December 2014 – Additional Information

Table of Contents

 Health and Wellness
Next Generation Learning
 Support Us!

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Healthy School Champions Award

Mark your calendars for The Colorado Education Initiative 2015 Summit and Luncheon to be held on April 24, 2015, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel.

The summit will feature engaging speakers, educational sessions, and networking opportunities. The Healthy School Champions Breakfast will kick off the day by recognizing selected Champions from the state who have done exceptional work in creating healthy schools.

Schools may apply for a Healthy School Champions Award by completing a Score Card or Smart Source assessment (see below for more information). The award application deadline is January 16, 2015. For more information about how to apply, contact Katy Fleming.

Colorado Healthy Schools Smart Source

The Colorado Healthy Schools Smart Source pilots to assess school health policy and practice are currently underway. Incentives are available for participating schools.

For more information about serving as a pilot school, please review the Smart Source FAQs and contact Andrea Pulskamp at 720-502-4749 or

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Personlized Learning Study Shows Alignment with Graduation Guidelines
DesignEDU 2.0
CASB Conference
Breakthrough Schools
Crank Workshop
Upcoming Events

Personalized Learning Study Shows Alignment with Graduation Guidelines

Colorado’s High School Graduation Guidelines create a positive incentive to shift toward many of the common elements of personalized learning that were identified in the RAND study, including:

  • Focusing on competency-based progression rather than seat time.
  • Promoting personalized learning paths or multiple pathways for students to engage in learning.
  • Requiring learner profiles that enable each student to be known — and to know themselves — well through completion of the Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP).

The Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) is supporting schools, districts, and other education partners seeking to implement the Graduation Guidelines through the following activities:

DesignEDU 2.0

In DesignEDU 2.0, forward-thinking K-12 educators created innovative ideas and plans for action this past October. Participants spent two days immersed in the design thinking process and helping a local school solve current challenges. They also had time to reflect and work on a challenge of their own. Click here to see a slideshow of the event.

Attending the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB) Conference? We’d Love to See You! – December 4-7, 2014

Archuleta School District, Generation School District, and CEI will be co-presenting at the CASB Conference on December 5 during the breakout session, “Next Generation Learning in Action: Moving Toward More and Better Learning and Teaching Time.” Learn about Colorado’s Vision for Next Generation Learning and innovative models for expanding time for students and teachers.

On December 6, CEI will engage a small group of school board members during an interactive reception where members will look at Graduation Guidelines using a design thinking framework.

 To learn more about the CASB conference, click here.

Breakthrough Schools: Colorado — School Design Plan Presentations – December 9, 2014

For the past six months, six Colorado schools have been redesigning learning and teaching to best serve the needs and interests of their students in a 21st century society and economy. This work is part of a national effort known as the Regional Funds for Breakthrough Schools. The Colorado Coalition is one of six regional innovation hubs selected for this initiative, which was launched by Next Generation Learning Challenges. Members of the coalition are CEI, the Colorado Department of Education, Adams County School District 50, Colorado Springs School District 11, and Thompson School District.

The districts have supported their schools in designing next generation learning models that align with Colorado’s Graduation Guidelines. On December 9, these school teams will share the results of their work with each other and a small group of education partners. A team will review the school design plans to determine whether they are ready to implement in fall 2015.

Introduction to Design Thinking: Crank Workshop – December 19, 2014

CEI is excited about a new partnership with The Design Gym, a New York City-based organization that empowers companies and communities to create change. The Design Gym offers workshops based on design thinking and provides tools that can help participants tackle real-world challenges. This partnership will build a core team of design thinking facilitators at CEI who have the skills to integrate this innovative problem-solving framework into CEI’s professional learning approach for supporting Colorado schools and districts.

The City of Denver Arts and Venues and CEI will co-host Colorado’s first Crank Workshop with The Design Gym on December 19 from 2 to 5:30 p.m. in Denver. The Crank Workshop is a highly interactive and collaborative workshop that will teach participants to rapidly bring an idea to life. Participants will also learn the five phases of creative problem solving and how each activity ties back to it.

 Interested in attending this free event? Contact Micaela Johnson at 720-502-4738 or for more details.

