Smell that? It just may be Lobo Bistro.

dsc_0092Schools have always sought to balance academic education with hands on, life experience. One way Rocky Mountain High School students achieve experience is through a consumer concepts class called Lobo Bistro. Teacher Chris Rosazza has transformed his enjoyment of cooking into a program that teaches students what it takes to plan, budget, shop for, prepare and serve a meal. Students spend an entire semester learning and practicing what it takes to coordinate a lunch service at a student run restaurant. They are assigned job roles such as host, manager, set-up/clean up, wait staff and cook. The early part of each week is spent preparing for the meal so that when Thursday rolls around students are ready to prepare and serve lunch to staff who have come to enjoy the bistro. What was once a classroom/kitchen is transformed into a comfortable, cozy, dimly-lit bistro. Patrons are simply asked to make a $5 donation to help offset the cost associated with their meal. Even if students decide the restaurant industry is not for them, they are gaining confidence and experience in their cooking abilities. Job experience, life experience and the wafting scent of bacon, what could be better?

 

Poudre School District Integrated Services

Director: Sarah Belleau

2407 Laporte Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80521

Rocky Mountain High School ACE program.

The Alternative Cooperative Education program at DSC_0356 (2)Rocky Mountain High School is a
constant buzz of students and machines. Their visionary and teacher, Kim Nigro, is in constant motion. She and the Rocky team have built a culture where everyone is welcome and cared for. They are focused on preparing students for the future after high school.

 
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work is a mix of classroom instruction/projects and hands on work experience. As with many ACE programs in Poudre School District, the Rocky ACE program seeks to provide students with the opportunity to try out and build on skills in a variety of job trades. Rocky’s entrepreneurial section of the ACE program is called Rock It. Rock It runs a variety of businesses, including a snack shop, merchandise etching, t-shirt printing and gardening in their brand new Geo-Dome.

Poudre School District Director of Integrated Services Sarah Belleau shared, “RMHS is known for the entrepreneurial opportunities that the ACE program provides.  Kim Nigro is creative in establishing small businesses that the students in the ACE programs run.  Kim’s ACE class is full of enthusiastic students who can describe their businesses to anyone who enters.”

Poudre School District Integrated Services                                                                Director: Sarah Belleau                                                                                                2407 Laporte Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80521

Unified Basketball is back.

Last week kicked off the Special Olympics Unified Basketball season. Click here for 2016 season schedule.

 

Poudre School District Integrated Services                                                                Director: Sarah Belleau                                                                                                2407 Laporte Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80521

Week 1 – Unified Flag Football Photos

Photos from the Flag Football program made possible through a partnership between Poudre School District athletic departments and Special Olympic of Colorado.

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Poudre School District Integrated Services                                                                 Director: Sarah Belleau                                                                                                                    2407 Laporte Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80521

My day at Rocky Mountain High School.

2015 Rocky HS 076The halls were a buzz at Rocky Mountain High School. It signified the end of the school year coming and school check-out for students who were graduating the following weekend. I was invited to visit the Alternative Cooperative Education 2015 Rocky HS 077or ACE class and learn about gardens they were planting collaboratively with student council for the community. Instead of slowing down in anticipation of the end, RMHS teachers were not only continuing with their great work, but also starting new projects to teach job skills and how to give back to the community. I went into the day already completely impressed by the opportunities they provide for students and their future but I had no idea what a special culture they have created.

ACE at Rocky Mountain High School consists of many moving parts. There is an etching machine, where students make a variety of merchandise which they are 2015 Rocky HS 081able to sell for a profit; there is a concession stand, The Rock Stop, which students in the ACE program run and operate. The list of employment experiences goes on and on. There will be time to talk about all of the wonderful work and real life education opportunities within the program, but that will come at a later date. This article is focusing on the staff who create the amazing experiences for students at RMHS.

Through the many hallways of Rocky, tucked away you can hear the hum of an 2015 Rocky HS 093etching machine and fans. This particular day was filled with excitement for those that were moving on and a sigh of relief for those whose fate had been up in the air. In a classroom full of life I found the desks of Kim Nigro and Patti Haugen.  It feels like visiting old friends, even though these are woman I have just met. They are beyond welcoming.

