ASD accepting open enrollment applications
The Aspen School District is now accepting applications welcoming out-of-district families for the 2023-24 school year for children in grades Kindergarten through Grade 8. Some high school slots may be available for siblings
“The number of available spots is dependent upon availability in the grade level requested,” said Tharyn Mulberry, Aspen School District Assistant Superintendent. “In this ‘lottery,’ students are drawn at random. Every student has an equal shot.”
Families interested in enrolling their children in Aspen School District can complete an application form. The applicants will be assigned a random three-digit number. Once the numbers have been assigned, an electronic random number generator will be used to select the winning numbers until all openings are filled. Applications are due by COB April 15, 2023.
- Any out-of-district student that is not enrolled in ASD schools can apply.
- Priority is given to applicants if they have a sibling already attending one of the ASD schools.
- Applicants are assigned a number and drawn at random.
- Deadline to apply is April 15, 2023.
Winners will be notified after the lottery closes on April 29. Winners will need to decide at the time of notification if they are accepting the invitation to enroll their child/children in the Aspen schools.
“We are always excited to welcome new students into our district,” Mulberry said. “Here, we strive to cultivate inquisitive, resilient, and caring young people, enabling them to reach their highest academic potential through education that is rigorous, inclusive, and reflective of our mountain community values.”
If a lottery winner decides not to accept the invitation to attend the Aspen schools, the district will move to the next randomly selected lottery winner until all designated openings have been filled.
A child selected through the lottery process will be allowed to attend Aspen schools through their senior year.
Seven AHS students sign Flight Training acceptance letters
Seven AHS students stood Tuesday in front of a crowd of parents, flight instructors and members of the Aspen Flight Academy, and signed their acceptance letters for flight training school.
The students: William Haneman, Fiona Benvenutu, Saffron DeBacker, Arielle Washburn, Aiden Knight, Colin Luu, and Keyton Young are each a winner of a $10,000 Flight Training Scholarship funded by Atlantic Aviation.
The scholarships were awarded to students who demonstrated a strong passion for aviation and a commitment to pursuing their dreams of becoming pilots.
Atlantic Aviation has been a supporter of the Aspen Flight Academy since 2014. The program launched in October 2022 with the goal of being inclusive. Today, 40 percent of their students are female.
"Aspen Flight Academy has over 100 high schools students in the program and operates three new airplanes. Three top graduates from Purdue are teaching and training our high school students how to become private pilots," said Jeff Posey, president of AFA and a pilot for more than 30 years. "We are one of the top high school flight academies in the U.S. and hope to continue our growth by partnering with companies like Atlanic Aviation."
The Flight Training Scholarship was created to support aspiring pilots in their pursuit of a career in aviation. The scholarship provides $10,000 in financial assistance to each of the students to help cover the cost of flight training, and is designed to help recipients achieve their goals and take the first step towards a fulfilling career in the aviation industry. Four students from Roaring Fork High School also received scholarships.
"We are thrilled to award these scholarships to such deserving candidates," said Jonathan Jones, General Manager of Atlantic Aviation at the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport. "We believe that these scholarship recipients have the potential to make significant contributions to the aviation industry, and we look forward to seeing them achieve their goals."
The scholarship recipients will receive flight training from the Aspen Flight Academy (AFA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers youth to learn about the joys and responsibilities of flying by providing students with classroom and flight training needed to pilot aircraft.
"These students are the future of aviation and next generation pilots," said Garrett Seddon, Aspen School District Aviation Director and Instructor of Aeronautics. "Aspen School District appreciates our great partnership with AFA. It is a critical component in training our students in the Colorado Rocky Mountains and giving them the opportunity to become certificated pilots."
ASD & AEA set meetings for contract negotiations
The Aspen School District and Aspen Education Association (AEA) begin negotiations regarding salary, benefits and working conditions for the 2023-2024 school year on March 23.
Members of the negotiating teams will meet from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the District Office Board Room.
This is a public meeting and all members of staff or public are invited to view the meeting. There is no public comment period during negotiations meetings. Meetings are also scheduled for April 27 and May 12.
Our Why - Week of March 19
Inspirational speaker Kelsey Tainsh visited Aspen Middle School earlier this year. She posed a question to the teachers: "Why do you teach?"
Their answers are encouraging, beautiful and thoughtful. We are sharing their "Whys" - a new one each week -- with you and hoping it inspires you to think about your "Why."
A note from the School Nurse
Are you feeling ill?
In order to keep Aspen School District a healthy learning environment, please keep your student home if they are ill. If a student does not feel well enough to participate in daily activities, if they have sore throat and cough, vomiting, diarrhea or fever they should stay at home until their symptoms have improved for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication, before they return to school. Testing for Covid-19 is still recommended when anyone has symptoms of illness.
