Greeley-Evans School District 6 is hosting its fourth annual School Kickoff Community Celebration on Saturday, August 12 from 10:30am to 1pm at Island Grove Regional Park, 501 North 14th Avenue in Greeley.

Through sponsorships and donations, District 6 has raised enough money to give away 3,150 backpacks filled with school supplies. This year, a free brunch will be served to those who attend, while supplies last. Join us for chicken and waffles, fruit and juice. And be sure to take time to visit more than 70 community booths that will be providing important information and services for District 6 families.

Backpacks will be given out be given to District 6 students only. Students must be present at the event to receive a backpack.

Upon entering the park, students and their parents need to visit the backpack wristband booth. Students will be given a wristband that they can use to get the free backpack, which will be distributed in the Island Grove Event Center, anytime during the event. Wristbands will be given out beginning at 9:30am and the backpack giveaway will begin at 10am. Students must provide their names, the school they attend and their age to receive a backpack. Lost wristbands will not be replaced.

Brunch service will begin at 11am and will be served until supplies run out.

The event also includes a petting zoo provided by FFA students from Greeley West High School, free face painting, carnival games, student entertainment and many fun activities for families to enjoy. Emergency vehicles from the Greeley police and fire departments, a Greeley-Evans Transit bus and District 6 school bus will also be available for viewing and tours. The District 6 Nutrition Services Department will have its n el Fuego food truck available providing free food samples.

Banner Health will be on site to perform sports physicals for students at a cost of $10. Families can get information about schools and District 6 programs, register their student and complete a free and reduced lunch application on site.

More than 200 volunteers help make this event possible, performing a variety of tasks from stuffing backpacks to serving lunch and handing out backpacks.

The title sponsor for the event is Banner Health/North Colorado Medical Center. Principle Sponsors are Extraction Oil and Gas, and Greeley Redeye Rotary. Premier sponsors are Monfort Family Foundation Fund, High Plains Library District, JBS-USA, ABC Bright Beginnings, NCMC Foundation, and Flood and Peterson.

Major backpack sponsors are The Success Foundation serving Greeley Evans Schools and the University of Northern Colorado. Other backpack sponsors are FMS Bank, Aims Community College, The Community Foundation Serving Greeley and Weld County - Littler Fund, Tom and Donna Roberts, Sea Level Operations, Trinity Episcopal Church, Our Saviors Lutheran Church, Greeley UPS Stores, Sunrise Community Health, Weld Family Chiropractor Clinic, Weld Schools Credit Union and Greeley After-Hours Rotary. More than 20 other sponsors provided funding for school supplies and lunch.

For more information on the School Kickoff Community Celebration, please visit www.greeleyschools.org/kickoff.

Start times, transportation to change in new school year

In an effort to reallocate money while meeting the needs of all students, Greeley-Evans School District 6 has announced significant changes in its start and dismissal times, as well changes in bus transportation. These changes will go into effect the first day of school, August 21.

In order to allow high school students a later start to their school day, the district will restructure its transportation patterns and walk distances for all students. This will allow the elimination of 14 bus routes, which is more in line with the number of drivers District 6 is able to employ.

In addition, neighborhood pick-ups for high school students will be eliminated. High school transportation will be limited to predetermined stops for students living outside the walk boundary. None of the changes will impact students who qualify for individual transportation through Special Education Services.

This change reflects the inability to hire qualified bus drivers as well as the overall resources challenges in District 6. Beginning August 1, families will be able to look up transportation eligibility and bus stops at the District 6 website at www.greeleyschools.org.

“For most of this year, we have had up to 16 bus driver positions open. Without more resources, that isn’t going to change,” says Superintendent Dr. Deirdre Pilch

These changes will allow the Transportation Department to better operate with existing resources and drivers. Here are the new walking distances that District 6 will now enforce:

  • Elementary Schools: 1.5 miles, up from 1.25 previously
  • Middle Schools: 2 miles, up from 1.5 previously
  • High Schools: 3 miles, up from 2.5 miles previously

The reduction in high school transportation allows for a shift in start times at all levels, better meeting the needs of all students. Here are the new start and dismissal times that will begin August 21 for all schools:

  • Elementary Schools, McAuliffe K-8, Winograd K-8, Fred Tjardes School of Innovation: 7:50am to 3:10pm
  • Middle Schools: 8:30am to 3:55pm
  • High Schools:  8am

Three schools have slightly different start times due to traffic issues and transportation. They are:

  • Chappelow K-8: 8:10am to 3: 30pm
  • Romero K-8: 8:25am to 3:45pm (4-8 Campus); 8:35am - 3:55pm (K-3 Campus). This is not a change from the current start and dismissal times.
  • Early College Academy: 7:45am to 3:15pm