Glade Park Community School

The Final Chapter

For a few short years Glade Park once again had a school of it's own. The little children did not have to spend long days on the bus, riding up and down the Colo. National Monument. The community had a rallying point for community spirit and cohesiveness that a school brings. Sadly it has been announced that the Glade Park Community School will be closing at the end of the 2013 school year.

Glade Park Community School Closing at Year's End
KKCO - Channel 11

By: Andrew Reid
Updated: Wed 10:13 AM, Apr 17, 2013

Grand Junction, Colo. (KKCO) – This year, the end of school at Glade Park Community School will literally be the last day. Officials from the school went before the District 51 school board Tuesday night to make it official: the school will shut down at the end of this school year.

The school opened in 2009 as a regular district school, but that changed when the district was facing budget cuts. Two years ago the school district helped the school become a charter school.

The school is now being forced to close down because the enrollment numbers are too low. Officials from the school say the curriculum really worked well for the students.

"This type of school, small community school, hands-on, multi-age style of education really works for kids, and the kids that where there and engaged were very successful," says Diane Branham, Treasurer of Glade Park Community School.

The current staff will help parents and students transition and move forward at the end of the year. The last day of school is May 22; on that day, the school will have a family-friendly baseball game and a cookout. The students will go to Wingate Elementary next year.

Time To Show Your Schoolhouse A Little Love... Need your help!

June 30, 2011

Click on the link below to help us decide when to schedule a work day before next Friday's Open House (7/8 at 4 PM):

Just take 30 seconds to enter your name and select whichever times could work with your schedule. Tomorrow we'll email everyone with the day/time that works best for the most people.

THANKS and have a Happy 4th!


Help us schedule a work day...

The Charter School Chapter Begins

June 19, 2011

Dear Glade Park School Families and Friends,

The District 51 Board of Education will hold its second public hearing on our school's charter application: this Tuesday night 6 PM Basil T. Knight Center (on Patterson Rd, just behind B & H Sports)

If all goes as planned, they will make a decision to deny or approve the charter at this meeting. After reviewing their feedback and providing a few last revisions to the application, we expect all to go well! If approved, information on enrollment and hiring staff for fall will follow soon.

Spread the word and come show your support at this meeting if you can. It will be a big day for our school!

Your Charter Application Steering Committee

May 4, 2011

Once again congrats go to the determined team of parents who will not accept defeat on having a Glade Park school. Last night when the Dist. 51 school board met, they voted to waive deadline rules, so that the Glade Park charter school effort can be completed by next fall.

Here is the story on

Dist 51 School Board Approves Charter School Effort

April 20, 2011

Congrats to the group of that went to the school board meeting yesterday evening. They were able to successfully present their case for changing Glade Park School to a charter school, and getting some flexibility on the timeline. The District 51 School Board asked staff to draft a resolution to put Glade Park on the fast track to charter status, bypassing deadlines and other red tape. Great news! (KKCO)
Down But Not Out, Glade Park School Eyes Charter Status

When District 51 announced its first round of budget cuts this week, the Glade Park Community School was on the on the chopping block. But rather than throw in the towel, residents of the small town say they'll work up a sweat as they fight to keep it open. Reporter: Tim Ciesco Email Address:

KKCO Story on School Board Meeting

District 51 Budget Cuts Loom

April 19, 2011

Unfortunately the announced funding cuts for School Dist. 51 include Glade Park School. But there is a Plan B, which is to start a charter school. Supporters are asked to attend the school board meeting tonight at 6:00 pm, where a letter of intent will be hand delivered, formally asking the board to waive standard charter application deadlines so that they can complete the process this summer and avoid losing enrollment for fall. Hopefully they can at least be flexible.
D51 Lays Out Budget Cuts; Positions Cut But No Layoffs School District 51 says it plans to eliminate 42 teaching and certified staff positions to help close a projected $10 million budget hole.
Posted: 5:18 PM Apr 18, 2011
Reporter: Tim Ciesco
Email Address:

KKCO Story on Dist 51 Budget Cuts

April 14, 2010

As District 51 wrestles with drastic budget cuts, there is concern that Glade Park may loose it's school. After all the effort and hopes that went into establishing it, that would be a real heartbreaker.

