In the schools: Don’t look down now |

In the schools: Don’t look down now

Frank Reeves
East Grand superintendent

Great Happenings this week in East Grand schools.

• Through the National Showcase Schools awards, Capturing Kids’ Hearts recognizes and celebrates schools that go the extra mile each day, creating the social-emotional safety on school campuses that is conducive to learning.

Granby Elementary is one of 325 U.S. school campuses that have been selected as a 2020-2021 Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase School. Because of the rigor of the evaluation process, the Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase School award is both a high aspiration and an exemplary recognition of excellence. Congratulations, Granby Elementary!

• The East Grand Middle School eighth-grade brain bowl team of Auggie Roehrs, Eli Boomer, and Nathan Chua has qualified for nationals! They competed in the Western Regional Academic challenge, and advanced to the finals. This qualified them to compete at the national level!

This means that twice in two years a team from East Grand Middle School has qualified for a national competition. This speaks very highly of the quality of education that our students get here at all levels. For a small, public school in a rural area, this is a high honor.

Preliminary rounds will be the weekend of May 29, and the boys are very excited and proud to represent EGSD. It will be a virtual competition, and they’ll compete at the middle school against teams from all over the country.

• The middle and high school athletic departments are excited to announce that we will host a 2021-22 Sports Physical clinic on June 4. This will be a great opportunity for students to complete their physical exams for the upcoming year. Times will be announced later in May.

GES science students are hatching chickens in school to learn about life cycles.
Courtesy EGSD


• Granby Elementary School has chickens who are hatching. The science students are studying life cycles and are excited to see the process.

• Fifth-graders from Miss Bankert’s class at Granby Elementary School are excited to announce that the EGSD District Health Committee has graciously contributed to their Playground Improvement Project through grant funds to make additional safety improvements!

The wonderful nursing staff of EGSD, who all share a role in the GES nurse’s office, shared their data-driven concerns of areas on the playground. This led to a shift in focus to improve some of our high-impact areas with playground mats to make falls a little softer. Miss Bankert’s class met with a playground representative who walked through the playground to notice additional wear and tear concerns. Based on input from all involved, the class is happy to report two slides, a slide end-piece, ladder pieces, a tire swing, the wooden bridge, and the ground area under the monkey bars are all going to be replaced or improved!

THANK YOU to all in the community who have supported this group of fifth-graders in their Arch-A-Thon fundraiser and with encouragement. Be on the lookout for a GES Playground Work Day that will be organized once equipment is shipped!

The Crew group traveled to Utah for its annual canyoneering trip last week. During the excursion, students embraced the weather and scenery as they faced their fears and pushed themselves to meet their goals.
Courtesy EGSD

• Crew traveled to Utah for our annual canyoneering trip last week. Students embraced the beautiful weather and stunning scenery while they challenged themselves mentally and physically. We first explored the sandstone of the San Rafael Swell by hiking up the slickrock to Skylight Arch. Students could opt to do a 100-foot free hanging rappel after dropping through the skylight. They faced their fears and pushed themselves to meet their goals to find themselves enjoying the experience of dangling above the petroglyphs and vistas in the alcove.

Students then hiked Little Horseshoe canyon to get a feel for the narrows and movements needed for canyoneering. The class ascended Ding Canyon and Descended Dang Canyon. It required a great deal of teamwork, determination, and problem-solving, but the Crew students came together to support each other and move safely through each obstacle.

Finally, different groups took on a challenge of choice in Bluejohn Canyon. One group opted for a descent down the Little Bluejohn Canyon, which required four rappels through the winding and narrow parts of the canyon. Passing through “The Cathedral,” we couldn’t help but stand in awe at the towering, sinuous canyon walls that were high and narrow enough to block the sky from view.

A recent trip to Utah taken by Crew allowed students to do a 100-foot free hanging rappel.
Courtesy EGSD

They then ascended the main fork, climbing 100 vertical feet by stemming, chimneying, and employing the canyoneering techniques we learned in previous days. Students again pushed themselves through discomfort, fear, and fatigue to reach the top of the canyon with a feeling of collective achievement and celebration.

Group 2 enjoyed picking their way through the desert and canyon terrain of West Bluejohn Canyon. They twisted and turned through the wash down towards the slot canyons below. The leisurely pace encouraged taking in all the dried river bed had to offer; layers of history in the rock walls, scurrying and slithering wildlife, and the warming sun from above. The last night allowed for stories to be shared and a lasting bond to be forged over an open campfire.

We want to thank Mountain Parks Electric, who made the experience possible with a grant that allowed us to purchase the gear needed for technical climbing and rappelling. We also want to thank the MPHS Special Ed Department, which sent outdoor education specialist Katie Bode with us to support the trip.

This week, Crew is wrapping up our annual art section with local artist Howard Neville at the YMCA-Snow Mountain Ranch. Howard is a local treasure who is happy to guide our students on an artistic journey that lets us explore different media and learn about art as expression and healing. We are honored and grateful to learn from him and make creations that inspire us to be ourselves.

• Fraser Valley Elementary Art Show is on display at the Fraser Public Library through May 20. Please stop by the library during regular business hours to enjoy art work from kindergarten through fifth-grade students. I am so proud of all our young artists!

• Support student Art! Enjoy the artwork by students from kindergarten to high school seniors at the Student Art Show. The show runs from now to May 13 in the Community Room at the Granby Library. See 2D and 3D pieces from each school and every grade level.

Fifth-graders at FVE stayed in cohort groups as they ran businesses, made business goals together, and successfully spent money in their own town called “AmeriTowne.”
Courtesy EGSD

• Fifth-graders at Fraser Valley Elementary put their financial literacy skills to work as they ran their own town at AmeriTowne. We’ve been preparing for this experience for the past few months.

Students applied for jobs and Isaac learned that being a doctor is harder than it seems. Students stayed in their cohort groups as they ran businesses, made business goals together, and successfully spent money in town using their checkbooks, debit cards, and cash.

Rocco shared what he learned and said, “Don’t spend all of your money at once in the real world and stay on budget.”

Elana shared, “I had a great time and I wish we could go back to AmeriTowne again tomorrow.”

Students at Fraser Valley Elementary learned that some jobs are harder than they look as the fifth-graders worked on a project that had them create their own town.
Courtesy EGSD
Homegrown Talent Initiative news

• The Virtual Career Fair for MPHS Sophomores and WGHS Sophomore and Juniors will occur May 3-6

• This school year East+West Grand School Districts will have had 62 students out in our community in internships

• 58 Grand County businesses hosted interns this school year. Thank you to all the businesses who took time out of their day to impact a high school student’s life!

• Sophomores and Juniors at MPHS and WGHS participated in a presentation from HTI (Homegrown Talent Initiative) and Grand County HIgher Ed regarding job shadow and internship opportunities they have next school year. For a copy of this presentation please email

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