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As a K-12 community, the mission of the Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning (RMSEL) is to empower students and staff to be learners, thinkers, citizens, and explorers engaged in and inspired by the real world. "We are crew not passengers." 

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December 17, 2012

Good Morning RMSEL Parent Community,

Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are with the families and the community of Newtown, Connecticut, as they grieve and attempt to cope with such a horrific tragedy. Over the weekend we have all experienced a flood of emotions tied to this tragedy that ultimately lead to questions of our immediate environment and the safety of our students at RMSEL. We have comprehensive school safety plans that have been reviewed by our partnering districts and local law enforcement. Our school safety plans consist of lockdown and evacuation procedures in the event of an immediate threat to our school and the safety of our children. We also have preventative safety plans, such as a secure perimeter, in the event of any potential threat in the surrounding community. This week you will also see an increased presence of the Denver Police Department at and around campus per my request. We have not received a threat of any kind, but I appreciate the increase in security from local law enforcement.

At RMSEL, all exterior doors to our school are locked except our front entrance. These doors and locking mechanisms are directional in the event of any internal safety hazard, such as a fire.  We require any guest to our school to sign in at the main office after 7:50 a.m. and until 3:30 p.m.  We have surveillance cameras throughout the interior and exterior of campus that provide both real time surveillance as well as recorded playback.  Our students are supervised at all times, including lunch and recess, by an administrator and multiple school staff members.

This tragic event reminds us, however, that the safety of our students is a collective effort and that we can always research additional precautions to protect our students. Our school doors will no longer be open prior to 7:30 a.m. daily. We request that all parents drop off your son/daughter between 7:30-7:50 a.m. We will be monitoring our main entrance doors between 7:30-7:50 a.m. daily, while all other entrances are locked. We request that any parent or student entering the building after 7:50 a.m. sign in at the main office. Often times, we observe parents running a bit late and taking your child directly to class. All access to our school after 7:50 a.m. will be required to enter and sign in through the main office.  We will be purchasing stanchions in the interim to direct the flow of incoming traffic during the school day to the main office, and researching a permanent solution to the main entrance doors. Our main entrance doors will be locked daily at 3:30 p.m. Parents who access the YMCA will enter/exit through the north doors on the side of the community room. We will also be requiring the YMCA to provide personnel at these doors during the hours of 3:30-6:00 p.m. daily.

During our fieldwork, we require a ratio of 1:8 for elementary school students and 1:10 for secondary students. During all fieldwork and crew trips, students are always under direct supervision. Teachers and staff will be communicating with students the importance of notifying an adult if they see someone who they do not recognize on campus. We will be requiring all RMSEL staff to have an ID for students of all grade levels to identify a staff member at any time.

We will be working closely with the security departments of our partnering districts to review or implement additional procedures and protocol as they see fit. I grieve with the families and community of Newtown, but also firmly believe that school is one of the safest places to be at any time. If you have any questions or suggestions, I am available any time.



Why donate?

Why donate... because you can help make our school the best it can be!
  • Contribute a one-time amount from $20 to $2000 or more.
  • Contribute a monthly amount from $5 to $500 or more.

Remember every dollar counts towards giving our kids the best learning environment possible. Any donation benefits the school and the giver in many ways...

Students benefit from:

  • Smaller teacher to student ratios
  • Specialist programming, such as art, fitness, technology

The givers benefit from:

  • A tax deduction for any amount contributed. (i.e. $500 only costs about $350 after
    taxes; $20/month only costs about $14/month after taxes.)
  • Get to avoid private school tuition for what feels like a private school education!

If you’re not sure what amount to pick, how about $1/day for each school day? There are about 170 student contact days in a school year, so that’s $170/child or $14.16/month (over a 12 month period)!

We’re counting on everyone to help raise money, please join us in any way or amount you can!

Click here to make a donation to the RMSEL First! Annual Giving Campaign.

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