GRANBY —On Friday morning, Sept. 13, 175 middle school students in Thompson School District found themselves stranded by flooding. It was the last day of a school-arranged day camp at Covenant Heights near Estes Park, but torrents had cut off the school district’s transportation and they had no way of returning home.
With roads washing out and food supplies dwindling, Mike Jones of Thompson School District scrambled to find other school districts that could help. Trail Ridge Road remained open as the only main road moving traffic out of Estes Park, so Jones began calling every school in East Grand.
“Nobody answered, and then it dawned on me you guys don’t go to school on Fridays,” Jones said.
After calling Granby Town Hall, Jones was able to reach school officials who arranged transportation, shelter and meals for the students.
At the East Grand School Board meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 15, Jones thanked school officials for their rescue endeavors with cards, flowers and posters prepared by students.
“I want to thank you and your drivers for on a moment’s notice, not asking questions, just saying ‘we’re here to help you,’” Jones said.
According to Jones, the students’ favorite parts of the overnight were the bus ride over Trail Ridge Road, which they called “slow, scary, but fun,” the spaghetti dinner, and spending time with East Grand’s football players. The football team helped set up the shelter and spent time with the kids playing frisbee and volleyball.
“That’s what they remembered most, that interconnection with kids, and never once did they not feel safe,” Jones said.
Thompson School District includes 30 schools in the towns of Berthoud, Loveland and a portion of Fort Collins.