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Eads Schools Face Obstacles as First Day Approaches, Other Regional Schools Also Facing Issues


By Raina Lucero

August 3, 2022

On Tuesday July 26 the Eads Schools held student orientation for the upcoming school year. All incoming Freshmen as well as students new to the district arrived first to get a head start on the required paperwork for enrollment. Senior leaders for the upcoming year, AJ Vasquez and Breanna Wilson took the soon-to-be-Freshmen on a tour of the high school campus and talked to them a bit about the culture at the high school and what they might expect.

Parents were asked to meet in the high school gymnasium when they finished with their student’s enrollment paperwork where Superintendent Glenn Smith wished to address the group with some announcements regarding the upcoming school year.

Where students would normally still come to play even through the summer months, the elementary playground has looked more like ground zero for the entirety of the summer. The district has acquired a grant for extensive new playground equipment but due to issues with work crews coming in to complete them, the projects that were supposed to begin in early June are only just beginning. Smith stated that the district is taking the opportunity while things are already in disarray to replace the sidewalk around the building as well. These projects are still ongoing at this time as the recent rain has delayed projects.

At the high school a new roof is being put on, however with the monsoon-like weather we have had, and the large amount of rain received in the last week, water has gotten under the new roofing boards, leaking into the school and causing water damage. Henceforth there is now repair required to the areas of the roof that was already completed. In addition, the school janitorial staff will have to redo all the cleaning in the areas where the water has leaked including carpet cleaning.

With school scheduled to begin August 8 another obstacle which stands in the way is that the local BOCES has scheduled their bus driver training for that same day which will make it impossible for the bus route to run. With all these issues it has led the district to make the decision to delay the first day of school until Thursday, August 11th. Students will also need to attend school on Friday the 12th to make up for one of those missed days.

Another issue that the district now faces is that they are currently looking to fill their Elementary Secretary/Student Records Manager position as long-time employee Jackie Rittgers, better known as Ms. Jackie, has made the decision to step away in order to pursue other endeavors. Her organizational and efficient office management skills have provided not only the administrators, teachers, and students with help but has also kept the parents and other community members on track. Though we are certain the district will find an equally capable replacement, Ms. Jackie will be missed by all those who she has helped in her 20 years with the school.

In his address to the parents, Mr. Smith also reiterated the need for substitute teachers in the district as well as CDL drivers. Smith stated that the district would help with covering costs for the CDL for interested parties.

In closing Smith stated, “I encourage each of you to be a part of your child’s education, our mission is for every student to have the opportunity to be successful.”

Eads, however, is not the only school in the area that is having issues as school is to begin in just a few weeks. Plainview school is seeking to fill the role of their Superintendent. “We are looking for a Superintendent. Our last Superintendent, Dana Unruh, left for personal reasons. Her last day was mid-July,” stated President of the board Amy Schmidt in an email to the Independent.

Schmidt went on to say, “Our first day of school is August 15th. Our Principal and Math teacher, Jennifer Wilson, is filling the gap as the interim Superintendent. She is taking care of the day-to-day business of the school, and we will be in good hands as we start the new school year. We hope to find a quality candidate to fill the position soon.”

In Cheyenne Wells, a letter from newly hired Superintendent Mike Vagher addressed to the families of Cheyenne County School District RE-5 dated July 19 states that the beginning of school may be delayed by one week because of issues with the new roof that was put on. The letter indicated, “A material defect, the cause of the original roof failure, has allowed water to permeate the roof all the way to the metal decking. Therefore, the entire roof project will need to be completed at this time.”

An updated letter from Vagher on the school’s webpage dated July 29, 2022 states that, “We have been updated that there has been positive progress towards repair and completion of the project. With the adjusted project timeline, we will need to move the start day of school back to August 22nd for all students.”

The Kit Carson School has been looking for a Transportation Director for some time, this according to an email from Superintendent Robert Framel who states, “As of right now we have a staff member who is doing as much paperwork as possible, a local resident has been doing the basic maintenance like oil changes, and we have had to send our vehicles to another town to be certified.” Though these issues will not keep the district from beginning instruction, it is certainly an ordeal that causes stress on the district as a whole.

School in Kit Carson is set to begin August 16th for all students. Framel also stated, “We are feeling very prepared for the school year and are excited for the four-day week and continuing tradition of excellence.”

Open House for Eads Elementary and Middle School is scheduled for August 4 from 4-6:30 PM where parents and students can come and see their classrooms, drop off some of the first day of school supplies and visit with their teachers.

If you have not yet enrolled your child into school at Eads School District for the 2022-2023 school year, you can call Ms. Jackie at 719-438-2216 to schedule a time to come into her office in order to get your child ready to go.

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