Upcoming Events

CEI is excited to co-host 4.0 Schools Colorado Birthday Bash with Alex Hernandez and Antonio Pares. 4.0 Schools is turning four and educators are hosting celebrations across the nation. Join us on December 11 at Historians Ale House in Denver from 6 to 8 p.m. for drinks, snacks, and innovative company. RSVP here. We hope to see you there!

Leverage Partners to Personalize Learning: Final Webinars in the Series!
Join The Children’s Aid Society and the National Center for Community Schools for the final two webinars of this series. National experts from these organizations will share their knowledge during two webinars held December 2 and December 16 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Creating Quality Partner Programs in Schools – December 16, 2014
The Children’s Aid Society and the National Center for Community Schools will explore the promising practices of existing partner programs in Colorado schools and address the following questions:

  • How can schools use community-based organizations to benefit students?
  • What are the key elements of successful partner programs?
  • Why is evaluating partnerships and school programs important?
  • What promising practices and lessons learned are emerging from Colorado schools implementing community partner programming?

 To register for these webinars, click here.

 Missed the first few webinars? No problem! View the recordings here.

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Colorado STEM Network Monthly Webinar

The Colorado STEM Network comprises science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) stakeholders across Colorado. During the monthly webinar, leaders from business, education, government, and higher education will present on current programs, events, and opportunities.

 Interested in joining the network or presenting during a future webinar? Contact Micaela Johnson.

 To view past webinars, click the links below:

STEM Resources

Speedometry STEM Curriculum
Speedometry is a free curriculum designed for fourth-grade students that uses Hot Wheels toys to teach the FUNdamentals of science, technology, engineering, and math. Speedometry is a collaboration between the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education and the Mattel Children’s Foundation. To learn more about Speedometry, click here.

Unlocking Young Children’s Potential: Governors’ Role in Strengthening Early Mathematics Learning
Studies show that the mathematics knowledge acquired in early childhood and early elementary grades is critical to long-term academic success. A child’s math ability when he or she enters school is a better predictor of academic achievement, high school graduation, and college attendance than any other early childhood skill. Read more about the importance of strong mathematics instruction.

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Preschedule Your Colorado Gives Day Donation to CEI!

What matters most to you? Our work in five initiatives means there’s something for everyone:

Professional Learning for Educators
Say what? Colorado has stepped up expectations for students to articulate their own perspectives and better understand other people’s experiences in the world. The innovative Literacy Design Collaborative helps teachers in every subject improve each student’s reading, writing, and communication skills. Donate now to help us get useful tools like these to educators.

Health and Wellness
A Manitou Springs principal says CEI’s support for students’ social, emotional, nutritional, physical, and mental health has translated into happy, healthy, hardworking students: “Our children are now equipped with everything they need for extraordinary learning to occur,” he said. Donate now to help CEI get resources to educators so that students will be physically and emotionally well and can be better learners.

Next Generation Learning
Not your father’s classrooms — or yours either. Colorado teachers who earn the highest effectiveness ratings will be those who “co-create” classrooms where students, not just teachers, help to lead the learning. It works! Students learn to take charge of their own success. But this approach can feel daunting. CEI can help. Donate now to help us get practical training to educators so students learn to play to their strengths and develop a drive to contribute to their community, and later, to their work environment.

Colorado Legacy Schools
30,000 new Advanced Placement (AP) students in demographically diverse schools. Boom. That’s change. AP courses help students earn free college credit in high school. Our tailored teacher training helps more students — even those who aren’t top achievers or who are learning English — realize that college is possible. “Colorado Legacy Schools has really changed my mind about the potential of students to be successful in an AP environment,” said one Arvada teacher. Some schools are doubling and tripling the number of students earning qualifying scores on AP exams. Donate now to help make “AP for All” possible.

An education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) prepares students for success in an increasingly complex global community. Financial, medical, environmental, and civic decisions require higher levels of STEM literacy than ever before. And because STEM occupations pay significantly more than non-STEM jobs, they are excellent vehicles for upward social mobility. Donate now to help us make STEM education a priority and connect Colorado students to STEM internships and scholarships.

Your Amazon Purchases Could be Donations to CEI!

Planning some holiday shopping on Amazon? Support The Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) by shopping at AmazonSmile. The site will contribute 0.5 percent of your purchase to CEI. That adds up! Get started here — it’s easy!

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