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The Rebirth of Rose Stein

The Rebirth of Rose Stein
Posted on 03/06/2018
Rose Stein International Elementary School principal Esther Valdez recalls a favorite quote about childhood during a JPS-TV interview.On a cold, snowy, February morning, Rose Stein International fifth-graders huddled in a classroom corner, not for warmth, but for knowledge about the metric system. They were working through some multistep problem solving, not unlike Rose Stein itself, which has had both reinvention and rebirth. Rose Stein International Elementary reopened last August after a two-year closure and multimillion-dollar upgrade.

“It is a very significant gesture that Jeffco invested in this building and in this community to build trust in Jeffco and the community, healing and returning to their neighborhood,” explained Principal Esther Valdez.

“We moved to Denver about three years ago, and we saw Rose Stein go from what it was, to what it is. It’s been a journey for these people, and it’s so good to see everybody come together and make it happen and bring these kids back to school,” added parent Meghan Zimmer.

Valdez is proud to bring back the school’s strong tradition, history, and success, and to add to that in a new, innovative, state of the art building where current students will become prepared for a highly successful future.

“I am very proud that Jeffco has reinvested in this community. The community’s very emotionally connected,” she said.

One way the school plans to reconnect with the community is through its garden project.

“I was telling my wife we must be getting old because we’re on a garden committee! So we’re excited to have a garden that’s going in here. It’s not quite happening yet, but we’re excited,” said parent Craig Zimmer.

The school’s return has been heartwarming for many who have historical ties.

“The parents attended here, their kids now attend here, so you see this complete turnaround in generational attending of the same school and the significance of that,” explained Valdez.

Rose Stein’s newest generation, the preschoolers, have enjoyed some rock star treatment over the past year since they were the first to experience the refreshed school, months before any other student.

“When you look into the eyes of those three-year-olds and recognize that we’re investing in our future, it’s a very powerful message,” said Valdez.

As they advance and grow, they’ll be part of Rose Stein’s commitment to being an education destination that blends dual language with academic rigor, including membership in the area’s International Baccalaureate track.

“The power of the K-12 IB model that Alameda has implemented with the Middle Programme and the Diploma Programme, as well as the Career Programme, align to IB,” explained Valdez. “For us to contribute to that area, that component of a K-12 IB continuum is very significant. It’s another opportunity for more choice in a neighborhood school, and that’s another value.”

Another plus: the retrofit of part of the school into a clinic offering affordable health care.

Valdez admits the rebirth of Rose Stein has been one of the most challenging chapters in her career. But her faith in her staff, the community, and the kids have gotten her through. Along with a quote she likes to pull out now and then.

“There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air is softer, and the morning is more fragrant than ever again,” she said.

See the JPS-TV version of this story here or below.

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