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  • Church donates pajamas to all Jackson students

    Posted by KIM DESMOND on 1/13/2021

    The congregation of Bethel Baptist Church has a special place in their hearts for Jackson Elementary School.


    For years, the church has partnered with the school to provide mentoring through Kids Hope, as well as provide donated goods and services to the students and staff.


    “Bethel Baptist is a true blessing to the staff and students at Jackson,” said Jackson Principal Ingrid Dillehay. “They have supported our students and staff through Kid's Hope, conference meals, school supplies, coats, and anything else we need. We appreciate their love and support for all they do for us.”  


    The pandemic has limited the church’s ability to interact with students and staff this year. In addition, the construction of the new entryway at the school prevented a welcome back event the church planned to host outside the school for returning students and staff. Still, church members kept looking for ways to support the school. 


    Then one night, Bethel Baptist Pastor Aaron Adams had a dream. 


    “I woke up in the middle of the night with an image of my oldest daughter, who is now a high school student, and she was wearing these pink, fleece pajamas with monkeys on them that she had when she was little,” Pastor Adams said. “I started to think about what that memory represented.”


    When his daughter was young, Pastor Adams and his wife lived in a small, very drafty apartment in Chicago. In the winter, the wind would blow through cracks in the door and window seals. Those pink pajamas were important for keeping this daughter warm at night.


    “The only reason she was warm in the winter was because of those pajamas, and because of the kindness of others,” Pastor Adams said. “So I began to think: What if we made enough pajamas for everybody at Jackson.What if that is why I had that dream?”


    The Bethel Baptist parishioners loved the idea. Bethel Office Administrator Katie Stewart knew some people who liked to sew and organized the effort. In the end, more than 200 hand sewn pajamas and more than 100 purchased pajama sets were donated to the school, for every student in their own size.


    Before they took the pajamas to the school, Pastor Adams said they brought all the pajamas to the front of the church one Sunday so the congregation could see what they were donating.


    “They prayed that the students would feel warmth and love,” Pastor Adams said. “People were sort of in awe. It’s not a whole lot of people to make that number of pajamas, but they did it."


    Kindergarten through second grade students, who returned to in-person learning this week, were given the pajamas. The students were excited as they unwrapped the packages, holding up their new pajamas and pulling them on over their school uniforms.


    “It was so cute,” Ms. Dillehay said. “There were squeals of joy! The kids loved their pajamas.”


    Knowing that every student has a warm set of pajamas fills Pastor Adams with joy, he said.


    “It is an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and community. We are a community. We are supposed to love each other,” Pastor Adams said. “We are not just here to meet on Sundays. We are here to make a difference. We want to do that for Jackson as much as we can, and for our whole community.”

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  • District 6 graduation rate continues to rise

    Posted by KIM DESMOND on 1/12/2021

    Amid a pandemic and a move to remote learning, the on-time graduation rate continues to rise in Greeley-Evans School District 6 and exceed the state average.


    Graduation rates for Colorado school districts were released by the Colorado Department of Education today, and for the third year in a row, Greeley-Evans School District 6 has exceeded the state average for the number of students graduating within four years of starting high school.


    The 2020 on-time graduation rate for District 6 is 82 percent, exceeding the state average of 81.9 percent. The completion rate for District 6 – which includes students who take longer than four years to graduate – is 83.6 percent. A total of 1,310 students graduated from District 6 high schools 2020.


    The 2020 graduation rate is slightly better than the 2019 on-time graduation rate of 81.7 percent and is a significant increase over the 2017 graduation rate of 78.7 percent.


    “District 6 continues to trend in the right direction with on-time graduation rates, despite the challenges of the last year,” said Superintendent Dr. Deirdre Pilch. “This is a real the testament to the determination and hard work of our students, staff and families who continue to support student learning – both in person and remotely – during this pandemic.


    District 6 also exceeds the state graduation rate for Caucasian, Latino and Black students, for students who live in economically disadvantaged households, for students with limited English language skills, and in several other areas.


    Dr. Pilch said that District 6 still has work to do to ensure more students graduate on time, and that will be significant work in the district’s new strategic plan, Innovation2030, which will be finalized later this Spring.


    “We really can’t rest until all our students graduate on time with the skills they need to be successful in higher education or their chosen career,” Dr. Pilch said. “That is the big work we need to tackle as a system over the next few years. Every student needs to have an individual plan that gets them to high school graduation and beyond.”


    The dropout rate for District 6 also went down this year to 1.6 percent from 2 percent in 2019. The state average dropout rate is 1.8 percent.


