New and Notable for 2017-18
From new teachers to new classrooms, a playground and renovated facilities, we’re already looking forward to next year! Here’s the lowdown on what to expect in the fall.
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Save the Date!
Please add these dates to your calendar for next year.
- AUG. 14: Football practice starts. Please note-- locker rooms will not be open until Aug. 28th. Details on times, conditioning, and medical forms are here: http://bms.rfsd.k12.co.us/students/athletics/football.html
- AUG. 28: The front office opens virtually. Please call 384-5900 if you have a question.
- AUG. 28: Volleyball starts at 3:30pm. The details are here: http://bms.rfsd.k12.co.us/students/athletics/volleyball.html
- AUG. 30: First period class assignments will be available in the foyer by 9am
- AUG. 31: 5th Grade Orientation is at 6pm. We will communicate the location closer to the date.
- SEPT. 5: The first day of school. The first bell rings at 8:05am. Class starts at 8:10am
- SEPT. 12: The first Parent Accountability Meeting (8:15am), location tbd
- SEPT. 12: The first Latino Parent Night (6pm) with Spanish translation, location tbd.
- SEPT. 19: Our Magazine Sale Fundraiser kicks off!
- SEPT. 19: Back to School Night
- SEPT. 25-27: 8th Grade Outdoor Ed trips leave for Buena Vista. Look for details in the report card.
Construction & Remodel News
BMS students and staff will return in the fall to an exciting and major makeover at BMS! While we’re really excited about the new opportunities for learning, we also know how construction works-- not everything may be completed by our fall starting date. We’ll communicate what’s happening throughout the summer-- check the website or Facebook.
- Please note: All of BMS, including the buildings, the parking lots, and surrounding fields and grounds will be closed this summer as constructions kicks into high gear on the following areas:
INTERIOR: In addition to the construction of new spaces such as the movement space and two new classrooms added to create a 7th/8th pod area, many spaces are either moving entirely or getting a complete makeover including: the auditorium, media center (the “Heart of the School), music room, art room, production space, tech lab, makerspace expansion, counseling and health offices, new teacher collaboration and workroom space, a new foyer and front entry/ main offices. New furniture and lockers will complement general improvements to fire sprinklers, windows, carpeting and flooring, HVAC and mechanical repairs, and wall painting are also scheduled.
- Please note: New Entry Procedures: BMS will be renovated to create a new Safe & Secure main entry where all non-student and non-staff members will need to be buzzed in to access the building via a main office window. We understand this change may take some adjustment in the beginning and we will communicate the new procedure to you in advance of the first day of school.
EXTERIOR: All exterior grounds are closed this summer. The traffic and parking site between Basalt Middle School and Basalt Elementary will undergo an overhaul this summer to alleviate congestion at drop off times for parents and students.
- Please note: Traffic patterns are changing. Pick-up and drop-off patterns will change dramatically. We will release a traffic diagram before the start to school to help you acclimate to the new traffic flow system.
In addition to adding over 100 more parking spots to the campus and the new traffic/parking lanes, BMS will also receive a new playground, new basketball court, new landscaping, new access to the football fields, and new bleachers.
Other News & Notables
Spanish Flex Class. Next year Ms. Hanke and Ms. James will be offering a Spanish flex class for 5th through eighth grades. Students can sign up for either a 1st/3rd quarter basic class or a 2nd/4th quarter advanced class. If your student is interested in signing up for one of these flex classes, please email Principal Ellsperman your child’s name and experience level with Spanish so that they can be placed in the most appropriate class. We’re very excited to be able to offer this class to all four grades!
No More Bells! Next year the bells will be replaced by adult-approved music choices submitted by students. Music will signal the end of class and the passing period.
New Wellness Initiative. As per the district, we will be incorporating new wellness policies into our school culture. If you’d like to be a part of the new Wellness Committee in the fall, email Principal Ellsperman.
Student-Led Conferences: In the fall, BMS will be switching from its traditional Parent/Teacher conferences over to student-led conferences with a student’s CREW teacher and parents. Parents will still be able to sign up for a time to meet with particular teachers, however as part of our Habits of a Scholar and CREW initiatives, we believe it’s important for students to take ownership of their learning. Thank you for supporting this important growth initiative. If you’d like to be on the Parent/Teacher committee that organizes this new format, please contact Principal Ellsperman.
New Teachers in 2017-18
Basalt Middle School is thrilled to welcome the following new staff members to BMS:
Lisa Dameron, 5th Grade Literacy & Social Studies
Lisa is thrilled to be returning to BMS this year to teach 5th Grade Language Arts and Social Studies. Since she started her career at BMS in 1998, she has taught elementary and middle school for both the Roaring Fork School District and the Centennial School District in San Luis, Colorado. She is eager to help students develop their lifelong love of reading and to find meaning in the world around them. Last year she took a leave-of-absence and traveled the west coast from Alaska to California with her husband, Jeff, and their 5 year-old daughter, Madeleine.
