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This week's teaching & learning tidbits

Colorado applies again for Race to the Top funds

Colorado’s completed application for the latest round of Race to the Top money was delivered to the U.S. Department of Education on Wednesday morning.

Though state officials are confident that chances of winning are good in this round, they also say that merely preparing the application was beneficial. Read more in the Denver Post.

DPS launches task force to discuss alternate school start date

This week, Denver Public Schools will convene a Start Date Task Force to continue a dialogue with parents, teachers, principals, students and community members about the possibility of alternate school start dates.

The Start Date Task Force is charged with designing, running and reviewing the results of a public survey. Upon completion of the survey analysis and a discussion of the pros and cons of a calendar change, members of the Task Force are expected to provide a final report to the DPS Board of Education in mid-December. These conversations will inform the Board of Education calendar decisions.

“There has been lots of discussion this school year about potential solutions to the problems posed when Denver experiences unusually high temperatures in late August. One of those proposed solutions has been to move back the start of school,” said DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg. “We are open to that idea. I look forward to hearing feedback from our community on a later school start date and what our community feels is best for our students.”

Comprised of about 20 people, the Start Date Task Force will meet for the first time on Thursday, Oct. 27 at 5:30 p.m. in the DPS Board Room. Members will meet four times from this week through the month of December.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 2, 5:30-7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 30, 5:30-7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 7, 5:30-7 p.m.

The public survey is expected to be launched the week of Nov. 7 and will be available at dpsk12.org and on the DPS Facebook page. All DPS parents, principals, teachers and community members are encouraged to participate in the survey.

State implements new teacher and principal evaluations

Colorado is starting to roll out its new model to evaluate teachers and principals and change how teachers get and keep tenure. 15 school districts from across the state are part of a pilot project that will test the measurements. The issue has deeply divided state lawmakers and some Democrats worry it’ll end up being unfair to teachers and fail to improve student learning. KUNC’s State Capitol reporter Bente Birkeland has more. Learn more at KUNC.

Archuleta partners with UNC for $1.8 million project

Archuleta Elementary will partner with University of Northern Colorado on a $1.8 million grant project titled “The Mathematics and Science Teaching (MAST) for English Learners.” Archuleta is one of only four elementary schools in Colorado selected to participate. This program will prepare elementary teachers to deliver high-quality mathematics and science instruction to K-5 English learners in schools around the state.

The goal of this project is to increase K-5 English learner achievement in mathematics and science by implementing culturally and linguistically responsive teaching and assessment practices. Partnering with UNC will allow Archuleta teachers to develop long-term relationships with university experts as they research and model effective teaching practices.

Dr. Darlene LeDoux, Archuleta principal, stated, “The teachers at Archuleta are amazing. I am confident that they will be exemplary role models for pre-service teachers. Our students at Archuleta will benefit greatly from this mathematics and science partnership.”

Not all Aspen math scores adding up

ASPEN — Reacting to what one Aspen school board member termed an “alarming” trend in standardized math test scores at certain grade levels, the Board of Education is taking a close look at the district’s performance in the subject area. Read more in the Aspen Times.

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