    Here is the graduation rate by school in District 6:

    • Greeley Central High School: 87.2 percent
    • Early College Academy: 100 percent
    • Jefferson High School/Greeley-Evans Alternative Program: 49.3 percent
    • Northridge High School: 89.7 percent
    • Greeley West High School: 88.1 percent
    • Frontier Academy High School: 100 percent
    • Union Colony Preparatory: 90 percent
    • University High School: 99.3 percent
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  • District 6 seeks applicants for MLO oversight committee

    Posted by KIM DESMOND on 1/5/2021

    Greeley-Evans School District 6 is seeking applicants to fill two vacancies on its Mill Levy Override Citizens' Oversight Committee, which serves as a community accountability group for revenue collected and spent from the 2017 Mill Levy Override. 


    The MLO Citizens' Oversight Committee is responsible for ensuring the actual spending of the funds from the 2017 mill levy override is consistent with the intent of the ballot measure. This committee was formed to ensure the ransparency, openness and fidelity of District 6 officials, including charter schools, in the spending of the Mill Levy Override revenue. 


    The Citizens' Oversight Committee is composed of six District 6 residents from diverse backgrounds with diverse experiences. There are currently two vacancies, and new members will be selected by current members of the Committee. The District 6 Chief Financial Officer and Finance Director are included in advisory positions to the committee. The Superintendent or other executive leaders participate at the request of the committee. The committee has established its role and purpose, which will govern the actions of the committee, and members must be willing to agree to an ethics policy statement. 


    Applicants must live in the boundary of Greeley-Evans School District 6. The application form is available here.


    The committee will meet three to four times per year. The next meeting will be in March 2021. Applicants must commit to serve for at least two years. 


    Applications will be accepted until 4 p.m. on Friday, January 22, 2021. 

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  • Prairie Heights Middle School receives national award

    Posted by KIM DESMOND on 11/23/2020

    Prairie Heights Middle School is one of only two schools in teh nation to receive the Rise Award from Summit Learning, a program that has been a part of the schools' successful Innovation School plan. 


    Summit Learning is a program that drives student engagement, strong student-teacher connections and mastery-based learning. It is used in nearly 400 schools across the nation, including Prairie Heights and Franklin Middle School in District 6. 


    Prairie Heights implemented the Summit Learning program in 2017. Since then, Prairie Heights has seen measurable success, including improved state performance rankings, increased test scores, and decreased discipline referrals. Prairie Heights' performance rating from the Colroado Department of Education rose from the second-lowest-ranked framework to the highest-rated ranking after the first year of implementation. 


    Prairie Heights staff were honored at a virtual celebration Wednesday afternoon, which included staff members from Gradient Learning, the non-profit that leads Summit Learning. Principal Stephanie Knox said during the celebration that her staff is the reason for the recognition. 


    "I have the plasure of working alongside a team of people who always want to do what is best for kids," Knox said during the celebration. "I really mean it when I say they have put the extremely hard work into this."


    Staff members from gradient Learning said Prairie Heights has become a model Summit school that is often used as the example for other schools of how to implement the program successfully. 


    "Congratulations to Prairie Heights for receiving our inaugual Rise Award," said Andrew Goldin, Executive Director of Gradient Learning. "This school has created trememndous programs that allow students to reach their full potential, leading to a successful future. This recognition is well-deserved, and Prairie Heights is a model of success that we and other schools can all look to in terms of ensuring students are thriving."


    The Rise Award affirms the hard work of the educators, students and families that come together to constantly improve the quality of teaching and learning while creating a safe and welcoming school where students master challenging and engaging experiences. 

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  • Greeley, Evans leaders produce COVID-19 PSA

    Posted by KIM DESMOND on 11/23/2020

    Health care, government and education leaders in Greeley and Evans have joined together to create a public service announcement urging residents to take precautions and help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Weld County.


    Margo Karsten, President, Banner Health Western Region; Deirdre Pilch, Superintendent, Greeley-Evans School District 6; John Gates, Mayor of Greeley; Dr. Mark Wallace, Chief Clinical Officer for Sunrise Community Health; Marilyn Schock, President of UCHealth Greeley Hospital; Leah Bornstein,  President, Aims Community College; and Andy Feinstein, President, University of Northern Colorado each filmed segments for the public service announcement.


    These leaders are urging Weld County residents to take extra precautions to help stop the rapid spread of COVID-19 in order to help hospitals from reaching capacity and overwhelming health care workers, to protect loved ones from contracting the virus, and to prevent serious illness and death among residents in our communities.


    Weld County was moved on Sunday, November 22 to the Red Status on the COVID-19 Dial by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. As of Sunday, the CDPHE reports Weld County’s positivity rate at 16.4 percent, with 1,242 cases of COVID-19 being reported in Weld County over the past two weeks.


    These leaders urge everyone to share this message on social media to get the word out about the seriousness of the pandemic and the negative impact it is having on our communities. The message is published on the Greeley Schools YouTube page at

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