Eryn Seifert, 5th Grade Literacy & Social Studies
Eryn Seifert will be starting her 10th year of teaching. She comes to BMS all the way from Frisco, Texas, and she is excited to start a new chapter in her life in this community. Eryn is the proud mother of two college boys, Kyle and Tate, and she is looking forward to showing them around this beautiful area. Eryn is excited to bring her English experience to 5th grade students, and she promises to be fair, fun and first-rate in her new position!
Jacqueline Fraser, 6th Grade Math
Jackie Fraser has taught for 1 year in Colorado Springs and is so excited to make the move to the Roaring Fork Valley. She enjoys spending time outdoors skiing, hiking, biking, and fishing. Jackie also has had the pleasure of playing ice hockey since she was a little girl growing up in Michigan. She has a passion for mathematics and is excited to share this passion with 6th grade students. She believes through effort and practice it will be a great year for your student. Jackie is anxious to work together with parents and become partners in your child's education.
Craig Newkirk, 6th Grade Science & Social Studies
Craig Newkirk is a first-year teacher having just graduated from the University of Northern Colorado. He enjoys spending time hiking with his dog (Kaitlyn) and fishing and skiing in Colorado while also visiting family in Hawaii. He is excited to get started and nurture a curiosity in science and math this year at Basalt Middle School. In fostering a passion for science and a dedication to student ownership of their learning, he knows that your child will find success and enjoyment in their 6th-grade experience. Mr. Newkirk believes in hands-on activities and collaborative critical thinking as key components to ensure student success in the sciences. With a strong combination of dedicated educators, parent support, and student engagement, he believes all students are provided opportunities to thrive in their academic endeavors. He looks forward to working with students and families to ensure that every student has a wonderful year in 6th grade.
John Trinca Lit & Social Studies
John Trinca is in his 6th year teaching and leading in the district. He is the father of two boys Parker (15) and Connor (11). He is excited to work with your child in 7th Grade Language Arts and Social Studies. He has taught Language Arts and Social Studies for 12 years. Trinca enjoys making connections with students and their families. Your child’s success is his success, and he believes a strong partnership between home and school are important for student growth. He looks forward to encouraging your child to try their best and work hard to learn the power of language and the timeless lessons of history. Thank you in advance for your support!
Howard Kuhn, 7th & 8th Grade Social Studies
Howie Kuhn first came to the Roaring Fork Valley as a young child to visit family friends in Glenwood Springs. In 2010 he came back to work as a summer naturalist at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. After living in the ghost town of Ashcroft for over four years, he attended the University of Colorado for his teaching credential. Mr. Kuhn is excited to be back in the valley after teaching middle school in Aurora, Colorado.
Amy Kaufmann, 7th Grade Math & Science
Amy has been teaching middle school math and science for 15 years, with the first half of her career in the Vail Valley. In the RFSD, she taught 7th grade math at CMS for 7 years before coming to BMS. Amy is passionate about ensuring that all students have the math knowledge they need to reach any life goals they aspire to. She loves to inspire curiosity and wonder of the world around us in science. Outside of school, she enjoys running and hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter.
Kurt Ruffley, 8th Grade Social Studies
Kurt Ruffley is a Navy/Army veteran who is beginning his teaching with Social Studies at BMS. He has played and coached basketball, football and baseball and has a BS in Sports Management/ Business Administration. He spends his spare time fly fishing, camping and hiking.
Mitchell Wyatt, 8th Grade Science
Mitchell Wyatt is a first year teacher and is excited to start his teaching career at Basalt Middle School. He finished college with two Bachelor Degrees and wrestled for five years at Colorado Mesa University. Teaching science is a passion and he wants to share his passion with the youth through engaging labs and real world applications.
Michael Cummins, Technology
BMS welcomes Mr. Cummins to Basalt schools to take over for Mr. Porter in all things tech. He comes to us from Boulder, Colorado, and we look forward to getting to know more about him in the fall.
Kendra Schipper, Administrative Assistant, Writing Intervention Teacher, 1/2 time PEAK Coordinator
Kendra has taught for the past 17 years, the last 5 years at Glenwood Springs Middle School. Kendra will lead small group classes to support students needing intensive or targeted writing intervention. She also looks forward to helping coordinate community service for BMS CREW classes. Kendra will facilitate Advanced Learning Plans for our students in the PEAK program, including parent meetings, teacher meetings, and individual student goal setting meetings. In addition, she will often be the cheerful greeter of parents at the new Safe & Secure Entry window. Kendra is a native of the Roaring Fork valley and is excited to take on these various new roles at BMS.
