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This week's teaching & learning tidbits

iPads given to every student at Elizabeth charter

ELIZABETH, Colo. — In a time of shrinking budgets for education one small town school has found a way to give each student an iPad. Read more at 7News.

College bound students getting admission offers, rejections

Boulder High senior Rosa Baum earned a prestigious merit-based Boettcher scholarship that will give her a free ride if she enrolls at a Colorado college. Read more in the Daily Camera about this time that can be pretty anxiety-producing for students and parents alike.

Biggest school in Colorado says size does matter

GREENWOOD VILLAGE – Every day Adam Gardner walks across the Cherry Creek High School campus, he knows that he can meet a new face at anytime, and it might be someone he’s been classmates with for four years. Watch this 9News report.

Boulder Valley schools work to include special-needs students

Kohl Elementary first-grade teacher Racheal Edmonds was nervous when the parents of a girl with Down syndrome first approached her about fully including their daughter in her classroom. Read more in the Daily Camera.

Overland principal not blocking student paper over content, district says

A spokeswoman for the Cherry Creek School District said today that Overland High School principal Leon Lundie has not stopped publication of the school’s student newspaper over the content of a story. Read more in the Denver Post.

Hard work begins to remake D-49

Stacks of proposals on how to remake Falcon School District 49 await teachers, staff and parents when they return from their two-week spring break in April.

A flurry of community and staff meetings were held across the district in February and March as ideas were collected and debated. Read more in the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Colorado schools begin to write off cursive handwriting

Twenty-three second-graders file into Virginia Edwards’ technology classroom at Grant Ranch School, take a seat at their iMacs, pull on headphones and launch a program whose graphics and audio prompts teach them crucial keyboarding skills. Read more in the Denver Post.

Denver celebrates National Library Week

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association and libraries across the country each April 10-16. The Denver Public Library has an exciting line-up of activities for adults and kids of all ages, including “Thunder Loves to Read” where kids can meet the Denver Broncos mascot, get a free book, autographed picture.

In addition to these events, the library also offers free story times at 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday at various branches, and After School is Cool programs. Visit the Denver Public Library for more information.

93 percent on track to graduate at reopened high school

Nearly four years after Manual High School reopened, school officials are getting ready to graduate their first class of seniors from the reoganized school. Check out this 7News report.

Parents come out for DPS’s school turnaround plans

Parents and reform-minded activists gathered outside DPS headquarters Thursday to support school turnaround and to encourage administrators to continue making changes. Read more in the Denver Post.

Schools receive many state honors and kudos

The Colorado Department of Education announced that 153 schools in Colorado have been recognized with the “Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Awards” and 151 schools received the “John Irwin Schools of Excellence Awards.”

The Colorado Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Awards recognizes the top 8 percent of public schools that demonstrate the highest rates of student longitudinal growth, as measured by the Colorado Growth Model. A list of schools is available here.

The John Irwin Schools of Excellence Awards recognizes the top 8 percent of public schools that demonstrate the highest achievement on statewide assessments. See a list of 2009-2010 award-winning schools.

Colorado State Library announces summer reading grants

The Colorado State Library announced that 71 public library sites across the state will receive statewide summer reading program mini-grants. Each participating library site will receive $200 to put toward purchasing books related to the 2011 themes: “One World, Many Stories” (children) and “You Are Here” (teens).

The Summer Reading Program consists of weekly public library activities for children and teens during June and July and covers new books on the annual theme, crafts and ways to have fun at the library. Many children and teens set a goal such as reading a book a week or for 20 minutes each day. Young children participate by being read to by parents or siblings. Adults also join in and set their own goals for reading. In 2010, a total of 213,905 Colorado residents participated in summer reading programs in public libraries. Of these readers, 155,563 were children, 42,690 teens and 15,652 adults.

See a map of the mini-grant libraries. For more information on summer reading programs, visit the Colorado State Library.

Online school pilot program planned

A new online school pilot program is set to begin next school year in Trinidad. The online school is designed to help students make progress with their learning, while working by means of their computer at home. Read more in the Trinidad Times.

Mentors, teens connected through Colorado Youth at Risk

It took a trip into the mountains last year to permanently change the lives of James Dill and Salvadore Cortez. Cortez, then a 15-year-old freshman from Aurora Central High School, had signed up for the trip through Colorado Youth at Risk as a way to escape the pattern of bad grades and poor attendance. Dill, an adult who had signed up as a mentor through the same program, wanted to make a difference in the life of an at-risk teen. Read more in the Aurora Sentinel.

More schools consider retention key to achievement

Last year, Kailee Stites was not happy to hear that she would be held back in 5th grade at James Irwin Elementary School. “I was afraid I would miss my friends,” she says. Read more in the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Denver fifth-grader wins state spelling bee

When 10-year-old Dhivya Senthil Murugan finally heard the word that she needed to spell to become Colorado’s spelling champion, one thing went through her mind. Read more in the Denver Post.

Dougco considers “voucher charter”

With interest flourishing in the Douglas County voucher pilot, school district officials are working to create the funding mechanism that will allow public dollars to flow through parents to private schools.

Robert Ross, the district’s attorney, said the creation of a district charter school for voucher students is the most likely of three possible options that have been considered, largely because of the flexibility of the state’s charter laws. Read more in Education News Colorado.

District 6 teacher investigated for possible CSAP improprieties

Greeley-Evans School District 6 officials are investigating allegations that a teacher cheated on the Colorado Student Assessment Program test.

Roger Fiedler, communications director for the district, said district officials received a report Friday of possible improprieties by a Chappelow K-8 Arts and Literacy Magnet School teacher. The report was made by students. Greeley students in grades three through 10 took the tests in math, reading, writing and science this past week. Read more in the Greeley Tribune.

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