Thank you for your efforts in keeping students healthy and ready to learn.
Conscious Discipline Workshop Scheduled
Parents and Teachers Save the Date
Community Threads & Conscious Discipline present a free "Conscious Discipline Workshop" for parents and teachers from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, April 5 in the Aspen District Theatre.
Conscious Discipline is a proven, comprehensive approach that empowers parents with skills that create a safe, connected, problem-solving environment for families. Conscious Discipline equips educators on strategies of integrating social-emotional learning, discipline and self-regulation, so they spend less time policing behavior and more time teaching vital life skills.
The event is co-sponsored by Community Threads, Kids First, Aspen Family Connections and the Aspen School District.
Guest speaker Amy Speidel, a national presenter with Conscious Discipline, is a certified Parent Coach and works with families within a pediatric practice. Speidel first used Conscious Discipline as a teacher and witnessed a transformation in her students. She now aspires to support all adults who come into contact with children through friendly seminars and workshops.
The event is free.
BOE Approves Changes to 2023-2024 Calendar
Click here for BOE Approved Calendar
With a focus on instructional days and what is best for students, the Board of Education approved changes to the previously approved 2023-2024 School Calendar.
The changes are:
-Four extra days of instruction were added
-Three professional development days were eliminated and replaced with 6 early release days (9/27, 12/13, 1/24, 2/28, 4/24, 5/22)
-Spring Conferences were eliminated
-Spring vacation was reduced by one day
Aspen School District receives two electric buses; sends two diesel buses to scrapyard
- Transportation department expects two more electric buses this summer
Aspen School District has received two electric school buses as part of an emissions environmental mitigation program.
The district sent two of its diesel buses to the scrapyard this month when it received two new Blue Bird electric buses as part of the Volkswagen Diesel Emissions Environmental Mitigation Trust. Aspen School District won a $1.36 million grant for the buses. ASD Transportation Director Reghan Mahaffey said two more electric buses are expected to arrive by the end of summer.
“We are excited to be recipients of this important emissions mitigation program,” Mahaffey said. “Aspen School District’s move to electric buses supports our Strategic Plan and mission of being responsible stewards of district resources and our goal of being environmentally friendly by reducing air pollutants.”
The new electric buses are part of the 2016 U.S. federal court settlement with German automaker Volkswagen AG. The company agreed to pay $14.7 billion after allegations from the Environmental Protection Agency and the state of California that the company violated the Clean Air Act and California Health and Safety code, among other violations, by using “defeat devices” to cheat emissions tests. Settlement money was distributed through trusts to states and programs aimed at funding mitigation actions that replace diesel emission sources with cleaner technology.
The mitigation trust will pay for 26 electric school buses in 11 Colorado school districts. These new electric school buses will help reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx ) emissions and greenhouse gasses associated with the pre-2009 diesel buses that will be scrapped.
ASD’s transportation department will also receive two charging stations through the mitigation program, Mahaffey said.
“Per the grant requirements, we need to scrap the old diesels as the intention of the grant is that we remove older diesels operating on the road and replace them with cleaner alternatives,” she said. “We took two of the diesels down to a scrapyard last week to be crushed and will do that with the remaining two once we have the two new electrics in operation.”
In total, the district owns 21 full-sized school buses, and is replacing four diesels with four electric buses.
Oh, the wicked ways of Pirates
A young pirate ends his apprenticeship with a band of pirates. He wants to be a pilot.
Is pirate life wicked or respectable?
Come to the Spring AHS Musical, The Pirates of Penzance, and find out.
This cast has been working hard at this show for the past three months and doing a fantastic job.
The show promises to be funny and great for the whole family. Run time is under two hours with intermission.
Get your tickets here.
Performances are in the District Theater:
7 p.m. March 16, 17, and 18
2 p.m. March 19
Find out what the ASD Board of Education is up to
The ASD Board of Education meets at 4 p.m. today -- Wednesday, March 8 -- in the district board room. They will tackle Spring Recruiting, solar project updates, 2023-2024 AHS personalized pathways and they are expected to revise and finalize the 2023-2024 School Calendar.
See the full agenda here.
Sign up to speak at the meeting here.
March issue of The Skier Scribbler on newstands
Kindergarten Readiness Night Rescheduled
Come next school year, a whole new group of children will be living the kindergarten life. There is so much to learn -- so much that author Robert Fulghum famously said, "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten."
Parents are invited to come in from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. March 9, at Aspen Elementary School to get a glimpse of "A Day in the Life of a Kindergartner."
A panel will talk about five key areas of development: cognitive, adaptive, social/emotional, physical and communication.
There will be time for questions and free child care will be provided. Sign up and RSVP for childcare
Can't make it. Watch it on Zoom.