Hayden schools take advantage of grant funding

Scott Franz

Hayden improvements and grant funding

Education Fund Board: $127,000

El Pomar Foundation Grant: $50,000 for vocational job skills training, CAD Lab

Elementary Playground Improvements: $75,000

Middle School Gym Demolition: $130,000

Peabody Energy Grants: $16,000 for AP conference and curriculum improvement

Nutrition Grant: $7,500

— Hayden School District Superintendent Mike Luppes told his school board last week that when students returned to classes earlier this month, they were likely to notice several improvements paid for by substantial grant funding the district received this year.

In all, the district spent more than $400,000 toward improvements this year on projects ranging from the demolition of a condemned gym to a major overhaul of the district’s technology offerings, with a substantial amount of that funding coming from a variety of grant sources.

“The grants we got this year enable us to expand our offerings, increase our teacher training and add new programs with top-notch technology,” Luppes said Sunday.

He said in a year in which enrollment in the district has declined, the extra sources of revenue are important.

While technology improvements in the form of Smart Boards in every classroom — secured as part of a $127,000 grant from the Steamboat Springs Education Fund Board — is one of the more obvious improvements, the district also has been able to retool its curriculum and lunch menus using new sources of revenue.

For example, a $7,500 grant secured from the Colorado Department of Education, and with the help of LiveWell Northwest Colorado, is responsible for a new cafeteria program at Hayden Valley Elementary School this year that has students learning about and tasting a fruit of the month to promote healthier eating.

Other significant grants in Hayden this school year include $75,000 for improvements to the elementary school playground and a bid for a $50,000 grant from the El Pomar Foundation that Luppes said would likely be finalized Oct. 3. He said that grant would fund a vocational job skills training program and a CAD lab in Hayden.

Two $8,000 grants from Peabody Energy are being used to send teachers to an Advanced Placement teaching conference as well as for curriculum improvements at the elementary and secondary schools.

In addition to the Hayden School District, schools in South Routt and Steamboat Springs also are benefiting from significant grant funding. South Routt Superintendent Scott Mader announced earlier this month his district had received a $56,870 grant from the Colorado Health Foundation that will be used for improvements to the elementary school playground, among other things. And in Steamboat, the Education Fund Board and the Northwest Colorado Board of Cooperative Educational Services continue to provide the district with grants that have this year secured things like iPads for special education students and more audiobooks in libraries.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email

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