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Friday Churn: No voucher lottery

Updated – Fewer than 500 students applied for vouchers in the Douglas County pilot program starting this fall so a lottery, tentatively scheduled for Monday, won’t be necessary.

Douglas County School District officials announced a total of 543 applications were received by Thursday’s 5 p.m. deadline. But 48 applications were determined to be ineligible, leaving 495 eligible students.

According to the program requirements, applicants must be district residents currently enrolled in a district school for no less than one year to be deemed eligible.

Families will be notified Tuesday through Friday of next week which private schools they may attend. District officials said they’re still finalizing contracts with the 33 schools that have applied for the program.

Visit the district’s website or read EdNewsprior coverage to learn more.

What’s churning:

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet will tout a new version of the DREAM Act outside Denver’s West High School this morning while Gov. John Hickenlooper heads to Lakewood High School this afternoon for a public ceremony to sign the bullying bill.

Bennet, along with members of Padres y Jovenes Unidos, has a 10 a.m. news conference at Sunken Gardens Park, West 9th Avenue and Elati Street near West High. Earlier this week, a group of 33 senators, including Bennet, introduced a new version of the DREAM Act that would give undocumented students a chance to earn legal status if they came to the U.S. as children, are long-term residents and complete two years of college or military service.

Hickenlooper will sign House Bill 11-1254 at 3:40 p.m. in the commons area at Lakewood High, 9700 W. 8th Ave. The bill expands the legal definition of bullying, urges school boards to update anti-bullying policies and creates a grant program to help districts with programs.

What’s on tap:

Downtown workers and others can get a little culture and see the work of enthusiastic and talented students at the annual Denver Public Schools Shakespeare Festival today. The event kicks off at 10 a.m. in Skyline Park, with most events at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Complex. Get a list of performances here.

Good reads from elsewhere:

Twitter in the classroom: How some teachers are capitalizing on social media to engage their students and enhance class discussions. New York Times.

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