Paul Hassel, Prevention Specialist
Paul comes to BMS as part of a three-year grant awarded from the state of Colorado to add counseling and prevention services to each of our middle schools in the district. Paul has been a therapist with the Youth Recovery Center for the past 9 years. He also has experience as a CMC ropes course facilitator, a middle school civics teacher, and an Outward Bound instructor. At BMS, Paul’s work will be directed toward substance abuse prevention, the promotion of students’ mental health, and supporting staff to recognize and address risky behaviors in middle school. Paul is looking forward to getting to know our students, staff, and families.
We’re excited to welcome current staff members into new positions in the building as well:
Melissa Goodman will be moving to 8th grade math
Avis Paul will be our new tech guru
Kerry Williams will move to full-time Literacy in 8th grade
Dee Benson will be moving to Special Education
One of the hardest parts of every year is saying goodbye to departing staff. The following staff members have been extraordinary members of the BMS community, and we wish them happiness and success in all future endeavors.
Retiring: Allyson Bella Dodds. After 31 long and wonderful years in Basalt schools, Allyson Bella Dodds is retiring. Mrs. Bella Dodds has spent 20 of those years teaching at BMS (the other 11 at BES), and she is a legend and a fixture at our school who will be deeply missed. From her amazing culture of student support, positivity, and enthusiasm in the classroom to her cultivation of countless opportunities for students ranging from Holocaust survivor interviews to film screenings to yearbook, to her IBB work for teachers, Mrs. Bella Dodds has been an exceptional part of the BMS fabric. In retirement, she’ll be spending time with her mom back east and crossing off items on her bucket list of travel destinations like the Galapagos islands. She plans to continue as a CMC teaching adjunct and get back to more reading, writing, hiking, cooking, gardening, painting, and music.
Retiring: Dave Anson. Mr. Anson closes the circle by retiring this year in the same place where his career began-- at BMS. He hopes to begin ticking items off his bucket list, including travel, leisure, and recreation-oriented activities as well as other responsibilities. Spending time with his family will, of course, be a priority. “It has been an honor and privilege to be a part of the school community at BMS. Thank you for your trust and support.”
Retiring: Hugh Riger. Hugh’s plans for retirement involve being happy, healthy and wise. He is moving to Palisade, Colorado. Besides recording a wide range of music this summer he will also head out to Pennsylvania to visit his 91-year-old mother. “Old rockers like me never die, we just fade away. It really has been a lot of fun. I will miss everybody. Thanks for everything.”
Julie Houston. Ms. Houston is starting a new chapter/adventure in her life and chasing after a dream. She’s moving to Mexico to start a nonprofit business teaching water sports to economically disadvantaged children and also children with disabilities. She'll also be spending a lot of time volunteering with sea turtle rescues.
Jen Adams. Mrs. Adams will be relocating with her family to Cali, Colombia. She is excited to be working at an International School as the librarian for grades 1-5. Her hope is to return to the area bilingual!
Mitch Foss. Mr. Foss is not going far. He’s moving to Roaring Fork High School to teach geography and history. With a second child on the way, he’s looking forward to consolidating his life closer to home and trading in the car for a bicycle. “This will be a big change for me. I have been a middle school teacher for 13 years and have enjoyed being a witness to the most awkward moments of other people's lives. Rest assured that middle school was definitely an awkward time for me as well. BMS is the best middle school I have ever worked in and I have always felt welcomed and included by students, staff and the larger Basalt community. I have grown immeasurably because of my students and their willingness and eagerness to learn. I leave with a heavy heart and fond memories of students and their shenanigans (Bears, bouncy balls, and buff presidents). Thank you BMS, students and parents.”
Ryan Allen. Mr. Allen has accepted a position at the new Riverview Community School as its STEMS (Sci, Tech, Engin., Math) Specials teacher. It’s a rare opportunity to help build an organization, community, and STEM program from the ground up. “I will always have a special place in my heart for the school and staff that gave me so many experiences to grow as a teacher and a person. I will miss Basalt deeply and am so grateful for everything that the school and community have provided me over the last 15 years.”
Ryan Bradley. Mr. Bradley is very excited to be joining the team at Basalt High School to teach sophomore Biology and AP Biology. “I have had an incredible experience teaching at BMS and I never thought I would leave. This was a great opportunity to return to my primary area of interest in the sciences, and I am excited to move up to the high school with the current 8th graders. I will still be involved with the middle school wrestling program and the 8th grade science class.”
Thae Dunn. Ms. Dunn will be traveling to Guatemala this summer to study advanced Spanish and to work in Spanish schools in Antigua, Guatemala. She is thrilled (and a little nervous) to go hiking on a volcano and explore the culture and countryside of Guatemala.
Anna Mae Flynn. Ms. Flynn plans to stay in the area and continue teaching. She recently purchased a house in the Marble area and will be teaching at the Marble Charter School, so we look forward to seeing her throughout the valley.
Allan Porter. Mr. Porter has long been behind the scenes as our tech go-to person. A beleagured pro at fixing student Chromebooks, he’ll be moving to Carbondale schools to be closer to his family and move into a more tech--management position near his home.