Carlson, school improvement timeline

The new Carlson Elementary School is expected to open in August 2024.

The school, which will be built inside the former middle school thanks to a $33 million bond approved by voters last year, will be state of the art, and the design phase will begin this spring.

On Jan. 13, Jacobs, the firm the school district hired to oversee all of the bond projects, provided the school board with a timeline for work to be done at all district schools.

In the next year, the remainder of the Georgetown Community School roof will be replaced and a pre-kindergarten expansion at King-Murphy Elementary School is expected to be constructed this summer.

In year two, the remaining improvements at GCS will be completed, plus improvements to Clear Creek High School/Middle School including athletic field lights, and year three will be construction of the new Carlson Elementary.

“Everyone wants to know what we are going to do with Carlson,” Facilities Manager Justin Watanabe said. “It’s important to follow the process and do it correctly. We won’t know anything for a few months.”

The district is forming two committees known as the Citizens Advisory Team (or CAT) and the Design Oversight Group (or DOG) to get community input into the projects. The district is taking applications from community members interested in serving on the committees.

Public discusses masks in schools

Five Clear Creek residents took advantage of the school district’s new policy to allow constituents to discuss items not on the school board agenda.

Five people discussed students wearing masks during school at the Jan. 18 Clear Creek school board meeting, with four asking that students not be required to wear them, while one told the board that not all parents agreed with the anti-mask sentiment.

This is the first time in years that the school board allowed members of the public to address the board on topics not on the meeting agenda, and the board discussed civility standards, asking the public to refrain from personal attacks in written and oral communication.

Anti-mask parents told the board that masking doesn’t protect children from COVID-19, but it does cause mental-health issues. They suggested that school boards require masks to get federal dollars, calling mask mandates “draconian.” One parent called the masks “crimes against our children.”

The parent disagreeing with masks lauded the school board and district officials for taking measures to keep students safe, saying students have been able to stay in person because of safety measure the district instituted.

“The voices you (just) heard don’t represent the vast majority of the families here,” she said. “We support you in this unprecedented time.”

Graduation-requirement changes

The Clear Creek school board will consider revisions to its graduation-requirement policy this spring, with the changes not going into effect until the 2022-23 school year.

The changes will align graduation requirements with the career-centered classes the district offers. Included will be weighting the grades for college classes that Clear Creek High School students taken concurrently with high school classes similar to how Advanced Placement classes are weighted.

Four Points donates $25,000

Four Points Funding, the firm buying the former football field and bus barn properties in Idaho Springs, has made a $25,000 donation to the Clear Creek Schools Foundation.

Superintendent Karen Quanbeck said the donation was negotiated when the district and Four Points were putting together a contract. Both groups had discussed Four Points doing something to commemorate the former Digger Field in Idaho Springs. Since that seemed problematic, Four Points agreed to donate the money to the district.