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This week's teaching & learning tidbits

Green Valley Ranch Branch Library grand opening set

Mayor Guillermo “Bill” Vidal, councilman Michael Hancock, librarian Shirley Amore, Library Commission President Karen Rokala, and community partners will host a grand opening ceremony to celebrate the opening of the newly constructed Green Valley Ranch Branch Library Saturday, March 12.

Members of the community are invited to commemorate the library opening with a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. A day-long celebration with activities and entertainment will follow. The them of the event is“Plains and Planes,” acknowledging the surrounding plains landscape and airplanes of nearby Denver International Airport, which gave rise to the GVR Library’s architectural inspiration.

The $11.4 million dollar GVR Library, located at 4586 North Andes Court, is the first of three Better Denver Bond funded, newly constructed Denver Public Library branches to be completed or to begin construction as part of the Better Denver Bond library improvements.

The 26,000 square foot facility incorporates the latest in library technology including customer self-checkout stations and an automated handling system utilizing Radio Frequency Identification technology, making the checkout of materials quicker and ensuring better tracking and accessibility of library collections.

The new facility boasts 50 public computers, wi-fi accessibility, a library lounge complete with a fireplace and views of the outdoors, areas for children with youth-friendly furniture, a sub-dividable 100- seat community room, small meeting rooms, and an airplane cockpit provided by United Airline’s Training Facility that encourages imagination and shared learning for visitors of all ages.

Artist Erik Carlson created Cloud Seeding, an interactive, multimedia piece that responds to customer’s catalog search terms with a spectrum of associative images and quotes drawn from the Denver Public Library’s collections. Get more information on the GVR library.

Boulder high school considers later school start time

Fairview High School officials in Boulder are asking students and parents about pushing back the school start time by 40-45 minutes.

They posted a survey on their website to do an informal poll. The late start debate started after sleep studies suggested teenagers have different sleep cycles than the rest of us. Watch this Fox 31 report.

Colorado’s student tracking is scoring better

Colorado is doing a better job at collecting and using education data than it was five years ago, according to a national study, and the state is already at work on elements that are still missing. Read more in the Denver Post.

Parents demand overhaul at Denver middle schools

Some Denver parents are demanding that Denver Public Schools superintendent Tom Boasberg take concrete steps to improve the education offered at the city’s middle schools.

They say shortcomings at those schools are causing students to fall behind during a critical period of their lives. Watch this Fox 31 report.

Some parents prefer to have kids sit out CSAP

Colorado law requires every public school student in certain grades to take an assessment test, but about 1 percent of children sit it out. Students whose parents refuse to let them take the Colorado Student Assessment Program, or CSAP, being given in schools mostly this month, are among that group. Read more in the Denver Post.

Fort Lupton named National Middle School of the Year

Personal attention is their trademark. That’s what judges thought of Fort Lupton Middle School, which is why they named it the national champion. “That’s what we’re looking for,” Michael Hall, executive director of the National Association of Middle School Principals, said, “a continual effort to improve the school.” Watch this 9News report.

New school will serve students who have Asperger’s

A school serving grades 6-12 and specializing in students with Asperger’s Syndrome and similar learning disorders will open next fall in Lafayette. The independent Temple Grandin School, named for the Colorado State University professor, animal scientist and autism advocate, will feature a student-teacher ratio of 6-to-1 and combine social and educational supports with challenging academics. Read more in the Daily Camera.

Schools take deepest Hick cuts

Saying he had to go where the money is, Gov. John Hickenlooper has proposed cutting K-12 spending in 2011-12 by $322 million from current levels. Funding of state colleges and universities would drop by only about $28 million from this year to about $519 million.

If approved by the legislature, the cuts would drop school spending to 2007-08 levels and reduce average per-pupil funding from $6,823 this school year to $6,326. Read more in Education News Colorado.

Boulder Valley schedules budget hearings

Boulder Valley School District is also holding public hearings on proposed changes to next year’s budget. The purpose of these three remaining public forums is to continue to update and consult interested residents about the development of the preliminary 2011-2012 BVSD annual budget. Under state law, a balanced 2011-2012 BVSD annual budget must be approved no later than Thursday, June 30.

The 2011-2012 BVSD public budget forum schedule has been amended to add two meetings. The new public forum schedule is now as follows:

  • 6-8 p.m. Monday, March 7, at Fairview High School, 1515 Greenbriar Blvd.
  • 10 a.m.-noon Tuesday, March 8, at Lafayette Public Library, 775 West Baseline Road

District 11 to hold budget presentations

The public is invited to attend a special budget presentation by Colorado Springs District 11’s Chief Financial Officer Glenn Gustafson. Gustafson will be making 30-minute presentations on next year’s budget and then answering questions. All sessions run from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

  • Thursday, March 10, at Coronado High School, 1590 W. Fillmore St.
  • Tuesday, March 15, at Wasson High School, 2115 Afton Way.
  • Thursday, March 17, at Doherty High School, 4515 Barnes Road.
  • Tuesday, March 29, at Palmer High School, 301 N. Nevada Ave.
  • Wednesday, March 30, at Mitchell High School, 1205 Potter Dr.
  • Thursday, March 31, at Tesla, 2560 International Circle.

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