2021 Aurora Institute Symposium

October 25 – 28, 2021

CEI Breakout Sessions

CEI is participating in this year’s Aurora Institute Annual Symposium. This is the field’s largest gathering of education innovators who are working in schools, districts, and statehouses to transform the future of teaching and learning in K-12 education.

Plan to join us in the following sessions!


Monday, October 25, 2021

1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. ET

The Future of Accountability: Learning Lessons from Local Accountability Pilots to Inform Transformational Change

  • Rebecca Holmes, Elliott Asp, Landon Mascareñaz – CEI
  • Dr. Lori Cooper, Asst. Superintendent of Student Achievement – Fountain Ft. Carson School District 8
  • Bree Jones, Superintendent – La Veta School District Re-2
  • Julie O’Brian, Co-Director of C-PEER, Executive Director of Assessment and Program Improvement – University of Colorado Denver

Learn about rural and urban school and district pilots underway in Colorado; pilots emphasized continual improvement and developing a system with greater educator buy-in.

3:40 p.m. – 4 p.m. ET

Colorado’s Graduation Guidelines: An Implementation Study

  • Amy Spicer – CEI
3:40 p.m. – 4 p.m. ET

Leveraging Open System Leadership to Create Equitable Pathways with Authentic Shared Ownership – and Redefined Roles – Across K12, Higher Ed, Workforce, and Community Partners

  • Alex Carter, Marcus Bratton – CEI
  • Jared Anthony, Principal Consultant – Colorado Department of Education

CEI will highlight three programs to watch – Rethinking College Access, Homegrown Talent Initiative, and Jumpstarting Concurrent Enrollment. Each program seeks to increase equitable access and opportunity for post-secondary pathways for students in Colorado. These projects push traditionally siloed institutions – K12, Higher Ed, Workforce, and Community partners – to work together to rethink systems and structures to better meet the needs of all students.


Tuesday, October 26, 2021

12 p.m. – 1 p.m. ET

From Chaos to Sustained Innovation – Leveraging Partnerships to Rethink Barriers and Enable New Learning, Relevance, and Engagement

  • Landon Mascareñaz – CEI
  • Calhan School District
  • Colorado Succeeds
  • Ft. Lewis College
  • Southwest Education Collaborative

Explore multiple approaches to leveraging partnership to ignite new learning experiences, including virtual tutoring, community mobilization, and state innovation grants.

1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

Calling the Equitable Open System into Existence: How Colorado School Districts Partnered with their Students, Families, and Community Members to Create DEI Taskforces to Move from Talk…to Action!

  • Landon Mascareñaz, Sarah Forbes – CEI
  • Academy School District 20
  • Boulder Valley School District

CEI supported two Colorado school districts to call new communities into existence: DEI Taskforces. Learn how these taskforces, made up of students, parents, district staff, and community members identify, study, and act on critical areas of interest, including policies on school resource officers, disciplinary inequities, and barriers to access.


Wednesday, October 27, 2021

1:15 p.m. – 1:35 p.m. ET

Twenty-Minute Power Session
Students Speak: Aligning Employment Pathways to Graduate Profiles

  • Amy Spicer – CEI

Homegrown Talent Initiative (HTI), a project that supports rural districts to build work-based learning pathways as an equity imperative. Rather than asking rural students to leave their communities to find economic opportunities or to stay and face declining prospects, HTI works to integrate education and economic development strategies that reinvest in the vitality of these communities and provide meaningful, homegrown pathways to economic stability.