Here is an article that just appeared on the KJCT website:

Dist. 51 Budget Cuts Threaten Glade Park School

A dream has become a reality!

Glade Park Community School began its first session of classes on Wednesday, August 19th, 2009, in a modular building. It was the culmination of the vision and hard work by four local moms: Karen Foster, Tree Laurita-Humbert, Diane Branham and Karen Bechtel. Congratulation to them, and those who have helped and donated to the cause!

Now the 2010 fall class has expanded to 22 students, and is already stretching the temporary modular building. We are competing for a Pepsi grant and need your help! It is based on endurance - everyone needs to vote once a day. Follow the link to the school website - for the link to vote. Thanks!

We need your votes in a Pepsi grant competition! Click here to vote!

"Glade Park School Proposal Decision Expected Soon"

Posted: 6:03 PM May 15, 2008, 11 News website
Last Updated: 6:03 PM May 15, 2008
Reporter: Jeff Morrow
Email Address:

"A school proposal for the town of Glade Park is in full swing right now, and is awaiting approval from School District 51. A meeting took place Thursday night at
Glade Park Community Center to discuss the proposal submitted to the District 51 school system.
Glade Park is a rural town with only one store. But recently some families believe the town needs a school building for grades K through 2nd grade.
Reaction from the community is mixed about the new school. Some opponents of the plan were worried that their taxes would increase in order to fund the school. Other's worry there really is not much interest in the community.
Proponents of the plan argue Glade Park residents already pay taxes to District 51 schools, and if there were an increase it would only be a slight increase. Another concern is the bus trip from Glade Park to the Grand Valley. During the winter the trip is known to take over an hour. Many Glade Park children wake up at 5 o'clock to make their bus and do not get home until 4:30. Jeff Kirtland with School District 51 says the school board is close to making a decision on the proposal. He says, "So the board is in a place now where they are expected to make a decision. They've been holding off on making that decision as they're gathering information."
The proposal is not on the next school board meeting. Kirtland says the proposal could end up on the following board agenda."

Glade Park School Community Meeting

Jan 12, '08 Community Meeting

Karen Foster, Tree Laurita-Humbert, Diane Branham

"Glade Park School 'will probably happen.' Daily Sentinel, Jan. 23, '08

Free Press story on Glade Park School meeting

Date: Saturday, January 12
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Place: Glade Park Community Services Building: just north of Glade Park Store on 16 1/2 Rd.

"Members of the School Board, Superintendent Tim Mills, Assistant Superintendent Steve Schultz, and many interested community members, educators, and families will be there to gather information, ask questions and to show support."
---Grand Junction Waldorf website

Monday, January 7 - Forum

Hello,and thank you for your interest in posting the information about the proposed school. I would like to clarify a couple of things about your review of the notice to the Waldorf Blog spot. As I mentioned in my notice the school is inspired, in part, by Waldorf methods. It is not intended to be a Waldorf school. There is information about Waldorf as well as other instructional influences on the

What is important about this school, however, is that it is a community-based school which focuses on place-based education. That is,the curriculum will be influenced and inspired by the geology, history, natural world, and community of Glade Park. The other methods are drawn from techniques and strategies that fit well with such a philosophy. Ultimately, however, it is our hope that the school will be a public school, and, therefore, follow Colorado State Standards and Mesa County School District's expectations.

