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The Daily Churn: Monday

What’s churning:

School districts are preparing for President Obama’s back-to-school address to students, planned for broadcast tomorrow, Tuesday, at 11 a.m.

Last year’s talk by the Democratic president prompted some conservative backlash nationally and in Colorado, with some parents vowing to keep their kids home from school if they had to watch Obama’s speech.

So districts are being cautious, with Adams 12 Five Star telling parents on its website that “this address won’t be part of our regular school day.”

The message goes on:

“Our teaching staff throughout the district will review the speech to evaluate its value as an instructional tool for classes teaching related standards. It will then be appropriately put into our resource options for teachers to use in teaching the standards for which they are responsible. If a teacher decides to use the speech as a part of their instruction, parents will be sent a notice and given the opportunity to opt their child out of that activity. There will be no academic or attendance penalty for opting out. Rather, those students will be given alternative educational activities in place of watching the President’s speech.”

Other districts have sent letters home to parents on the potentially touchy topic. That includes the Cherry Creek School District, which sent the missive Friday with a link to last year’s speech and instructions for how to opt students out of viewing it. And Douglas County School District posted this message to parents on its website.

What’s on tap:

Denver Public Schools board members meet in their usual work session before the formal Thursday board meeting. Tonight’s agenda includes an update on the district’s new teacher and principal evaluation system, which is being prepared for preliminary rollout in January, as well as a report on how a 2003 tax increase has been spent.

Cherry Creek’s school board also meets tonight, starting at 7 p.m. at Cherry Creek Academy, 6260 S. Dayton St. in Englewood. The agenda includes a discussion about the state’s new school performance framework, set for release later this fall.

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