New scholarship rules will allow non-FHS students to compete

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By Ben Wiebesiek

FREDERICK — The board of trustees heard a spectrum of options Feb. 12 for revising the boundaries for the town’s scholarship.
    The proposed changes all expanded the eligibility beyond the student body attending Frederick High School. Council’s choices for the scholarship criteria included any student within the school district, any Colorado student at an accredited high school and any student at an accredited high school program.
    Ultimately, the board unanimously chose to define the scholarship area to include any student attending an accredited high school and accredited home school program in the state.
    Town Manager Matt Le Cerf said the intention of the ordinance was to include all eligible students within the “Frederick Feeder System.” This system would open the boundaries to include any student residing with town limits but outside the district boundaries for Frederick High School.
    “If you live in Wyndham Hill, you’re going to be part of Erie High School. If you live in the Farms or No Name Creek, you’re going to be in Mead High School. And if you’re in Moore Farm or Countryside, you’re going to be in Frederick High School,” Le Cerf said. “So this is what we’re describing as the Frederick feeder system.”
    Mayor Tony Carey said the basic criteria for geography should be residency within town limits.
    “Would it not be simpler just to say a ‘Frederick resident attending an accredited high school?’ Because it’s my understanding that it’s the intention of all: they don’t care where they’re going to high school, they care where they live,” Carey said.
    Home-schooled students residing in Frederick are also eligible as long as their education is accredited, which requires a grade point average for the student.
    Mayor Pro-tem Jim Wollack voiced concern that home-schooled students might bring inflated GPA’s into the competition.
    “With home-schooled students – the ones I’ve coached that didn’t go to our high school but played sports and I coached there – and with the two cases I dealt with that, those kids would have exceptional grades while they were home-schooled, both kids eventually became full-time students and their grades were not nearly what they were when they were home-schooled,” Wollack said. “And I just want to make sure we’re comparable in what we’re looking at because a kid that has a 3.5 GPA in home school might not be the same as a kid that has a 3.5 GPA in high school.”    
    Trustee Rafer Burnham suggested the board should also evaluate the dollar amount of the scholarship, which awards $1,000 each year to one female and one male student.
    “We may want to look at the budget, and if the budget allows, and it’s not impacted too drastically, I suggest we consider raising the scholarship amount from $1,000, which looks like it was set in 2008, which was five years ago, to raise that amount to as much as maybe even doubling it to $2,000,” Burnham said.
    The board discussed approaching the money award at a later date, and the amount was left unchanged by the ordinance. The money awarded comes from interest earned on the Oil Royalty Trust Fund established by the town.
    The approved ordinance also changes the composition of the selection board for the scholarship. Le Cerf said the changes, which remove the principal of Frederick High School from the scholarship commission. This seat is now designated for the assistant superintendent from the Frederick feeder system.
    “Which would make it more objective, hopefully, in its evaluation,” Le Cerf said.

Contact Ben Wiebesiek at 303-659-2522, ext. 205, or email bwiebesiek@ metrowestnewspapers.com.