Kremmling – It’s back to school in West Grand
KREMMLING – West Grand students head back to school on Monday, Aug. 23, amid an interesting economic environment. Unlike East Grand, West Grand didn’t experience extreme budget cuts this year, and those that did occur were absorbed by eliminating Friday school and implementing new user fees for the building. “We didn’t raise activity fees or charge student fees, so we’re not hurting as bad as East Grand,” said Superintendent Kevin Chalfant.With Amendment 61 on the ballot November, however, Chalfant is worried that West Grand may not be able to borrow money to bridge the gap until taxes start coming in next April or May. Last year, the school district borrowed enough money for one month. To prepare for that possibility this year, Chalfant said he is planning to set aside $30,000 per month as a contingency plan. The school board has also voted to put a mill levy override on the ballot this year. “It should be and interesting year as far as the budget is concerned,” Chalfant said. Because of the concerns over the East Grand budget crisis, there has been some talk that students could start migrating west. In the past, the migration trend has moved in the opposite direction. Chalfant said that some students who were attending East Grand for sports will be returning to West Grand this year, but it’s possible that there will be little movement before Oct. 1 when the state counts student heads and allocates money based on that count. It could be disastrous, Chalfant said, if the ballot measures pass, East Grand may have to close and students begin flooding into West Grand after the Oct. 1 cutoff. High test scoresAcademically, the school is coming off a great year, Chalfant said. The results from the state’s standardized exams (CSAP) are back and West Grand High School ranked in the in the top 5 percent of the state, Chalfant said. “We exceeded the state average in all seven categories, some by 30 points.”While Chalfant said he hasn’t seen all the results, the middle school also showed good progress this year. Football kickoffThe football season kicks off Sept. 3 with a new kind of game. The Mustangs will be fielding only eight players rather than 12, following different rules and playing different teams. The new league should help the smaller school be more competitive, and it’s said that an eight-man game is faster and more exciting. The Mustangs also have a new volleyball coach this year. Chalfant said “We are anxious about getting off to a good start with that.””I’m looking forward to having the kids back and getting into the fall routine,” Chalfant said. “The teachers are here and they’re excited to go. This year is going to be lean, but it’s still going to be good.”
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