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The Daily Churn: Tuesday

Updated #2 – Aurora Public Schools board members are scheduled to vote tonight on the district’s strategic plan, VISTA 2015. Prior to the vote, from 6:20 p.m. to 7:20 p.m., board members plan an “open dialogue session” with Superintendent John Barry and other district leaders about the latest iteration of the document. Check out tonight’s board agenda here and read VISTA 2015 here.

Before the public meeting begins at 6 p.m., the board will meet in closed executive session “to discuss the 2011-12 budget and negotiations for 2011,” according to a news release.

Updated – Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg said preliminary estimates show the district’s 2010 graduating class is 12.4 percent larger than the class of 2009. That’s a jump of 350 students.

Boasberg also said new applications to the Denver Scholarship Foundation are up 25 percent and DPS’ college-enrollment rate grew by 7 percent.

He cited the numbers as “the latest evidence of sustained progress at DPS high schools.” He also said some figures are not yet final.

Read the full press release here. In February, Education News Colorado analyzed state data and found DPS is enrolling more students – and keeping them in school longer. See the story DPS: More on track to graduate.

But EdNews also has analyzed remediation rates by district and found that, between 2005 and 2009, more DPS graduates were required to take remedial classes in Colorado colleges and universities. That figure dipped slightly in 2009. See that analysis here Data Center: Remediation rates by school, district.

What’s churning:

CSAP results from the spring already have hit schools and will be made public next week. The media gets them Thursday, embargoed, to do some analysis before a Tuesday press conference. Expect the news briefing to be low-key – that’s the same day the state’s education commissioner, Dwight Jones, will be in D.C. for Race to the Top interviews. State education officials want to shift the focus, anyway, from the state test results to the new school and district performance frameworks coming out in November or December.

The Department of Education has decided on the makeup of the team that will pitch the state’s R2T bid to reviewers in Washington on Aug. 10.

As reported earlier, Lt. Gov. Barbara O’Brien and education Commissioner Dwight Jones will lead the delegation. Nina Lopez, CDE stimulus coordinator, also is in the lineup. All three were on the team that presented the state’s unsuccessful round one bid last spring.

New to the team are Diana Sirko, deputy commissioner and former Aspen superintendent, and Aurora Superintendent John Barry. Associate Commissioner Rich Wenning, a presenter last spring, will accompany the new team as a backup.

Not in the lineup is Linda Barker, director of teaching and learning for the Colorado Education Association. The union backed the state’s first bid but not the second one because it was grouchy about Senate Bill 10-191, the new educator effectiveness law.

The Aurora schools Monday held a grand opening for the new Vista PEAK P-8 school, the first facility in what’s intended to be a new P-20 campus. Vista PEAK opens Friday and is intended to serve 1,000 students.

A comprehensive high school, Vista PEAK Preparatory, is scheduled to open in August 2011 on the campus at East Sixth Avenue and Harvest Road. Check here for more information.

On tap today:

First presser for DPS … Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg will host his first press conference of the 2010-11 school year this morning at South High School. Boasberg will announce that DPS’ graduating class of 2010 was the district’s largest in recent years and talk about “significant gains” in college preparedness, scholarship applications and college enrollment. Check back later for more details.

Back to school means back to meetings… Aurora Public Schools’ board will meet at 6 p.m. tonight at the district’s Educational Services Center, 1085 Peoria St. We’ll post the agenda when it goes online. Aurora students go back to school on Wednesday … Douglas County’s school board also meets tonight, starting with a work session at 5 p.m. and the regular meeting at 7 p.m., at the district’s admin building, 620 Wilcox in Castle Rock. Check the agenda here . Looks like new superintendent Elizabeth Fagan, who started July 1, will be in attendance.

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