Indian Peaks working through first year under CSI |

Indian Peaks working through first year under CSI

Polly Gallagher (standing center), Outdoor Education, Wellness and Leadership Program Director for IPCS, goes over a lesson with students from Indian Peaks on the shores of Shadow Mountain Lake.
Courtesy photo |

The last year has been a time of change and transitions for Granby’s local charter school entity, Indian Peaks Charter School (IPCS).

Earlier this year, in the late winter and spring, administrators from Indian Peaks began working to formally transfer the school out of the jurisdiction of the East Grand School District (EGSD) and under the auspices of the Colorado Charter School Institute (CCSI).

The start of classes this fall marked the beginning of IPCS’s tenure as a school under the larger CCSI umbrella. Allison Beauvais, Director for IPCS, said the new school year is going well but IPCS is struggling to adjust to the funding changes resulting from their transfer to CCSI.

“Our funding has gone down,” Beauvais said.

“We were worried we were going to have to lay some people off. We are fundraising to make up that money and we are doing pretty good.”

But, then added, “We will not have to lay anyone off.”

Beauvais said IPCS recently started a sponsorship program whereby local businesses can sponsor IPCS and have their names listed on the school’s website and school event shirts. So far IPCS has managed to raise $4,200 through a total of eight local sponsors; working towards their overall goal of raising $10,000. The school’s website, provides a fundraising thermometer visually showing what portion of the overall $10,000 goal the school as already raised.

Additionally IPCS is planning to hold a fall fundraising event called the Fall Fest Fundraiser from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3 at Mountain Parks Electric in Granby. The event is open to the public, not just those attending IPCS. This is the first year the Fall Fest Fundraiser will not be held at the IPCS facilities on West Diamond Ave. and organizers hope more community residents will attend by holding the event at Mountain Parks rather than IPCS.

Director Beauvais said local businesses and organizations really came through for IPCS this year with their silent auction items.

Among the large contingent of items that will be up for auction are lift tickets to Winter Park, an overnight stay and breakfast for two a Devil’s Thumb and a multi-night stay at one of Winter Park Mountain Vacation Rental’s condos. Additionally Beauvais praised Alpine Lumber who has sponsored IPCS along with their donation of silent auction items.

The Fall Fest Chili Cook-off is likely to be a highlight of the evening. Contestants can enter either red or green chili for the contest. Those attending the Fall Fest Fundraiser can enjoy the selections offered by competing cooks and help judge the contest.

The total enrollment for IPCS this year is 25 students, slightly less than the 26.5 students enrolled in IPCS during the last academic year. Beauvais explained the half-student designation for enrollment results from kindergartners who attend school for half-a-day.

“Our numbers are not much lower than last year,” Beauvais said. “But we were hoping to get our numbers up. We had a big eighth-grade class that left last year. Trying to fill those slots was difficult.”

Indian Peaks continues to work through their transition to the CCSI and the school remains excited about the new outdoor expeditionary learning program the school is developing. The program is held every other Friday for students at Indian Peaks and focuses on taking students into an outdoor classroom environment for instruction.

“Our expeditionary program is going really well,” Beauvais said. “They (the students) have been out towards Grand Lake and Shadow Mountain Lake and the Pine Beach area. We are working in conjunction with the Grand Lake Rotary Club. They are working with the students to teach them about water.”

Beauvais said the students will soon be going to Rocky Mountain National Park for their expeditionary outings and sometime after Christmas when the snow is falling thick in the high country the students will begin going to the local ski hills to learn about winter sports and to work with the National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD). Later in the year the students will go through instructional courses on backcountry awareness and other life saving skills that can come in handy in the Rockies.

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