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403 Pitkin Street
P.O. Box 127
Saguache, CO 81149

Phone: 719-655-2578
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Mountain Valley RE-1 Preschool

Receives High-Quality Child Care Rating from State of Colorado

Mountain Valley RE-1 Preschool Program located in Saguache, Colorado is announcing that it has been rated by Colorado Shines; the state’s quality rating and improvement system for early care and learning programs. Mountain Valley RE-1 Preschool received a Level 4 (Score 5.39) rating out of possible Level 5 (Score 5.79), as a testament to its commitment in providing a high-quality learning environment that supports the development of the district’s children. The Colorado Shines rating is one way that Mountain Valley RE-1 Preschool Program demonstrates its quality and dedication to continually improving its services to children and their families.

The Colorado Shines rating couldn’t have been achieved without the dedication and work ethic of new Preschool Director Lacy Reed and Primary Teacher Peggy Williams. With unmeasured determination the program went from a Level 1 rating at the start of the 2016-2017 school year to a Level 4 within six months. The process included assessments completed by outside certified assessors in CLASS (Classroom Assessment Scoring System), ECERS (Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale), and TPOT (Teaching Pyramid Observation Tool for Preschool) scoring systems, writing and implementing policies that protect and ensure quality within the program, uploading documentation into the QRIS (Quality Rating & Improvement System), and hundreds of administration hours worked off the clock.


In early August of 2016 Superintendent Travis Garoutte, and Principal Kathy Hill expressed the districts need to offer children and families a full day preschool program. With this need to serve our districts most at risk children and families program director Lacy Reed submitted a Request to Combine Slots for Full Day Preschool with the CDE (Colorado Department of Education); once awarded the new program opened its doors. Since that time the classroom has evolved with new streamlined furnishings, technologies, supplies, and age appropriate learning tools to support and foster a high quality full day program; that is inline with CDHS (Colorado Department of Human Services) Colorado Rules Regulating Child Care Centers (7.702), and CDPHE (Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment) Rules and Regulations governing health and sanitation in child care facilities.  

Mountain Valley RE-1 Preschool Program provides young children (ages 3-5) and their families an environment that’s language-rich and encourages exploration and problem solving while also developing key relationship skills so that young learners are propelled on the journey to achieve their full potential. Children follow their own unique patterns of growth and maturation and, consequently, teachers, para-educators, and community liaisons build instruction around each child and family’s specific needs, interests, and learning style. The program also provides educational services, health services, family and community partnerships, mental health and integrated child services (special education). Mountain Valley RE-1 Preschool Program also accepts CCCAP (Colorado Child Care Assistance Program) from families who qualify. The program uses the Creative Curriculum aligned with Teaching Strategies Gold (assessment tool), as well as implementing the Handwriting Without Tears Curriculum. The program understands that children’s success as learners is the goal of the preschool curriculum. To accomplish successful learning, they foster social interaction, promote independent thinking, investigation, and problem solving, and inspire confidence as learners. The program also provides breakfast/lunch/snacks for children at no cost; while enjoying family style dining in the classroom. They also implement “Smile Smarts!” an oral health curriculum for preschoolers as aligned with the American Dental Association to support personal health/hygiene. The program has also added new technologies in the classroom including two glow cubes & glow cube sand and water table, a Table PC, talking microscopes, listening center, and music globes. Above all Mountain Valley RE-1 early childhood professionals offer a loving and nurturing environment that scored above quality on the CLASS (Classroom Assessment Scoring System) assessment. The program helps to ensure the district’s mission in laying the foundation for children to achieve “Lifelong Academic Success and Personal Growth”.

It’s important that families know that growing research shows that the early years are essential to child development. In fact, neuroscientists have shown that the first five years of life have the greatest potential for setting a strong foundation for lifelong learning and health. During those five years children’s brains are developing at rapid rates with 700-1,000 new neural connections being formed every second. This makes it important for families to connect with quality child care programs and preschools like Mountain Valley RE-1 Preschool Program that support early childhood development.

For more information on the Mountain Valley RE-1 Preschool Program please contact Mountain Valley School at 719-655-2578 or email Lacy Reed at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Note: Colorado Shines is a free service offered through the Colorado Department of Human Services Office of Early Childhood. It rates Colorado’s early care and learning programs, connects families with quality programs, and helps early care and learning programs improve their quality.


The program looks at how early learning programs:

• Support children’s health and safety.

• Ensure their early childhood professionals are well-trained and effective.

• Provide a supportive learning environment that teaches children new skills.

• Help parents become partners in their child’s learning.

• Demonstrate strong leadership and business practices.

The easy-to-use Colorado Shines website allows families to find quality child care and preschool programs such as Mountain Valley Preschool. Early learning program information available on the site includes location, hours, licensing information and, most importantly, the Colorado Shines quality rating. To learn more, visit ColoradoShines.com or ColoradoShines.com/es (En Espanol).


Talent at Mountain Valley.

This song was made by a senior at Mountain Valley School. This student goes by his producer name Vertex Remedy aka (Jacob Chavez).  To listen to the song click here.


Superintendent’s Corner
Number 19

As I reflect back on the past year at Mountain Valley School, I think about the decisions that went well, others that didn’t work out, and some that still need refinement and iteration. During my career as an educator, I have always taken risks and experimented with innovative ideas while moving towards improvement. I can honestly say that I’ve learned a lot about what doesn’t work because I am not afraid to try new things. I approach each day with a growth mindset, an opportunity to learn and become a better husband, father, and school leader.   

Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University, has studied, researched and written extensively about the growth mindset. Dweck found that students’ mindsets, or how they perceived their own abilities, was a critical factor in motivation and achievement when faced with a new or difficult task. She also found that student mindsets could be changed from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset, which had a significant impact on achievement.

So what is the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset? The belief that intelligence can be developed and increased is called a growth mindset. Conversely, a fixed mindset follows the belief that intelligence is fixed and cannot be improved. Dweck found that students who possessed a growth mindset outperformed those with fixed mindsets. Research has shown that, with classroom modeling and structure, students can “grow their brains” while increasing their intellectual abilities. A growth mindset can be fostered when the classroom culture values hard work, risk-taking, experimentation, and learning from failures. When students face difficult problems, instead of giving up, they should try new strategies and seek advice from others, keeping in mind that intelligence is developed through perseverance.   

Parents can also foster a growth mindset for themselves and their children. When faced struggles, challenges, and setbacks during learning experiences, it is important to avoid false praise or negative comments. Instead, tenacity, alternate strategies, and learning from mistakes should be encouraged. Before you know it, learning will become more enjoyable as fixed mindsets are replaced with growth mindsets.

Have a great week!


Travis Garoutte

Superintendent/High School Principal

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Mountain Valley School strives to create a welcome, safe and healthy environment that inspires lifelong learners who are Positive, Ethical, Accountable and Kind.

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Empower and prepare every student for lifelong academic success and personal growth.


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