Imaginary jungle inspires creativity in Gilpin students

School Board Reviews Warning/Fails, and Seven Mindsets Program

By Esmee Halsted

The most recent school board meeting on October 25th went perfectly. Art teacher Curt Halsted honored elementary student, Isabella Moore, for her beautiful drawing of the jungle. As she puts it, “I drew this picture and I made some animals…and I drew all of the plants.” Mr. Halsted, the mastermind behind the project, explained what the objective was when he said, “It was a chance for the kids to draw in both realistic and symbolic style.”

He went on to say that studying Henri Rousseau was the perfect artist for this project. The artist never actually visited the jungle, but imagined it in all of his paintings. The students were encouraged to draw pictures of house plants making them appear giant, and to add imaginary people and animals in their jungle. One of the people had to be themselves to add a personal connection to the imaginary jungle story. The board was very impressed with Isabella’s work!

In sports, the board, especially President Holmes, praised the football team for their first win on the new field. Following that, Mrs. Newberg’s history class students did a presentation. Hannah Donaldson, Trey Lindberg, Abby Smith, and Sarah Lovett explained how their everyday targets, the online calendar, textbook and notes, formative quizzes, and summaries create a great learning environment. The board was very appreciative of the truly incredible curriculum that Mrs. Newberg created.

Reflecting on new polices, the board discussed  revisions to the warning and failing list recently incorporated into Gilpin County Middle and High schools, and the Seven Mindsets program that are working wonders for students. Contrary to old policies, students have a week to improve their grades before being added to the warning and failing list. This gives them time to improve, but instead of being ineligible to participate in athletic matches and extracurricular activities for just one week, students are now ineligible for two weeks if they continue to fail. According to Dr. MacKenzie, “It will help students be more accountable.” Also helping students is the implementation of the “Seven Mindsets” program. The program recognizes that there are different mindsets that can help anyone be more successful. By tapping into those, teachers will be able to reach every child. Dr. MacKenzie explained that it will “encourage kids to take responsibility for their learning.” It will be exciting to see these policies at their full potential.

At the next board meeting, election of the school board will be discussed. Candidate profiles were printed in the Weekly Register-Call previously, and are available on their website if you want to review. Make sure you vote!

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