TELLURIDE – “It was a great day for the whole community,” said Telluride R-1 School District Superintendent Mary Rubadeau after school let out Monday, the first day of the 2009-2010 school year.
The traditional elementary school front-steps rally had “a great turnout,” helped along by an unprecedented “72 kindergarteners.
“We’ve never had that many,” Rubadeau said, adding that the administration had enough advance warning to make sure four classrooms were available.
The numbers weren’t up in every grade, however; Rubadeau reported a drop in overall student numbers of 15.
“We’re down in the high school more than anywhere else,” she said, a circumstance helped along by the fact that “we have a few kids on exchange” in foreign countries for the school year, “and we lost some of our Hispanic students, related to their parents’ employment” status.
Change is afoot in the composition of the school board, as well, with a special meeting called for today to discuss the feasibility of canceling the upcoming school board election, since three candidates have applied for a total of three open seats.
Estimating the cost of an election to be in the vicinity of $3,000, Rubadeau said, “We’re all set” with candidates Cheryl Miller, Mark Westman and Rick Silverman, with the one remaining question being which of the three would take the two-year term (the other seats come with four-year terms).
“I think they have agreed to draw straws” to decide who gets the short term, Rubadeau said – a decision that would have been made by the electorate, with the “third-highest vote-getter taking the two-year seat.”
The four-tiered school – elementary students (kindergarten through third graders), in a home of their own, on Townsend and Columbia Ave., and then intermediate, middle and high school students together in the large complex at the entrance to town – has nine new faculty members this year. “There’s lots of new support staff,” said Rubadeau – including a new food services director – “and we’re excited to have them.
“We are raring to go,” she said, of the coming year.