Some of the biggest questions we hear regarding Estes Thrives are  "What is Estes Thrives?”, “What's next?" or "What updates are happening with Estes Thrives?"   First it helps to understand that Estes Thrives is a strategic plan with several key objectives.  Once you understand what Estes Thrives is, you will begin to see it around you at work in the community on a daily basis.  Estes Thrives is an initiative that brings students, community, and learning professionals together to design the future of learning in Estes Park.  Some upcoming events that exhibit the Estes Thrives initiative are the Estes Park Mountain Festival (April 28 & 29), which is a celebration of Arbor Day, Earth Day, and Mountain Culture all rolled into one (visit for more information); the 1st Annual Mountain Music Festival (May 13) which is a benefit supporting Estes Park Schools Music Programs (for more information visit, and several other projects such as repairing the portion of Fish Creek Road that was damaged in the 2013 floods.  The Estes Park Environmental Club, Environmental Science class and the Estes Valley Watershed Coalition worked together with the help of several organizations in the community to plant over 3000 native plants, bushes and trees last fall.  Another effort is planned for this Spring during the last part of April.  

NLC participation from Kindergarten students gave an unlikely spin on the data and feedback collected. 

NLC participation from Kindergarten students gave an unlikely spin on the data and feedback collected. 

The most current stage of this multifaceted process is the introduction of “Neighborhood Learning Conversations”.  The Board of Education and the EPSDR-3 Administration team, along with strategic partners of Estes Thrives,  have been hosting "Neighborhood Learning Conversations" or NLCs in small settings (between 4-12 people) in homes, coffee shops, and there have even been a few held in a yurt!  The discussions are focused on the rapid pace at which technology and education are changing, and what the vision of our future successful graduates looks like from different angles.

A couple of the Estes Park Elementary School teachers have brought the conversation into their classrooms to get a wide variety of feedback, no matter what the age level.  The information we have gathered so far is extremely valuable. The conversations have been passionate and rich. The community members that have joined into the conversation are excited and ready to participate in the future of our children.  There is still time if you would like to join the conversation.  There were 10 conversations scheduled during March, and there are several "NLC's" scheduled between now and May 1st.  

There will be an open house style Neighborhood Learning Conversation held at the High School Commons on April 11th from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.  Superintendent of Schools Sheldon Rosenkrance will facilitate the meeting and will be ready to hear your ideas about the vision for our graduates. The conversation will be open to the public and any and all interested persons are encouraged to attend.

On May 11th, the Estes Thrives team will hold a Community Learning Conversation in the High School Commons, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.  At this special final conversation for this data collection stage, we will present the results and information collected throughout the Neighborhood Learning Conversations and begin creating the next steps toward preparing our young people and our communities for a bright and hopeful future.

Moving forward, we will be establishing a newsletter for updates and to keep the parents and community involved and informed.  The newsletter will be available on our Facebook Page, through local newspapers and through a special email list.  For more information, to sign up for our new monthly newsletter via email, to receive a complete list of NLC's happening in and around Estes Park, or if you have questions or comments in general, please contact

We appreciate your feedback and we want you to know that you are an instrumental part of this process.  Together we can succeed at designing local learning for a global future.