Message from Mountain Roots

Hello everyone,

CBCS is growing!
As you may know, the school district is accepting public comment on the expansion plans for CBCS.

We need your support RIGHT AWAY to let the Superintendent know that preserving the school garden is important to you.  We are not opposed to expanding the school building, but we want to be sure that a generous space for a school garden is included in any new plans.


Copy and paste the info below and email to

“I believe the school garden is an essential part of the CBCS infrastructure. Please include a generous space for the garden in any future designs or plans as the building expands.”

That’s it!
Mountain Roots will add your name to our petition. We will take this list to the school board meeting on Feb 11 at the Lake School in Gunnison to speak on behalf of the community’s support of the school garden.


Teachers say this hands-on learning has significant positive impacts on how much students learn, how much they retain the knowledge, and how  engaged and involved they are during school.
They say using the garden as a classroom not only provides a constructive, engaging and nurturing learning environment but also develops healthy brains and healthy kids!

We need you to speak up if:
you agree that a school garden is essential infrastructure, an important learning space, for our CBCS students
you want to see a continual increase of student-grown organic produce provided to the cafeteria for school meals
you know that hands-on experiences in the garden provides a deeper, stronger relationship  to the natural world and a personal connection with science that just can’t be learned from a book
you want to see a school garden included on any future site plans

Quick background:

— Mountain Roots has worked for seven years to create a vibrant, outdoor, living classroom space — your school garden.
— We’ve developed curriculum for grades K-5 and we support CBCS classroom teachers  in teaching core science standards  for each grade with hands-on lessons that use the garden as a classroom and as a model for ecosystems and the environment.
— We teach 180+ hours of classroom-based lessons every year (about 9 hours per student) in grades K-5.
— The garden provides student-grown organic produce for the school cafeteria.  High School biology classes harvest the food in the fall as part of their Biology class.
— Pre-consumer food waste is composted in the school garden compost system.
— Our Garden Club runs for six weeks every fall and the kids run an after school farm stand, where they practice small business skills

The superintendent is also accepting direct comments through February 1st, so if you are inclined to write a personal letter with more thoughts and comments, you may send your letter to

We know the garden is an important part of your student’s learning. Let’s work together to insure it will continue to provide healthy food and education to the children of Crested Butte.

thank you,
Holly Conn, Executive Director
Sasha Legere, Farm to School Coordinator
the Mountain Roots board and staff

… and all the kids at CBCS

Choice Pass Events

Parent Education Dinners

• Developmental Series: Stress and Anxiety – This presentation will define the three levels of stress and explain how some types of stress can be positive while others can be toxic and the impact that each has on development. The presentation will examine the differences between stress and anxiety and will explore what some of the common stressors are for youth, how stress impacts physical and mental health, and how to help youth navigate through adolescence.  Dinner is provided.

o   February 13th, 6-8pm Fred Field 

o   February 27th, 6-8pm Crested Butte Community School

o   RSVP to

Youth Programming

• Sunday Ski Sessions!!! Youth and their parent/caregiver/mentor are welcome to come ski or snowboard with an instructor from CBMR school. We will ski for 2-3 hours and then head to the brown lab for some pizza! You will need a ski pass, ski/snowboard gear, warm layers, and goggles. If you live in Gunnison you can take the RTA bus to the base area, where I will meet you. If you are a skier or snowboarded this could be a great opportunity to try the other sport. From 1-4:30pm RSVP to  

o   February 10th  1-4:30pm – Intermediate Terrain

o   February 24th – 1-4:30pm Advanced Terrain

• Backcountry Ski Days – For youth who have completed the Avalanche Safety Course in the past few years there is the opportunity to do a guided backcountry ski day through Ben Pritchett with Colorado Backcountry. We will meet at 8am to make a plan and look at maps of our terrain from there we will do a backcountry ski tour. You will need to provide your own touring skis or split board and avalanche safety gear. Choice Pass and help pay for gear if needed. It is $30 for the guided day. RSVP to

o   March 10th

o   March 24th

PTA Scholarship Available

Since 1948, the Colorado PTA has awarded scholarships to graduating students who attend PTA/PTSA affiliated high schools. In order to apply a student must be a graduating high school senior and a member in good standing of CBCS PTA, plan to enroll as a full-time college student taking a minimum of 12 semester hours at a college or a vocational school, have been a legal Colorado resident for the last two (2) years, have maintained a 2.5 grade point average on a 4.0-point scale.  Click here for the application.

