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Two Rivers Community School to join Roaring Fork School District

Students slide down a frozen staircase during recess at Two Rivers Community School on Jan. 13.
Rich Allen/Post Independent

Glenwood Springs charter school Two Rivers Community School is slated to become the 14th educational institution in the Roaring Fork School District.

After a unanimous approval of the K-8’s authorization application Wednesday night, the district and school now have 90 days to negotiate a contract for authorization beginning the fall semester. The application process that began more than a year ago enters its next phase.

“This vote sets the stage for expanded collaboration and communication between our organizations and for the benefit of the entire community,” Two Rivers Head of School Jamie Nims said.



The district stands to gain oversight of the school — which has served primarily as a pipeline to Glenwood Springs High School. It will control enrollment procedures and measure performance standards.

In turn, the school stands to gain a financial bump that could exceed 20% per pupil. By joining the district, Two Rivers gains access to its mill levy override funding.




The funding is based on student headcount within district borders, regardless if they attend a district school or not — including Two Rivers. The only way for the school to receive those funds, however, is to be a member of the district.

Nims previously told the Post Independent that this increase in funding will allow them to be competitive in staff hiring and retention.

But, as Two Rivers Social-Emotional Coordinator Amy Spradlin said during public comment, there is a belief that the partnership will have two-way benefits, leveraging the district’s resources and the charter school’s strengths.

“I really see it being a ripple effect if we can join forces together, and the collaboration can happen,” Spradlin said. “Through that ripple, we can utilize and support one another for the best outcome possible.”

The resolution was not approved without amending. Board member Jasmin Ramirez initially requested language be added that two board members be represented at negotiations. After some discussion, the board and Superintendent Rob Stein decided on check-ins with the board during the negotiation process to satisfy the board’s ability to provide conditions for an acceptable contract and Stein’s ability to “move quickly” through the negotiations.

Language was also changed to make the board the ultimate executor of the contract, after initially Stein and the district were tasked with negotiation and execution.

Board member Kenny Teitler brought up two conditions for an acceptable contract during the discussion, including a stipulation that Two Rivers increase its diversity among its student population to align with district levels. The other pertained to giving Roaring Fork School District students an advantage in the enrollment lottery at Two Rivers over other applicants. Two Rivers has a minority population of around 40% compared with the district’s rate of 60%.

Two Rivers began classes in 2014. To this point, it has been authorized by the Colorado Charter School Institute. Nims said that discussions about Roaring Fork authorization began with a presentation to the district’s board in 2013. It did not apply for authorization until fall 2020, withdrawing that initial application due to financial uncertainty brought on by the pandemic.

Reporter Rich Allen can be reached at 970-384-9131 or rallen@postindependent.com.


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