Idalia School

  • Location: Idalia, Colorado
  • Principal: Tim Gribben
  • Featured teachers and artists: Michael Stanwood, visiting musician; Linda Shivley, parent and substitute teacher; Katherine Babb, residency program co-founder; Cyndie Weyerman, special education teacher; Mary Allen, kindergarten teacher; Birgitta De Pree, visiting theatre artist; Trudi Weiser, fourth-grade teacher; Jim Rittenhouse, social studies teacher; Sandi Waitman, third-grade teacher
  • Grades: PreK–5
  • Number of students: 50
  • Number of faculty: 6
  • Demographic information: Idalia School’s 50 PreK–5 students account for one-third of its total PreK–12 student population of 151, all of whom study in one building. Of Idalia’s student population, 44 percent qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, and 10 percent are English language learners. Eighty-eight percent of students are Caucasian; 12 percent are non-Caucasian.

At Idalia School, students are encouraged to learn about and take pride in their tight-knit, rural community — often as a way of learning about history, geography, the arts, and other subjects.

Located on the eastern plains of Colorado 30 miles west of the Kansas border, Idalia School draws students from Idalia (population 91) and the nearby towns of Burlington, Joes, and Wray.

Teachers at Idalia School have collaborated with working artists to integrate the arts into the curriculum since 1997. Theatre, photography, poetry, prose, music, and visual art have found prominent places in the curriculum. Students recently produced a display called “Picture Old Idalia.” The exhibit began as a collection of old photographs and evolved into a permanent display that draws community members into the school to share their knowledge of the people and places depicted in more than 1,000 photos. The effort was supported by the Annenberg Rural Trust, which funds exemplary rural public school programs that reflect their communities’ unique history, culture, economy, or environment.

In the 1999–2000 school year, Idalia School was one of five schools in the state to receive the Colorado Alliance for Art Education’s Creative Ticket School of Excellence Award.

Information provided by Idalia School. Current as of February 2002.