I had an opportunity to witness students coming and going, completing check out sheets which would release them from high school as they knew it. It felt like… a home. The busy day did not stop; work had to continue so that products would 2015 Rocky HS 085be on time and schedules would be kept but when students came to say goodbye work paused. Kim and Patti, as proud as though the students were their own children, gushed over each one who came through. It was sincere and loving. Students had found a home and people who loved them in a critical time between youth and young adulthood. Many who may have little support and encouragement at home came to this room, with these people, and found exactly what they were missing.

Kim pointed out a few young men whom she had known since they were in elementary school. Years ago, when the young men were in elementary school, Kim had been their teacher. Over the years Kim moved on to teach in the high 2015 Rocky HS 084school. The last of those K-5th graders she had once known were bringing sheets for her to sign, signaling the end of their time together. As Kim and Patti talked about their students, I could see their heartbreak for what some students had been through and pride for how far they had come.  They beamed as they discussed each student. As students walked away Kim would say, “just keep moving forward, not back.” These simple words carried weight as students knew what she meant and with that left with smiles and two cheerleaders beckoning “we love you”.

When I eagerly accepted this position with Integrated Services, I did so because I believe Poudre School District has some of the finest programs, with teachers 2015 Rocky HS 111who care about students and their futures. Yet this day, I was blown away at how much that love for people drives these two individuals. Kim and Patti chose to finish the school year strong, giving all that they have to their kids. I hope with all of my heart that their students remember that day forever and when the time comes, they reference it as a time they were loved and valued, remembering it with the clearest details.

– Virginia Chevalier

2015 Rocky HS 087

Poudre School District Integrated Services                                                                 Director: Sarah Belleau                                                                                                                    2407 Laporte Avenue, Fort Collins, CO 80521

Congratulations to all Mary Hull award recipients and nominees!

There is so much to be proud of around Poudre School District! Here are the 2015 Mary Hull award winners and nominees.

Mary Hull Award:

Gayna Jobe, Cooper Home Learning 4 Living

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(Second Row: Tristan Belew, Devon Little, Grady Bearden, Gayna Jobe, Kim Nelson, Jourdan Hersch, Sue Cecil, Beth Ackerson, Shannah Scott, Emilie Ring; First row: Ryan Davis, Christian Llamas, Sammie O.)

“Gayna has a remarkable knack for learning what her students need and being able to not only tailor her day to meet those diverse needs, but being able to switch on a dine in her personal interactions with students throughout the day.”

—Truman Solverud, Vocational Paraprofessional-Cooper Home Learning 4 Living

Collaborative Award:

Kelby Benedict- Assistant Principal at Poudre High School

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(Kathy Ghidossi, Kathy MacKay, Heidi Graber, Kelby Benedict, Sarah Belleau and Christine Villard)

Kelby “has shown concern and care for the students, has responded professionally and with incredible skill and tact in difficult situations, and has been a leader to his Integrated Services staff.  He cares about all his students regardless of their ability, and teams that support these students.”

—Matt Cloven, Children’s Advocacy Specialist, Arc of Larimer County

Honorary Award:

Natalie Littauer- Peer Helper at Rocky Mountain High School

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 (Craig Woodall ,Karen Bennett, Natalie Littauer, Wayne Moddelmog, Brett Larsen)

“Natalie spends her day improving the school experience for our students with special needs.  She is a peer helper and spends lunches and passing periods helping our students.  She is actively involved in our Unified Basketball team, Special Olympics and Connection club.  She is committed to improving social and emotional experiences here at Rocky on a daily basis.”

—Craig Woodall, Rocky Mountain High School Principal

Mary Hull Award Nominees:

Kathy Bettis, PSD Global Academy

Erin Gilbert-Poudre High School

Cathy Hettleman-Fort Collins High School

Kelli Schultz-Bethke Elementary School

Tricia VanHorssen-Rocky Mountain High School

 

Collaborative Award Nominees:

Chad Kuhlman- Fort Collins High School

 

Honorary Award Nominees: 

Tom Drungil- Fort Collins High School

Ruth Miller- Zach Elementary School

Teresa Pelster- Bennett Elementary School