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This week's teaching & learning tidbits

iPads changing learning culture in Colo. schools

DENVER—For 10-year-old Kaitlyn Chin, the first few weeks of school came packed with holiday-like anticipation—especially when the fourth-grader at Legacy Academy in Elizabeth saw boxes delivered to the building.

“I would always hope they were the iPads,” she says.

And finally, they arrived—a wave of tablet devices that, combined with other Apple technology, created a schoolwide learning system based largely on the second-generation iPad2. Read more in the Denver Post.

Arvada elementary school was receives $100,000 grant from Target

On Jan. 25, Target announced the names of 50 schools that were selected to receive a $100,000 grant from the company to improve their learning environments. To view the entire list, click here.

To help Target select the recipients of the $100,000 grants, viewers from The Ellen DeGeneres Show were invited to submit the name of a school that needs help, along with a compelling story explaining why the school should receive a donation.

The $5 million donation from Target to local K-12 schools across the country is part of the company’s commitment to education, which includes plans to give $1 billion for education by the end of 2015.

Advocates fighting to keep music playing in Colorado schools

JEFFERSON COUNTY — Music students, teachers and parents are hoping to strike the right note with the Jefferson County Board of Education.

It’s a coordinated effort to save instrument education and band programs from proposed cuts as school-district leaders face budget reduction. Read more in the Denver Post.

Under school reform, principals swamped by teacher evals

Third grade student Kao Xiong sits beside ELL teacher Concha Fernandez del Ray, during a reading lesson from “Hansel and Gretel” at Prosperity Heights Elementary School in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Getty Images)

Sharon McNary believes in having tough teacher evaluations.

But these days, the Memphis principal finds herself rushing to cram in what amounts to 20 times the number of observations previously required for veteran teachers – including those she knows are excellent – sometimes to the detriment of her other duties. Check out the ABC News report.

In Jeffco, pleas to keep cuts at bay

LAKEWOOD – A crowd of more than 500 filled the Lakewood High School auditorium Thursday and spilled into the hallway to watch a big-screen version of teachers and parents inside urging Jeffco school board members not to cut their jobs or favored programs.

Hutchinson Elementary teacher Corey Lynn at the front of the line of Hutchinson teachers supporting their instructional coach at Thursday’s school board meeting in Lakewood.“If this position is taken away, then our team dissolves,” pleaded a dozen or so staff members from Parmalee Elementary in Indian Hills, echoing numerous others. “Remember our voices. We are Jeffco.” Read more in EdNews Colorado.

DPS mulls longer day for middle schools

Denver Public Schools leaders want to add an hour to the school day for all traditional middle schools beginning this fall, and the proposal is meeting with resistance from some parents.

Concerns about the initiative are also coming from the Denver Classroom Teachers Association, which has yet to approve what it sees as a change to the terms of its current collective bargaining agreement. Read more in EdNews Colorado.

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