The October Guffey Community Charter School board of directors meeting is the time for the teachers’ presentation of their teaching materials and curriculum for the school year. For a number of years this has also been a school open house and community pot luck, with students presenting the teaching materials. This year, due to COVID-19, the teachers just made their presentations in their classrooms to the board and any interested parent or community member, of which there were none.
The presentations started with the middle school classes. Jenny Hartman has seven in-person students this year. The class starts with a daily warm-up, then moves on to computers with Kristie Satterly and math with Chris Peterson, who is also teaching an honorary algebra class.
Literature reading is coordinated with the library for books and the history which the class is studying. This year they are studying the 1600s – 1900s. Their literature classes so far have been mostly outside next-door at Sarah’s Place at the Bakery.
The class is also studying grammar and science. For science they will be studying science and technology, earth science and space science.
There are no sixth graders in middle school this year, but once sixth graders complete the Greek and Latin class, they can go on to study another foreign language. The class is also studying writing.
The middle school students can take three electives if they choose, out of sewing, art, first trimester ham radios, second tri computers and third tri welding.
The next teacher presentation was Lynda MacDonald’s 3 – 5 grades class. MacDonald has nine in-person students this year. MacDonald also said how glad and grateful everyone was to be back in the classroom.
MacDonald tries to tie all her studies together. The class is studying from the early explorers to the Constitution in social studies. For writing, they are putting themselves in an explorer’s shoes and writing journal entries for the explorer. The class is also learning how to write a complete answer.
For current events they are learning about how the election process works. Also, periodicals can be biased, but that opinions and ideas are OK to have.
The class is also studying cursive writing, phonic spelling and grammar.
In math they are studying decimals and graphing. They are studying the methods of science and just completed a mask investigation they designed following the scientific method, to see how effective various kinds of masks might be in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Next they will be studying the body.
The last presentation was new teacher Elizabeth Jackson’s K – 2 grades class. Jackson has eight in-person students: three kindergarteners and five first graders. There are no second graders.
The class starts with a morning worksheet learning about the date, their name, colors, grammar, the clock and money. Then they take a brisk run around the outside track to work off some steam and settle into class.
They start with grammar, correcting three sentences which have errors in them, and study the calendar. While they are reading they have a snack. In their journals they are learning how to get their ideas onto paper. They also work on handwriting.
The class have four special classes during the week: Monday, art; Tuesday, music; Wednesday, show and tell; and Thursday, Zumba.
In reading they are learning one new letter per week. After lunch they have buddy books, where they have a reading partner.
Monday and Wednesday they study science, starting with, “What is science?” Tuesday and Thursday they have social studies, where they are learning types of land and geography. The first day of each class they learn a fact and the second day they apply and practice the fact they learned.
According to school Principal Martine Walker, Jackson is doing a good job and things seem to be going smoothly. Jackson is also going to Regis College to finish up her education and get her teaching credentials, so she is very busy. Hartman and MacDonald are helping her getting her course work done and have monthly mentorship meetings.
After the presentations, board president Frank Ruvo said it’s amazing what goes on in this small school.
As you can see, the school has a very rigorous curriculum and adheres to all federal and state laws regarding student education.
The school uses the Carver Method of charter school governance with policies, which are monitored regularly; each policy is monitored at least one time per year and some more often than that. All school policies and monitoring reports are on the school’s website, www.guffeyschool.org, available to all.
Over the summer the school had an audit by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. CBI was checking that the school was adequately complying with state laws regarding criminal record information, the collection, protection, and destruction thereof. CBI helped the school make a policy regarding this issue. Apparently the CBI is auditing all schools statewide.
Walker reported that the school was going to the library bi-monthly in their class groups with head librarian Rita Mick. There will be no Book Club this year.
The school will be having Halloween Day Oct. 29, starting with a trip to Colin Orchards in Canon City for cider and picking pumpkins. The hay rides and corn maze were doubtful, though. Then they would have a picnic and return to Guffey for the Halloween Parade to start around 2:30. The Guffey Garage will have a haunted house; the library will host Trunk-or-Treat; Rolling Thunder Cloud Café will be having special treats; The Corona’s at Freshwater will be hosting pumpkin carving and decorating; and Sarah’s Place at the Bakery will have special treats.
There will be no special Veteran’s Day program this year, but the students will be making some kind of care package or a craft item and cards to send out to veterans, said Walker.
In other matters the school board approved the agenda, the September meeting minutes and the consent agenda. The board also acknowledged receipt of the administrator and board self-monitoring reports. Board members present were Dean Wilson, Cathleen Van Egmond, Laura Owens, Chris Peterson and meeting chair Frank Ruvo.
The meeting adjourned at 6:21 p.m.