Mountain Roots Activities

Kids Cook! Winter Session – Baker’s Delight with Mountain Roots

Ages 10-16 are invited! Baking is fun, warming, exciting and delicious. With different recipes each week, you’ll bake scrumptious main courses, desserts and sides. Learn the exciting science behind baking as you develop your skills in the kitchen and with the oven. Parent tasting night on the last class.

Workshop Details: $20 Choice Pass refund available. Allergies accommodated.

Crested Butte Session: Mondays 4 – 6pm, Jan 28 – March 18th (no class Feb 18th for Winter Break)

Crested Butte Location: Tully’s Kitchen, participants ride the Sea Turtle school bus and get off at the General Store, register through  

Gunnison Session: Wednesdays 4 – 6pm, Jan 30 – March 13

Gunnison Location: Gunnison Rec Center Kitchen, register through Gunnison Parks & Rec >

Contact Sasha with any questions,

National PTA News


This holiday season, give your kids a gift they’ll use throughout their lives—an understanding of personal finance. Studies show that teaching finance is not a top priority of the U.S. education system. Fewer than 20% of teachers report feeling competent to teach personal finance, according to a Council for Economic Education Survey, and only 17 states require students to take a personal finance course in high school.  Click here to learn the top 6 ways to help your kids learn about finance at different developmental stages.


Schools that offer kids healthier food and more time to be active are seeing increasing fitness levels, better student behavior and even higher test scores (Action for Healthy Kids, The Learning Connection). But our schools can’t do it alone! National and Colorado experts encourage schools to adopt the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model which is a collaborative approach to learning and health. The child is at the center of the model, and is healthy, safe, supported, challenged and engaged due to the alignment, integration and collaboration among school, health, and community sectors. Ten key components, including Family Engagement, contribute to a healthy child. As family engagement experts, PTAs play a critical role in successful implementation of the model. Are your PTA activities aligned with health and wellness initiatives at your school? Learn about the ten components of the WSCC model, and stay tuned to learn how your PTA/PTSA can contribute in different areas.


The Smart Talk program empowers families to have honest conversations about digital well being, Internet safety, and technology usage by creating a personalized contract. With this tool and program, parents have resources that help them have an engaging and honest conversation with their children.

New Vaping Information

We know that youth vaping is quickly on the rise and understand there is a lot of misinformation. Choice Pass would like to share some resources about vaping with you and encourage you to have conversations at home with your child to provide them with accurate education and information. Here are some links to resources:

Here are a few short videos:

Please, call or email with any questions.

Emily Mirza

Youth Programming Coordinator

Gunnison County Dept. of Juvenile Services

200 E. Virginia Ave, Gunnison Co 81230

p: 970-641-7612


Donate to the Choice Pass Component Fund here

Colorado Youth VAPING at Twice the National Average

For Immediate Release:

Colorado youth are vaping nicotine at twice the national average and at the highest rate of 37 states surveyed, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A separate, more comprehensive state survey shows about half of Colorado high school students have tried vaping nicotine, don’t see it as risky and think vaping products are easy to get, even though it is illegal to purchase them as minors.

“Vaping has replaced cigarettes as a way for underaged youth to use nicotine,” said Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director and chief medical officer of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “Too many of our young people don’t realize the health risks involved.”

Learn more:
-Read the full release.
-View the statewide data infographic.
-View local data maps.

Get more information about the new Healthy Kids Colorado Survey data related to tobacco and vaping here:  Tobacco Free Colorado.

