FHS Student Advisory Council gives school board a view of Frederick feeder system

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By Ben Wiebesiek

LONGMONT — The St. Vrain Valley School District Board of Education heard about the feeder system for Frederick High School Feb. 12 from a few products of that feeder system: high school seniors.

The Frederick High School Student Advisory Council gave a presentation about the current enrollment levels.

Speaking to the board before the advisory council’s report, Amy Weed, district assistant superintendent, said the council had a new approach to the report.

“The board had requested that we do something different, shake it up, and they have. The students have done an excellent job,” Weed said. “The team from Frederick High School talked with the principals in the Frederick feeder system, but really focused their energy and efforts on their two new programs in the Frederick-Firestone-Dacono area, and that would be our Spark! Preschool Discovery Center and our Thunder Valley K-8.”

Frederick High School Principal Peter Vargas thanked Weed for her work with the FHS feeder system.

“We are a very close-knit principal group,” Vargas said.

Vargas introduced the three high school seniors who make up the FHS advisory council: 

Ginny Creager, Ronni Morganti and Becca Vincent.

“Thank you again for this wonderful opportunity,” Vincent said. “It’s not very often that kids from all the way out in Frederick get to come and speak with you guys and show you what we’re really all about. We’ve got some nice little diamonds in the rough out there. We’ve done a lot of hard work on our presentation, we’ve talked to all of our principals, and we’re really excited to show you some cool things about Spark! and Thunder Valley.”

The Student Advisory Committee is comprised of three to four high school students from each of the district’s high school. Teachers and administrators select the students that serve on the council.

The students gave an audio/visual presentation with slides highlighting the enrollment numbers and history of the elementary and middle schools that feed into Frederick High School.

Many of the principals interviewed for the presentation were present in the audience for the Student Advisory Council’s presentation.

The council reported that at Frederick High School, the current enrollment is approximately 1,000 students, and of those, more than 200 are receiving college credit through the CU Succeed program. The CU Succeed program allows students to take college courses during school hours. The courses count as credits at the University of Colorado at Denver.

For Spark! Preschool, the district’s first and only preschool center, the council reported that the STEM-focused program has attracted around 250 preschoolers.

“On staff, Spark! has eight program teachers and eight paraprofessional assistants, which teach a combined 18 classes,” the council reported. “Their staff also includes a full special education team, a childcare team, an office team and custodians.”

Prior to Spark! opening, the Frederick feeder system had a combined 13 preschool classes. Spark! has added an additional five preschool classes. 

The council talked about how Spark! is approaching its focus on STEM subjects: science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“Currently, Spark! is offering three different units of STEM, and plan on adding three more in the fall,” the council reported. “Spark! also provides family and parent education classes.”

Next, the council reported on Thunder Valley K-8, which opened at the site of the old Frederick High School.

“Student enrollment is at 756 with 71 staff members,” the council reported. “Thunder Valley’s mission ensures achievement in academic excellence, strength of character and community partnership. 

The report touted group organizations, such as the Leader in Me program, which encourages student leadership.

“Thunder Valley has a variety of clubs and activities including Fit for Lit, ASH Homework, Geography, MESA and music,” the students reported. “Thunder Valley also offers enrichment courses, including Kids Zumbatomics, Chess Club and Sewing.”

Thunder Valley also offers courses for adults including Adult Zumba and English classes for foreign speakers.

Board President John Creighton was interested about the seniors’ personal experience in the feeder system.

“Ladies, I’m curious how, over the years, how have you seen the area to change with the new high school coming on line and all that?” Creighton asked. 

“We have all lived in Frederick since the beginning. We all attended Prairie Ridge, and then we both moved to Legacy,” Vincent said of herself and Creager. “And then we went to Coal Ridge, and started at the old high school and went to the new. And if you start at the beginning, it’s crazy to think that it can be so much bigger. I mean, we have new roads – we’ve renamed roads. It’s just been phenomenal to see.”

Vincent said that the community has remained tight-knit during the rapid growth.

“Walking into any of our schools, you can feel the warmth and the family side of it,” Vincent said. “It’s great to be out there.”

Bob Smith, school board vice president, said he learned new facts about Spark! during the students’ presentation.

“I thought your presentation was very informative,” Smith said. “I thought it was outstanding.”


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