their community.” At CMS, some of that money was used to design and furnish collaboration spaces for students throughout the school. These areas, called innovative learning environments, are intended to provide stimulation to students by placing them in a different, more comfortable environment than a traditional classroom setting. Furniture in these areas is colorful, modular, and movable. There are even seats that students can sit on from different sides. The areas are open and many contain large screen televisions material. Every middle school in CCS will begin the school year with completed innovation spaces available to all teachers to use with their students.
In her report to the board and the community, CCS Board President Karen Fisher said, “Learning in all CCS middle schools is aligned with the Cherry Creek Innovation Campus (CCIC).”
CCIC is the district’s new high school located near Centennial Airport that is open to all CCS juniors and seniors offering seven different pathways focused on careers in industry and as a jump-start to higher education. The pathways offered are health and wellness, transportation, hospitality and tourism, advanced manufacturing, infrastructure engineering, and IT & STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts/design, and mathematics).
Fisher also noted another important program option, Cherry Creek Elevation, which provides part-time and full-time online class options for all CCS students. Not to be left out was the district’s newest charter school, Colorado Skies Academy (CSA), a charter middle school nearby CCIC, focused on aviation and aerospace, promising a “high-quality STEAM education, utilizing a rigorous project-based learning methodology.” CSA opened on August 19.
CCS Director of Human Resources Joy Ross gave the board a report on this year’s new teacher orientation that took place on July 31. A new approach focused on the importance of teachers’ taking care of themselves, as well as their students. The orientation included yoga, massages, henna tattoos, and Starbucks coffee for new teachers, who, according to teachers’ union representatives present at the school board meeting, were very appreciative.
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