Secondary Policy and High School Redesign


Reimagining high schools to respond to the current and future needs of students and communities.


Our vision is for Colorado high schools to design and implement personalized learning environments that attend to each and every student’s social and emotional needs and offer relevant and rigorous experiences to prepare them for postsecondary learning, work, and life. CEI also aims for Colorado districts to leverage this work on behalf of broader system transformation, using high school redesign as the fulcrum for improvement in other schools systemwide. Learn more about this work in CEI’s 2023 Goal 3: Colorado maximizes the policy and funding opportunities of recovery to enable breakthrough change that drives equity and relevance in high schools.

The work of reimagining high schools is part of a growing local and national movement to rethink student outcomes and learning in ways that ensure all students, particularly those farthest from opportunity, are able to demonstrate academic, non-academic outcomes, and Essential Skills required to graduate. CEI is drawn to it because, though Colorado is home to a wealth of college and career opportunities, we know our schools and systems do not sufficiently or equitably produce graduates who are prepared to access and excel in these opportunities.

Through CEI’s work and that of partner schools, districts, and other organizations across the state, high schools are opening up new pathways to engage and empower students in designing their futures. Though schools are aware of the need for redesign and share a sense of urgency for different and better student outcomes, many lack a clear and compelling vision for what it might look like. This is particularly true when it comes to designing and managing innovation change in partnership with students and communities.

School Redesign

CEI is approved by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) to be a School Redesign provider in support of schools and districts across our state. CEI works with school and district leaders from across Colorado to support targeted improvement efforts through our comprehensive change management process.  Learn more

Concurrent Enrollment

The Jumpstart project for Concurrent Enrollment (CE) is done in partnership with seven Colorado district partners, both urban and rural, and varying in size. Each partner creates a Community Design Team comprised of district leadership, school leadership, educators including counselors and teachers, higher education partners, family and community partners, and students with the goal of increasing enrollment specifically for student groups historically underrepresented in CE. These teams engage in:

  • Data Analysis: collect and examine data to understand barriers and opportunities to CE in their communities and develop implementation plans to increase CE enrollment;
  • Networked Learning: convening as a network throughout the project to learn together, share best-practices, and develop implementation plans; and
  • Statewide Impact: a broader effort to align, inform, and coordinate efforts among and between CDE departments, schools and districts, and other education partners to accelerate synergies across efforts to transform whole systems.

Homegrown Talent Initiative

HTI logoWe co-produced two systems and policy efforts with Colorado Succeeds that spotlight work-based pathways, including a superintendent advocacy letter to expand career connected learning through stimulus funding and a nationally published research study.

Colorado Learning Networks

CEI has facilitated learning networks and delivered statewide training aligned to multiple key state policy opportunities, including the  Industry Credentials (SB 21-119) and  Colorado Career Conversations. These projects support high quality design and implementation of secondary pathways, while surfacing learnings related to policy.
We are partnering with CDE to lead the Reimagining College Access: Colorado Collaborative focused on K12 and higher education partnership surrounding the use of performance assessments as viable data points for admissions, placement, and advising decisions.


  • Adolph Coors Foundation
  • Daniels Fund
  • El Pomar Foundation
  • Gill Foundation
  • Walton Family Foundation