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It started out as a conversation between ASD Superintendent Linda Reed and then Shared School Liaison, Blue Lindner, about how to best serve kids in the community — not just those who attend the public schools but all children and their families who seek great educational options that meet their own individual needs. Superintendent Reed recognized the importance of valuing each student and nurturing their learning excellence.
That conversation grew, and with much input from an active advisory board and support for a “shared-school” initiative by Superintendent Reed and the Archuleta School District Board of Education, Pagosa Family School (PFS) was born. PFS is a shared-schooling educational program within the Archuleta School District that provides afternoon elective courses for homeschool, private school, and public school students. Each homeschool, private, and public school student of Pagosa has so much to offer; our larger education community benefits when we work together and learn from each other.
Pagosa Family School’s mission is to “offer a dynamic educational environment connecting homeschool, private school, and public school families as they learn together through enrichment courses.”
Now in its third year, Pagosa Family School currently serves approximately 124 students in grades K-9. PFS students meet in six shared classrooms at Pagosa Springs Middle School on Tuesdays and Thursdays with three class periods from 2pm to 5pm and for one course at the elementary school on Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:30pm to 5pm.
With Spanish, Art, and Choir at the core of its curriculum, PFS also offers a Drumline class and has added a new exploratory class for the 2018-19 school year. The exploratory class includes one semester of a hands-on “Science Rocks” curriculum and one semester of Music & Drama.
These courses, taught by eight highly qualified educators and five aides, are intended to enrich the educational programming that homeschool and private school students already receive through other means. Experienced homeschool parents find that the offerings complement their vision of education.
“Pagosa Family School has been a blessing to our three children who attend. Curriculum is engaging, and the kids are excited about their time and activities at PFS,” says a homeschool parent.
“Our incredible teachers provide a robust curriculum that is challenging, exciting, and fun,” says PFS Principal Jane Parker.
“It’s going to be fun to see where we go next. I love being part of this amazing team and this wonderful concept,” she says. “Building bridges between all the different educational options within our community is at the heart of the program. It builds and values relationships. It’s supportive of what families need in this community. I’m so honored to be a part of this unique and amazing experience.”