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This week’s teaching & learning tidbits


Poudre School District shares good budget news

Thanks to voters’ passage of the mill levy and bond last fall that will help offset state budget cuts, PSD can now officially share the good news that no cuts will be made to schools and other instructional areas, and minimal cuts will be made overall in next year’s budget. Read the Poudre School District press release.

Partial funding restored for outdoor lab schools

LAKEWOOD, Colo. – The Jefferson County School Board approved $40 million in budget cuts for the 2011-2012 school but did keep some funding for the Outdoor Lab Program. Watch CBS4.

Tight budget bill now law

Gov. John Hickenlooper Friday signed Senate Bill 11-209, the $7 billion 2011-12 state budget bill that got started with Gov. Bill Ritter submitting a plan to the Joint Budget Committee last November. Hickenlooper issued a modified proposal in February, followed by weeks of wrangling as legislative leaders tried to figure out how to handle the budget in a General Assembly with split partisan control. Read more in Education News Colorado.


Parents: Enough choice at neighborhood schools

The moms and dads of Skinner Middle School — taxpaying types with steady jobs and sensible family cars — don’t look like a bunch of radicals. But after meeting quietly for months to brainstorm, then to crunch numbers and compile data, they went public with demands that turn a decade of school-choice/school-reform thinking on its head. Read more in the Denver Post.

State teachers happy – for the most part

Some 84 percent of Colorado educators who responded to the latest TELL survey feel their schools are good places to work and learn. That’s up from 73 percent in 2009, when the first Teaching, Empowering, Leading & Learning Colorado Survey was conducted pursuant to legislation passed in 2008. The number of participants also increased, to almost 30,000 or 47 percent, up 11 percent from 2009. Read more in Education News Colorado.

Students do more than just talk about environment

AURORA – Teenagers like Jason Silva and Richard Watson say they are tired of just hearing about environmental problems. They want to take action. They are part of Alice Adetoye’s science class where they are taking part in the GO3 Project. As part of it, they are measuring ground-level ozone in and around Hinkely. Watch this 9NEWS report.

Aurora Quest School plans anger some parents

AURORA – A contentious plan to place up to 13 special needs in the district’s school for gifted and talented students has parents at the school up in arms. Learn more at FOX31.

AP courses test Colorado schools’ path to success

Students at Peak to Peak Charter School in Lafayette walk from class to class on cold, hard concrete rather than carpet — a subtle reminder that here, in the hallways of Colorado’s most saturated public Advanced Placement environment, substance supersedes style. Read more in the Denver Post.

Push ‘snooze:’ Two Boulder high schools start later

Boulder and Fairview high school students, rejoice. The two Boulder high schools have decided to start the school day a little later, with Boulder High moving from 7:30 to 8 a.m. and Fairview from 7:30 to 8:15 a.m. Both schools will end the day at 3:30 p.m. Read more in the Daily Camera.

Leader wants to boot teacher accused of cheating on CSAP

A Chappelow K-8 Magnet School teacher accused by students of cheating on the Colorado Student Assessment Program tests faces dismissal from the district after an investigation found several inconsistencies in testing. Read more in the Greeley Tribune.

About our First Person series:

First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.