2013 Colorado Flood Update: We’re Asking Everybody to Step Up to the Plate

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Editor’s Note: It’s a bad use of an idiom, but we’re not out of the woods yet when it comes to the devastating flooding that visited our area of Colorado like an unpopular substitute teacher this past month. But just as Eagle Rock is now a designated National School of Character, we’re going to have the opportunity to prove we earned that honor this coming semester. Here’s an update of Jeff Liddle’s latest email to parents, sponsors and students.

By Jeff Liddle, Head of School

Earlier today, we sent out a memo by email to parents, sponsors and students in an attempt to bring everybody up to date on the recent flooding in Colorado and how we intend to conduct business this trimester. For starters, we’ve arrived at a start date for this trimester and that date is Sunday, Sept. 29th for veteran students. The trimester will end on Saturday, Dec. 14th to ensure we have time to fit in the normal amount of credit.

Our email message to students, parents and sponsors outlines flights, carpooling options, and other logistical issues, but what I want to discuss with you here is what our students can expect from us when they walk back on campus later this month, and what we expect from them.

First off, our campus is in fine shape. Not so for the town of Estes Park and everything else down the canyons. Fact is, by sometime next month, there will only be one route  in and out of town, and that’s Highways 7-119-70. And while that route is  in good shape, the commute to and from Denver International Airport is about three hours. Other roads will eventually open, but we don’t have a solid indication yet as to when those events will occur.

The good news is the utilities are consistent and they are on. The gas, water, electricity, sewage, Internet, and phones are all working. Also working are the merchants in town, including those at the Safeway market, gas stations, coffee shops, the library, and many local shops. And we are getting food deliveries to campus with no problem.

However, access in and out of Estes Park remains a problem. That means medical and mental health services that we typically get in the valley will be difficult to access. Check with us if you have a concern about such facilities. Also, there’s no easy access to the towns of Loveland, Fort Collins, Lyons, Longmont, Boulder, Denver or any other part of the valley for a while — perhaps for the entire trimester. We will have trips to town, but that’s just about it.

There are other inconveniences that we outlined in the email letter home, and the bottom line is that Estes Park is more isolated than it was just a few weeks ago. And what the town is in desperate need of is our help. My hope is that returning students will step up to the plate and provide that volunteer assistance.

Even in normal times, all of our students bring an energy to this place that is noticeably missing in their absence. It will be important as you make the decision to return that you do so knowing full well that we’re all going to have to work together to support each other and the community at large.

Given these conditions, your decision about returning to Eagle Rock isn’t one that should be taken lightly. There will be inconveniences for certain. And while I hate to use the words “empower” or “opportunity” in a sentence, the fact is, this next semester might provide you with both of those overused transitional verbs.

So if you’ve read our earlier email letter and this blog post and you’re still up for returning to Eagle Rock, we will welcome you  back like family — which, of course, you are. Start making arrangements to get back here now. We need your character.

And if this sounds like just a little too much excitement for you to handle, or the inconvenience appears too insurmountable, please let us know. We’ll still be here in January if you want to come back then.

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