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About D16
Garfield County School District 16 is located in the Parachute/Battlement Mesa communities on the Western Slope of Colorado about 40 miles west of Glenwood Springs and 45 miles east of Grand Junction on I-70. We are located 5,099 feet above sea level in the Colorado River Valley. The White River National Forest extends to the south and the Naval Oil Shale Reserve is north. Parachute Creek intersects the town of Parachute going North and South, and the Colorado River separates the community of Battlement Mesa from Parachute going east and west. Our location provides for ample outdoor activities from world class skiing, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, fishing, hunting, and many other activities. Those who live in the valley are truly the lucky ones.

Garfield County School District 16 is comprised of four schools: Grand Valley Center for Family Learning, Bea Underwood Elementary School, Grand Valley Middle School, and Grand Valley High School. Grand Valley Center for Family Learning houses the district’s PK – 1st grade students. The school is also home to the valley’s Head Start program and a school based health clinic provided by a grant and the Grand River Hospital District. The Grand Valley Center for Family Learning is an Expeditionary Learning school that helps students put learning in context with the world around them. Bea Underwood Elementary School houses the district’s 2nd – 5th grade students. Bea Underwood is also an Expeditionary Learning school that gives each student a unique experience which integrates and connects learning with the local community, state, national, and international issues and problems. Grand Valley Middle School houses the district’s 6th – 8th grade students in a beautiful school that opened its doors in 2009. Grand Valley Middle School is both an Expeditionary Learning and Pre-AP school. Grand Valley High School is home to the district’s 9th – 12th graders. Grand Valley High School is one of only a handful of schools in the nation that offers AP for All programming. This means that every student enrolled in the school takes Advanced Placement courses. The school received the Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Award in 2013. All schools in the district offer a variety of extra curricular activities for students. Check out our schools websites for more information or, even better, stop in for a visit and see the great things happening in the District.

Office of the Superintendent

over 2 years ago

Letter to Patrons,


 Dear Patrons of Garfield 16,

 I would like to thank all of you who have come to visit our website to learn more about our school system. We have made several changes to our school system to better meet the educational needs of our learners.

We have added more rigorous curriculum and instructional methods at all levels, with a change to a high performing Expeditionary Learning model, coupled with multi-age classrooms, which will bring increased rigor, as well as stronger student-teacher-family relationships to the K-8 structure. Along with our more focused curricular approach, we are working to add in supports at every level to help students who struggle. We believe ALL students can learn at high levels. Some students might take more time, but with the help of great teachers, who work with parents, every student can be successful. We have also begun a push to increase college and workforce readiness through the inclusion of Advanced Placement coursework for ALL students at Grand Valley High School. This approach is used to ensure students are working on high level content, with support structures around them to give them the best opportunity for success. None of the changes were taken lightly and all are based on looking at schools and school systems that are seeing great results from similar work, in similar situations. If you have concerns or questions, please sit down and talk with our teachers, principals, and other administrators.

I would like to express my sincerest appreciation for the staff of Garfield 16. Their dedication and commitment to all of the children we serve is incredible. From our custodians, maintenance department, food service, bus drivers, to our teachers and para educators, the people in our district work to help every child find success. As a system we are not perfect, but we are always willing to look at where we are, what we are doing and try to improve. The challenges students face everyday do not go unnoticed by our caring and generous staff. One of our goals is to have every single student in our district successfully prepared to go on to college, other post-secondary options, or a productive career. This means we must look at each child individually and seek to find the best path for them to be successful. To accomplish this goal, we need to have meaningful partnerships with parents and community members. Thank you for all of the support you have given the school district and we hope to continue to improve and provide a quality education for the kids of our district.

 Sincerely,

 Dr. Ken Haptonstall    PhD.