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This week's teaching & learning tidbits

Learn the ABCs of IEPs

Your child’s IEP is the document that describes their needs and services. Teachers get lots of training on how to write and implement them but parents are often left to wade through the boxes and checks on their own. Join Aza Fakhri, ACL, Special Education Assistant Director Michelle Brenner and parent liaison Anna Stewart on Thursday, April 14, from 6-8 p.m. at the Boulder Valley School District Education Center, 6500 Arapahoe Road, Boulder, as they walk you through the IEP one page at a time. This event is free and open to the public but please RSVP to Anna Stewart at or call 720-561-5918.

Renowned educator Canada to speak at Overland

A nationally renowned educator featured in last year’s documentary “Waiting for Superman” will speak at the Cherry Creek School District’s “Success for Every Student” conference later this month.

Geoffrey Canada, founder of the Harlem Children’s Campaign, will be the keynote speaker at the conference at 9 a.m. on April 16 at Overland High School in Aurora. Canada, a featured educator and reformer in David Guggenheim’s 2010 documentary “Superman,” will address shortcomings in the American school system, the achievement gap and improving public education.

The conference will be held at Overland High School, 12400 E. Jewell Ave. in Aurora. Tickets are $3 for elementary school students, $5 for middle and high school students and $10 for adults. Tickets are available at Prairie Middle School and on the school’s website.

Get ready for College Friday

As schools across Colorado support the 6th Annual College Friday, high school students are being reminded to begin thinking about Individual Career and Academic Plans, something each student will need to have completed by Sept. 30, 2011.

“Planning for life after high school is not easy, but Colorado is working hard to assist the process through the standards for Individual Career and Academic Plans,” said Charles Dukes, senior consultant for high school initiatives for the Colorado Department of Education. “With proper planning and guidance, students and their families can feel confident in making informed plans for postsecondary aspirations.”

Over the past year, CDE has partnered with the Colorado Department of Higher Education and the Community College System to support districts in the creation and completion of ICAP Implementation Plans, designed to ensure all students in grades nine through 12 have access and assistance to personalized plans by Sept. 30, 2011.

The Individual Career and Academic Plan vision was launched by Senate Bill 09-256 with the goal of decreasing dropout rates and increasing graduation rates by assisting students in developing and maintaining a personalized postsecondary plan that ensures readiness for postsecondary and/or workforce success.

College in Colorado is hosting the 6th Annual College Friday.

For more information, check out Secondary Services and Initiatives

Parent involvement bill passes Senate

The Senate Monday gave 22-13 final approval to House Bill 11-1126, which would require greater parent notification and involvement in school turnaround plans. Read more in Education News Colorado.

Seven Colorado middle schools win trailblazer recognition

Seven Colorado middle-schools have been named “Schools to Watch,” or trailblazers, as part of a program recognizing excelling middle schools. The schools — nominated by state leaders — are recognized by the state allies of the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform, a collaborative of researchers, leaders and organizations whose work deals with middle-school achievement.

The Colorado schools: Altona Middle School, Longmont; 
Gypsum Creek Middle School, Gypsum
; Hotchkiss K-8 School, Hotchkiss; 
Jenkins Middle School, Colorado Springs; 
Powell Middle School, Littleton
; Steamboat Springs Middle School, Steamboat Springs; and 
Russell Middle School, Colorado Springs. Read more in the Denver Post.

Overland High School paper will publish for now

The principal of Overland High School has agreed to allow the student newspaper, the Overland Scout, to continue publishing issues until the end of the year without prior review. Read more in the Denver Post.

Chappelow teacher on leave during CSAP investigation

District officials have placed a Chappelow K-8 Magnet School teacher on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into allegations by students that the teacher cheated on a statewide test, a district spokesman said Tuesday. Read more in the Greeley Tribune.

While the $34 million bond- funded improvements to North High School should be complete this year, juniors and seniors will move back into the original 1911 building Tuesday. Read more in Your Hub.

Program honors students for more than academic achievement

ELIZABETH – We hear so many negative stories about school district funding, oversized classrooms, and budget cuts recently. So one local school has taken it into their own hands to not only honor good students but also raise their own money to put back into the classrooms.

It’s called the STAR program, which stands for Students Taking Accountability and Responsibility Seriously. It’s part of the Elizabeth Education Foundation. Watch this 9News report.

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