Delta County School District

KVNF's Ali Lightfoot explores various viewpoints,  the history and current laws for sex education in the US.   Hear interviews with faith-based abstinence until marriage advocate Shelly Donahue and Andie Lyons an advocate for comprehensive sexual education from Colorado Youth Matter.   A Paonia High School student also shares her perspective. 

Paonia Elementary
Laura Palmisano

A Waldolf-inspired education program in Paonia is a step closer to reality. 

The proposed North Fork School of Integrated Studies has enough students signed up to move forward. 

Delta County Assistant Superintendent Kurt Clay says it will be a school within a school. 

"We are looking at trying to combine that within Paonia Elementary School as a different program or different option for students in the North Fork Valley," said Clay. 

Intent to enroll forms for the K-4 program were due earlier this month. 

Paonia Elementary
Laura Palmisano

The Delta County School Board has approved a Waldorf inspired education program in Paonia.

For the past three years, a group of parents and educators in the North Fork Valley have tried to open a Waldorf inspired charter school.  

The school board and the state board of education denied their charter recognition.

However, the group worked with district officials and school administrators to come up with a compromise.

It would create a K-4 program inspired by the Waldorf model at Paonia Elementary School. 

Vision Charter Academy, delta montrose technical college paonia campus
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

A deadline passed last week for several students in the North Fork.

The Vision Charter Academy announced plans earlier this school year to stop all classes at the Paonia campus, reverting back to a resource for homeschooling families.

Avery McJunkin just finished up his sophomore year at the alternative school.  He was one of several students that campaigned to keep the classes going. 

Vision Charter Academy, delta montrose technical college paonia campus
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

Vision Charter Academy, a public charter school with three campuses in Delta County, won't offer classes at its North Fork campus next school year.  

Parents of students at Vision’s school in Paonia received the news Thursday via email.

Teri Kinkade the executive director of Vision Charter Academy wrote the letter.

In her email, Kinkade tells parents Vision’s board met earlier this week and decided to no longer offer classes at its Paonia location.

She cites a 'lack of interest' and 'declining enrollment' as reasons for the board’s decision.

students, classroom, k-12

The Colorado Department of Education has released its statewide look at school enrollment. 

The state's preschool through 12th grade pupil count shows Colorado gained more than 12,000 students this school year. 

There are 889,006 public school student in the state, according to the data.  

Schools on the Front Range, like in years past, have the most pupils.

On the Western Slope, the Mesa County Valley School District is the largest. It ranks 12th in the state.

Three public meetings to discuss the future of the Delta County School District were held in December.  Hear what community members had to say about budget cuts, standardized testing, academic standards and  charter schools in their district.   Ali Lightfoot spoke to US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan about these issues as well as a student privacy law and proposed legislation to increase awareness and resources for dyslexic students.

A policy adopted by the Delta County School Board allows outside parties to distribute religious materials on school grounds.  Ali Lightfoot speaks with Kurt Clay, Assistant Superintendent for the Delta County School District who explains the policy and Andrew Seidel, an attorney  for the Freedom From Religion Foundation, an organization that believes the distribution of religious materials in schools creates social pressure for students and infringes on the rights of parents to direct the religious or non-religious upbringing of their children. 

Colorado Division of Insurance, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Colorado Division of Insurance

The Delta County School District recently received $75,000 from the state to create a work training program. 

The grant comes from the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative.

"Our hope is with that money we’ll [be able] to set up some tracks so that kids as they come out of high school potentially have their CNA and are able to pursue other types of health care fields," Kurt Clay, the assistant superintendent for the school district, says.  

Clay says the funds will be put towards scholarships for juniors and seniors seeking careers in the medical field. 


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Paonia Elementary, Public Meeting, Waldorf School
Laura Palmisano

The Delta County School Board has denied a North Fork Valley group its request for charter school recognition. 

The Valley Charter Initiative is a group of parents and educators trying to open a Waldorf inspired public charter school in Paonia. 

On Wednesday the five-member school board unanimously denied the initiative's request. 

Kurt Clay, the assistant superintendent for the school district, says the board cited seven reasons for rejecting the charter.

A Kidz Clinic, health
Laura Palmisano

Delta County has a new school-based health clinic.  

The Delta County School district lost around 400 students over the past 5 years and they expect to lose another 100 this year due to recent mine lay-offs. Each student is worth approximately 6 thousand dollars to the district, adding up to an over 2 million dollar shortfall. The district has been looking for ways to reduce spending in all areas of their budget over the past several years. 


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  • Republican congressman Cory Gardner is running for the Senate against Mark Udall

  • Number of deadly traffic accidents rises for the first time since 2008

  • Delta County School District budget woes


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A recently-elected Delta County School Board member has stirred controversy with her comments on transgender students using school facilities that match their gender identity, rather than their biological gender.

North Fork Merchant Herald

Today on Local Motion we talk with three of the people involved with the North Fork Air Quality Study, a year-long project put together by CU-Boulder, the Western Slope Conservation Center and the Delta County School District. 

The project will use low-cost, portable and permanent monitoring devices to get baseline measurements of air quality in the North Fork Valley. 


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  • US Rep. Scott Tipton Criticizes EPA on Proposed Fracking Regulations
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The Delta county school district is facing tough challenges this year: A budget shortfall, a controversial district-wide effort to design and implement a new curriculum, new standardized testing, and a search for a new superintendent. Delta county school board president, Tom Mingen, and Director of Curriculum, Connie Vincent, talk about these issues.