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Briefs: Denver Preschool Program hits record

The Denver Preschool Program on Wednesday enrolled the 25,000th student to participate when Victoria Romero enrolled at Early Excellence center in northeast Denver, according to a program news release.

Funded by a sales-tax increase approved by voters in 2006, the program provides tuition assistance to families of 4-year-olds.

The program provided more than $7 million in support to about 5,000 students last school year. Nearly 70 percent of Denver 4-year-olds are in preschool because of the program.

The program also provides training and quality-improvement grants to its more than 250 participating preschools.

More information on the Denver Preschool Program.

→ Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg on Wednesday announced a $2.1 million, three-year grant from Janus to accelerate blended-learning models in the district.

West Generation Academy, a new school on the West High campus, is the first Janus Blended Learning Lab Site. The goal is to focus on six schools during the course of the grant, according to a district news release.

The grant announced Wednesday marks the second major gift from Janus, a Denver-based investment firm, to DPS. In 2008, Janus donated $3 million to help found The Denver Teacher Residency. It was the largest corporate the district had ever received.

“The partnership between Janus and Denver Public Schools is a testament to what can be accomplished when businesses contribute their resources, energy and innovative vision to improving public education,” Hancock said. “Janus exemplifies the spirit of public-private investment.”

Read the news release, with links to additional media reports.

→ Dave Van Sant, former superintendent of the Strasburg schools, on Wednesday was elected as chair of the State Capital Construction Assistance Board. Lyndon Burnett, school board president of the Agate school, was elected vice chair.

The board administers the Building Excellent Schools Today school construction grant program, which provides funding for school construction and renovation projects through an annual competitive process.

Go here for more information on state school construction board members.