I do hope that you and your readers attend the upcoming meeting to inform yourselves about this very positive and, yes, accessible school for our youngest community members.
Tree Laurita-Humbert

Open Letter From Tree Laurita-Humbert

Dear Ms. Moorland,
I have responded to your website via the blog, but am not sure where, exactly, it was sent. In any case, I apologize if this is redundant, I just want to be sure that you get my response. Firstly, I want to thank you for your interest in the proposed school and for putting information about it on your website. In the perfect world the school will be a community school, therefore, it is of upmost importance that the community be informed about its development through whatever means possible. It is great that you have offered your website as a vehicle for this news.

I am impressed to learn that you and your siblings have attended school on Glade Park and would love the opportunity to speak with you about your childhood here. I am always interested in learning more form the homesteaders and their descendants of any community--you are the living history of a place! I also appreciate what you have said in your writing posted on your website about the impending change on Glade Park... "I decided that we cannot completely stop progress, and it might as well be someone with deep roots here to approach this respectfully." Although I am not a descendant of a homesteader and merely a 'newcomer' to the Park I share your reverence for the history, community and natural world so rich in this area. This is why I have come to love this area and have organized with others, many not 'newcomers', rather, 'descendants', the proposed school. Why not create an opportunity for our children to grow to love and cherish this land as those who spent their childhood here do? I feel it is an great opportunity to educate and inform our youngest community members about the treasure they behold here; to become stewards of this land.

The educational philosophies of which you read (i.e. Waldorf) are simply methods which support the practice of teaching in a manner that is closely tied to the land and community. What is essential for the school is that it provides a 'place-based' education for the children who reside here. That is that kids are educated in a community school learning in and from the environment in which they live: the community, history, natural world...

I encourage you to really read the vision and proposed curriculum on the website to inform yourself more on what this entails. I am happy to discuss this further in real time. However, it is important to note here that the school is intended to be a public school. This is why we have approached the Mesa County School Board. If the school is supported by the district then it is obligated to follow Colorado State Standards as well as the expectations of the Mesa County School District. In any case, the purpose and intention of the school is to be inclusive and communal for all children on Glade Park as well as for those families in Mesa County who want a choice for the education of their child/children.

I hope that his clarifies your understanding of the intention and vision of the school. If you attend the meeting on Saturday I would be happy to make your acquaintance in person.
Tree Laurita-Humbert

Dear Tree,
I appreciate that you have taken the time to help clarify the Glade Park school concept for us. It is evident that you and your organizing group must be very dedicated, as it always takes a huge, sustained push to get the ball rolling on a new undertaking. The least the community can do is take some time to learn about your plans, and not rush to judgment.

It seems wise to first take a small bite and chew and digest it before moving to bigger undertakings. Your plan to start with K-2 has merit just based on the benefit of the small children not having to spend so much time riding a bus around.

I would be dishonest if I did not admit that the emphasis on "place" has hit a harmonious note with me. Now I will have a hard time being objective! In fact, I am struck by how your approach correlates with my recent blog entries on my experiences at Coates Creek school, and the value of a Glade Park school, and Pinon Mesa 4-H club. I emphasized the value of the kids having an opportunity to know about and be connected to the place they live, which correlates with what you are describing.

By the way, the picture on the flier you posted on the Post Office door hit very close to home. It is a picture of Coates Creek school when my grandmother, Katherine Westcott was the teacher. The picture included 2 aunts and an uncle, and others who are like family.

It is also reassuring that the basic mainstream curriculum will be present, so that the children will be able to make a smooth transition as they move on to other schools. As one who made the transition from Coates Creek School into Grand Junction Jr. High and High School, I realize how important it is to be able to stay afloat academically while you are adjusting to the new setting.

Remember that everyone's definition of a "newcomer" is someone who arrived after they did. It is all relative, and dynamic. Everyone has value. Returning after so many years, I am finding that Glade Park present is not as different from Glade Park past as I thought it would be. Which is good news.
Sincerely, Deb Moorland

For More Information:

Grand Junction Waldorf website

Daily Sentinel/Gary Harmon column 1/7/08

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