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Friday Churn: Students in Action


What’s churning:

Bruce Randolph School’s 450 students and 50 teachers and staff, along with 200 community volunteers, will spend the day today cleaning parks, visiting senior citizens, putting together food baskets, planting flower beds and other volunteer jobs during the school’s second annual Students in Action day.

Together, the goal is to complete 2,100 hours of community service in a single day. Other Denver high schools are expected to complete their own volunteer projects.

“The Students in Action Day of Service at our school gives us the opportunity to help people and organizations in our neighborhood,” said Bruce Randolph junior Jennifer Esquivel. “This year, I am lucky enough to be able to volunteer at The Urban Farm. I am very excited because I love animals.”

Today marks the school’s second annual day of service. Sponsors include AmeriCorps, Challenge Denver, YMCA of Metropolitan Denver and Youth Engagement Zone.

It’s that time of year again. The EdNews‘ inbox is starting to receive notices of high school and college graduation ceremonies, including news that 100 percent of the first graduating class of Denver’s Venture Prep Charter School has been accepted into college. The class of 17 seniors has amassed total scholarships offers of almost $700,000.

David Guillen, the school’s college and career coordinator, said many of the graduates will be the first in their families to attend college and some are the first in their families to graduate high school. “It means a lot to me to be graduating high school this year because I’m the first person to graduate in my family and that’s a big thing,” said senior Mulbah Dolley.

The 6-12 school enrolls 417 students and has a poverty rate of 88 percent.

In case you missed it, Denver Public Schools is looking for 75 math tutors to help students in seven schools improve their math performance.

The initiative is part of the district’s turnaround plan in Far Northeast Denver. The math tutors, or fellows, will serve one-year fellowships with DPS and receive intensive summer training and ongoing professional development from Boston-based Blueprint Schools Network, a turnaround partner.

Students in grades 4, 6 and 9 are slated to receive daily, small-group tutoring in an attempt to ensure they make more than one year’s worth of growth in math in 2012-13. The initiative aims to add 50 minutes of math help every day.

The district began the tutoring effort this year and says 30 percent of students have moved a proficiency level in math in six months. Learn more.

What’s on tap:

The State Board of Education convenes at 2 p.m. today at 201 E. Colfax Ave. for its monthly special meeting to discuss pending legislation.

Jefferson County school board members host community conversations tomorrow at five schools across the Jeffco school district. It’s billed as a chance for parents to weigh in on the future of the district. The meetings run from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at these schools: Bear Creek High School, Dakota Ridge High School, Evergreen Middle School, Pomona High School and Wheat Ridge High School.

Good reads from elsewhere:

Performance funding in higher ed: The Hechinger Report teamed with Time for a look at the use of performance funding in U.S. colleges and universities. That means schools get paid more based on measures such as improving their graduation rates. “This is coming, whether people like it or not,” said Thomas Harnisch, a policy analyst at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities who monitors the trend. Read the report.

Understanding the Common Core: Education Week is allowing free access to a new report on Common Core standards and its entire website during an “open house” event that ends at midnight. The report examines the progress some states have made in implementing the Common Core standards, which nearly every state has signed on to use in English/language arts and math. It also looks at what preparations still need to be undertaken and the challenges ahead for educators. Read the report.

The EdNews’ Churn is a daily roundup of briefs, notes and meetings in the world of Colorado education. To submit an item for consideration in this listing, please email us at EdNews@EdNewsColorado.org.