Green on Top, Ecofriendly on the Inside

     Students and staff members at Greeley’s Frontier Academy have recently planted the roots of a truly green project. Atop the secondary school building, 6530 W. 16th Street, a “Green Roof” has been developed over the recent summer months. Frontier is the first Colorado school to have a Green Roof and the second in the whole nation.

Frontier Academy

Frontier Academy is the second school in the nation to have a “Green Roof.” Students will study horticulture, nutrition, sustainability, and environment responsibility.

     Frontier Academy’s Green Roof will provide increasingly valuable benefits to the school and the community. Students will take part in horticultural experiences, sustainable nutritional education, environmental responsibility, and real world science and investigation, as they conduct research and experiments in agriculture, efficiency, and green technologies.

    This project will produce oxygen and reduce carbon and gas emissions, and it will even help reduce Frontier Academy’s energy use by providing further insulation for the school’s roof.

     Students will be growing many edible products such as cherry, plum, and pluot trees, cherry and blueberry shrubs, grape vines, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, as well as a large variety of flowers. In addition, they have created a recycled bottle greenhouse. The wonderful roof top will also be incorporated as relaxing outdoor teaching and study areas.

Interested in supporting Frontier Academy’s environmental awareness efforts? Visit to donate to the cause.

The Beef on Monfort Elementary School

Monfort Elementary on a quiet Saturday.

Monfort, the neighborhood elementary school for Peak View students living south of 10th Street, serves 600 students in grades preschool through 5. The home of the Trailblazers is named after Warren and Edith Monfort, founders of Monfort Inc., and their son Ken, former Monfort CEO and inventor of the feedlot. (While cows everywhere may have lived in fear of him, Mr. Monfort was very active in the Greeley community, particularly in education and children’s charities.)

Parents give Monfort high marks for safety, openness and communication. School atmosphere is bolstered by extensive positive behavior support programs. Staying “On T.R.A.C.K.” (as defined by the school’s code of conduct) earns students tickets to use at the school store and Pride Paws that entitle them to special privileges. Students are also organized into mixed-grade “families” led by fifth grade students that meet regularly and sit together during school-wide assemblies.

Monfort also gets frequent praise for its extracurricular offerings, which include speed stacking, badminton, Battle of the Books, student council and many service opportunities. Each fall, Monfort holds a school-wide field day in collaboration with local business partners and athletes from the University of Northern Colorado.

Monfort’s CSAP test scores hovered around the state average in 2010. While that might not fly with parents in some of NoCo’s more affluent quarters, it makes Monfort one of the better performing schools in the struggling Weld County 6 District. In fact, Monfort receives many open enrollment applications from students living elsewhere in Greeley, and there has been occasional grumbling in recent years about too-large class sizes and slow-moving instruction.

Monfort Elementary School
2101 47th Avenue
Greeley, CO 80634

Franklin Middle School: Vipers Strike Self-Discovery

Once a viper, always a viper: Franklin Middle School has been slithering along since 1961.

Greeley’s Franklin Middle School is named for founding father Benjamin Franklin, a brilliant man with a tween’s sense of adventure. Today, Franklin students carry on Ben’s spirit of inquiry — though they stop short of flying kites in electrical storms.

Franklin, home of the Vipers, serves 745 students in grades 6 to 8 and is the neighborhood middle school for Peak View students living north of 10th Street and east of 59th Avenue. Vipers hail from diverse backgrounds, and a majority of students are bilingual in Spanish and English.

Middle school should be a time of self-discovery, and Franklin offers students plenty of avenues to explore their passions. Young athletes can develop their skills in low-pressure sports programs, including cross-country, track and basketball. Other activities include band, orchestra, chorus, drama, yearbook and forensics.

Mary Billings, an eighth grade history teacher at Franklin, is a 2012 finalist for Colorado Teacher of the Year. She uses an interactive teaching style and a focus on inquiry to keep her students hanging on the edge of their chairs. She’s also a strong advocate for teacher development within District 6.

Test scores at Franklin (and elsewhere in District 6) remained significantly below the Colorado state average in 2011. Forty-three percent of sixth graders and 36 percent of eighth graders scored proficient or above in reading on the 2011 CSAP. This likely reflects the school’s high proportion of English language learners as much as it does the quality of the teachers or curriculum.

On the bright side, Franklin offers plenty of enrichment to students in need of a challenge, including a Gifted and Talented program. Students can also get a helping hand with schoolwork through 21st Century, a before- and after-school program. AVID and Educational Talent Search offer college prep to students from traditionally underserved populations.


Accomplished McAuliffe Attracts Young Families to Peak View

A rare quiet moment on the campus of northwest Greeley’s McAuliffe Elementary School.

It’s a normal, chaotic afternoon at Greeley’s  S. Christa McAuliffe Elementary School. Tomorrow is picture day. The book fair coordinator needs two volunteers pronto. Don’t forget to mark your calendars for family movie night.

But parents need not come by school to hear all the latest news and happenings (though many do). All this chatter and more is available 24/7 courtesy of the busy virtual community on McAuliffe’s very own Facebook page. And for more private matters, parents have confidential access to their children’s grades and attendance records through the school’s Infinite Campus portal.

Technology is just one of the ways this neighborhood school is leaping ahead. With CSAP scores towering above the rest of Greeley (and Colorado), McAuliffe, the neighborhood school for Peak View kids living north of 10th Street and east of 59th Avenue, attracts many young families to the area.

Built in 1988, the school is named in honor of S. Christa McAuliffe, who was chosen to be the first teacher in space. Tragically, McAuliffe and the crew were killed when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 72 seconds after lift-off on January 28, 1986. (McAuliffe’s alternate Barbara Morgan became the first teacher in space in 2007.)

McAuliffe is a large elementary school of about 600 students, and its teacher-student ratio is actually somewhat higher than state and national averages. However, you’d never guess it from the students’ test scores.

In 2010, McAuliffe’s third graders (many of whom were taking their first standardized test) blew their public and charter school neighbors out of the water, with 87 percent scoring proficient or above in reading, and 89 percent doing so in math (state averages were 73 percent and 70 percent proficient, respectively).

Wes Tuttle

600 51st Ave
Greeley, CO 80634
(970) 348-1900


Welcome to McAuliffe, home of the Silver Falcons.