Westside schools: Holmes named a ‘School to Watch’

       Holmes Middle School will be recognized as a Colorado “School to Watch” at a ceremony March 7, with District 11 Superintendent Sharon Thomas scheduled to be in attendance. The award is from the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform, which initiated the Schools to Watch effort in 1999 as a way to highlight high-performing schools.
       Part of the selection process included a lengthy application submitted early in January, and a day-long site visit by an interview team Jan. 19. The forum cited Holmes in the areas of academic excellence, social equity, developmental responsiveness and organizational structures for middle schools.
       Holmes will also be honored at a banquet June 22 in Washington, D.C. at the National Forum Schools to Watch: High Performance Middle Grades Annual Conference.
       More information about Schools to Watch may be found online at www.schoolstowatch.org/what.htm.
       For the second time in three years, Holmes Middle School has invited feeder elementary schools to play in a concert at Holmes.
       Musicians from Chipeta and Trailblazer are scheduled to come to the Holmes gym Tuesday, March 7 at 7 p.m.
       The elementaries will play their own music and also with Holmes' sixth-grade band, according to Ken Shane, the Holmes band director.
       Also scheduled to play that night will be the Holmes seventh-grade concert band.
       “It's a chance for the younger kids to hear what we do at Holmes,” Shane said. “We hope it will make them feel a little more relaxed.”
       Chipeta and Trailblazer students are from the neighborhoods north of Garden of the Gods Road.
       Earlier this year, Holmes musicians were successful in band events away from the school. At the annual Chaparral Jazz Festival in Parker last December, the eighth- grade jazz band took first for the fourth straight year, and Chris Bowler and Ian Martinez (both on trumpet) were singled out for individual recognition.
       At the Wasson Jazz Festival this month, both the seventh and eighth grade jazz bands received the highest-possible Superior 1 rating. Honored as outstanding soloists were Alexander Cipoletti, tenor sax; and Ryan Logan, guitar.
       Cold weather prevented what would have been Coronado High School's third annual Senior Citizen Dance Feb. 17.
       The live-band event, planned by Coronado's Student Council as a community outreach, will not be rescheduled because of school scheduling issues, according to student advisor Josue Palacios.
       However, he said, the cancellation is “just for this year. We plan on having one for sure next year.”
       He said the feeling was that the icy, nearly zero temperatures would be a health threat to the senior citizens, who had largely been invited through area retirement homes.
       The students had bought decorations and food for the dance. Some of the decorations can be reused, while most of the food was returned, Palacios said.

Westside Pioneer article/press releases