Tell Your Legislators What You Think

Now’s the time of year when our legislators start making really important decisions like: How high a priority should public schools be in the budget?

We say: HIGH!

Legislators are wondering: Does the public school community care? Will they notice what we do?

We say: YES!

That’s why we’ve made it really easy to tell your senator and representative that (1) you expect them to spend new revenues to start paying down the debt they owe our kids this year (about $830 million); and (2) you expect them to support HB18-1232, a bill to modernize the School Finance Act in a way that is supported by more than 95% of Colorado’s superintendents. (It’s a no-brainer!)

If we don’t communicate immediately with our representatives – whatever their party affiliation – they’ll make the mistake of thinking we don’t care what they do with our public schools.

You’re just a few clicks away from letting your senator and representative know that you support public education and you expect the same support from them. Now’s the time to make your voice heard.

Contact your legislators now!

Great Ed drives educational excellence for all Colorado students by harnessing the power of grassroots activism and stimulating wise investment in Colorado’s public schools, colleges, and universities.

Our vision is one where all Colorado children — regardless of where they live or how they learn — graduate prepared to lead their best lives.

Contact Us
Great Education Colorado
1355 S. Colorado Blvd
Building C, Suite 500
Denver, Colorado 80222

Eight Facts About E‐Cigarettes and Vaping that Every Parent Should Know

  1. E‐cigarettes, available in the US since around 2007, are battery powered devices that provide the user with an aerosolized dosage of nicotine, flavor, and other chemicals. Other common names for an e‐cigarette include vaporizer, vape pen, electronic hookah, hookah pen and JUUL.
  2. Aside from some state and local laws that restrict access to minors, e‐cigarettes are currently unregulated from a health and safety standpoint. Due to their unregulated status, youth are again being inundated with advertising for a tobacco‐linked product. The FDA regulates traditional tobacco products like cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco, and is currently in the rule making phase of a process to regulate e‐cigarettes as tobacco products.
  3. E‐cigarettes are included in most school districts’ Tobacco Free Schools policy, which means that use of electronic vaping devices is not allowed on school property or at school sponsored events.
  4. The amount of nicotine in refillable bottles containing e‐liquid juice doesn’t always match what it says on the label, particularly if the label says “nicotine‐free.” The alarming increase of nicotine poisonings among children under 5 years of age highlights another significant risk of e-cigarette use, an increase that is due in part to increased use of e‐cigarettes by youth and the increasingly popular refillable tank devices.
  5. Nicotine, aside from being extremely addictive, poses a significant risk to human health. Nicotine is linked to heart disease, immune suppression, and changes to the structure of the adolescent brain, which may explain why early exposure to smoking is significantly likely to lead to a lifelong struggle with nicotine addiction.
  6. Testing has shown that e‐juice contains some of the same cancer causing chemicals that cigarettes do. Additionally, the vapor from e‐cigarettes contains chemicals that can damage lung cells, cause respiratory issues, and are linked to chronic lung disease. Because e‐cigarettes are so new, their long term impact on human health is unknown.
  7. E‐cigarettes are incredibly attractive to youth and stand poised to undo successes made in the reduction of youth tobacco use. Teen smoking rates continue to drop, which is great news. At the same time, e‐cigarettes use among youth is a rapidly growing problem. While e‐cigarettes may be a way for long‐time adult smokers to quit, a claim that is still unproven, youth don’t use cigarettes as cessation devices. In fact, many youth who would never use cigarettes try out e-cigarettes because they are curious about them and don’t see them as harmful, and then continue to use them.
  8. Research suggests that even if youth have never smoked before trying e‐cigarettes, they are more likely to try cigarettes in the future. A recent longitudinal study of teens in L.A. found that teens who try e‐cigarettes are significantly more likely to try cigarettes or other tobacco products within a year of initiating use and become long‐term smokers. A 2012 study of young adults in Colorado (18‐24) who smoke found that 54% also used e‐cigarettes.

Find more information about “JUULing” here: