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Applications for the Early Literacy Assessment Tool project due Jan. 31

Applications for the Early Literacy Assessment Tool project for the 2022-23 school year are due Friday, Jan. 31.

A recording of the Nov. 17 application training webinar can be accessed on the ELAT webpage.

The ELAT Project is designed to assist teachers in meeting READ Act assessment requirements. The online tool will allow teachers to obtain real-time assessments of the reading skill levels of their K-3 students. Based on assessment results, the online tool will generate intervention plans and materials to support students.

Participating local education providers will select a vendor and will be supplied with the software to use the assessments and supporting professional development opportunities. Participants will choose between:

  • Amplify for Acadience Reading (formerly named DIBELS Next) and IDEL, approved interim assessments for the READ Act, and DIBELS Deep PA/WRD diagnostic reading assessment, an approved diagnostic measure.
  • Istation for ISIP Early Reading and ISIP Lectura Temprana approved interim assessments for the READ Act.

All participating LEPs will receive software to use the assessment. Districts will be responsible for providing their own hardware.

Apply for the Early Literacy Grant – Professional Development

The 2022-23 Early Literacy Grant – Professional Development application is open and due Tuesday, March 15.

This grant opportunity supports Colorado educators in the implementation of scientific- and evidence-based reading programming and strategies for kindergarten through third-grade students. These funds are specifically intended for early literacy professional development for elementary educators. This grant opportunity is designed to support Colorado educators in the implementation of scientifically-based reading research programs and strategies for K-3 students.

Register here for an application information webinar Thursday, Jan. 27, at 11 a.m. 

Visit the ELG page for more information.

Review Panel Application: Pre-K to kindergarten assessment alignment

CDE and the Office of Early Childhood in the Colorado Department of Human Services are conducting research on pre-k and kindergarten school readiness assessments used in Colorado to understand alignment and coherence needs. Marzano Research is working in partnership with the OEC staff as well as CDE's Preschool Through Third Grade Office to conduct activities in support of this project.

As part of this project, the P-3 and OEC offices seek volunteers to take part in the process of reviewing Colorado Kindergarten Readiness Assessments and end of pre-k standards. Selected applicants will form review panels in the areas of language and literacy, math, physical health and development, social-emotional development, and approaches to learning. Each panel will also include a national expert in the content area of the panel domain. Panelists will commit to attending three virtual review meetings and conducting up to 16 hours of independent review between February and May. Meetings will be scheduled based on panelist availability to maximize attendance.

If interested, please complete this application. All applicants will be notified of their application status by early February.

Gov. Polis, Commissioner Anthes encourage educators and education support professionals to fill out statewide survey

DENVER -- Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and Commissioner of Education Katy Anthes urge all school-based educators and support staff to complete the statewide survey of teaching and learning conditions, which will be available Wednesday, Jan. 19, and will remain open for a month.

Results from the Teaching and Learning Conditions Colorado Survey provide school, district and state policymakers with reliable data on teaching and learning conditions in public schools throughout the state. The results from the anonymous survey can give leaders information on areas that deserve attention in the school environment.

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Request for Public Comment on Broadband Programs in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) announced that it is requesting public comment on a wide range of policy and program considerations associated with new broadband grant programs authorized and funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL): the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program, the Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program, and the State Digital Equity Planning Grant Program. 

The BIL provides $65 billion to expand broadband in communities across the U.S. Of those funds, $48.2 billion is allocated to NTIA to deploy broadband to unserved and underserved locations, create more low-cost broadband service options, deploy middle mile infrastructure, and address the digital equity and inclusion needs in our communities. To fulfill the goals of the statute, NTIA is interested in input on the program design, policy issues, and implementation considerations for these new programs. Commenters are encouraged to address any or all the questions enumerated in the Request for Comment that is available here:  ntia.gov/other-publication/2022/.... Written comments may be submitted to regulations.gov by 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on February 4, 2022. All comments submitted will be posted publicly on regulations.gov.

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Chalkbeat Colorado’s 2022 Legislative Preview


About this event

Join us for our annual discussion of key education topics likely to surface during the upcoming legislative session. This year’s conversation will be held virtually on Zoom Webinar from noon - 1:30 MT on Tuesday, Jan. 11. Join here.

Last year, our conversation with lawmakers ranged from standardized testing and learning loss to funding for K-12 and higher education and school discipline.


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CDPHE's isolation and quarantining guidance for schools updated

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on Friday updated its Practical Guide for Operationalizing CDC's School Guidance, incorporating the latest recommendations by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on isolation and quarantining in schools.

The guidance aligns with CDC’s new recommendations for five-day isolation and quarantine. It also clarifies that Colorado educators will have until Tuesday, Feb. 1, to receive their third (booster) doses if they have not done so already. Until that date, staff who have completed their primary vaccine series but have not yet received a third dose may return to work following exposure if they obtain a negative test and wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days after exposure. They should get tested again on the fifth day after exposure. Additionally, staff will be considered up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations immediately after they have received their third dose; they do not have to wait 14 days after vaccination.

The new guidance also clarified the definition of and special considerations for Early Care Education and added a definition of the Test to Stay program, which will be operationalized Tuesday, Feb. 1.

Additionally, CDPHE will be releasing updated communications tools soon to help districts communicate about the new guidance. 

For more information or questions regarding the school guidance, contact [email protected].

CASB Serving You! Jan 7, 2022

CASB believes that quality public education is the foundation for our nation’s economic prosperity, community’s quality of life, and every child’s opportunity to live their best life. The following are current events and opportunities for our members:

PROFESSIONAL LEARNING

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ED Review: Keeping Schools Open

On December 21, President Biden announced additional actions to protect Americans and help communities battle the COVID-19 omicron variant.

“We know a lot more today than we did back in March 2020,” the President emphasized.  “For example, last year, we thought the only way to keep children safe was to close our schools.  Today…we have more resources to keep those schools open.  You can get 5- to 11-year-olds vaccinated -- a tool we didn’t have until last month.  Today, we don’t have to shut down schools because of a case of COVID-19.  Now, if a student tests positive, other students can take the test and stay in the classroom if they’re not infected, rather than closing the whole school or having to quarantine.  We can keep our schools open -- and that’s exactly what we should be doing.”

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A Message from the ECLC

It’s a new year, but our work continues to ensure all children, their families, and the early childhood professionals who support them are valued, healthy, and thriving.

On Dec. 30, the Transition Working Group (TWG) released a completed set of Universal Preschool Recommendations to guide the voluntary, universal preschool program. These recommendations were shared at the Town Hall on January 4; check out the recording, which includes a special welcome from Governor Jared Polis. 

These recommendations have been submitted to the Early Childhood Leadership Commission (ECLC), who will hold its next public meeting on Jan. 11 at 9:30am to review the recommendations and vote on their approval.  We hope you will join us. 

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U.S. Department of Education Announces Joint Temporary Action with U.S. Department of Transportation to Help Address School Bus Driver Labor Shortage

Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Education (Department), that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is giving states the option of waiving the portion of the commercial driver's license (CDL) skills test that requires applicants to identify the "under the hood" engine components. All other components of the written and road test will remain.

This announcement aims to alleviate some of the labor shortage challenges schools are facing and is one of many resources the Department continues to provide to safely keep schools open for full-time, in-person learning. 

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Completed Universal Preschool Recommendations Released!

As we close the calendar year, we celebrate the progress we have made toward more equitably serving Colorado’s children and their families. We are also excited about the great things to come in 2022.

Among our top priorities in the new year is to lay the groundwork for the state’s voter-approved, voluntary, universal preschool program. The universal preschool program, which will be overseen by the new Department of Early Childhood, will give all Colorado families the opportunity to access 10 hours of high-quality early care and education per week, per child, in the year prior to the child entering kindergarten. It is set to launch in 2023. 

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CASB Serving You, Dec 17, 2021

CASB Serving You!

December 17, 2021
CASB believes that quality public education is the foundation for our nation’s economic prosperity, community’s quality of life, and every child’s opportunity to live their best life. The following are current events and opportunities for our members:

PROFESSIONAL LEARNING

ADVOCACY


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The Scoop, December 29, 2021

 

Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021

NOTE: There will be no Scoop on Dec. 29 or Jan. 5.
** Action Item

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U.S. Department of Education Provides Letter Regarding COVID-19 Impact

The letter cites strategies and local examples of how recovery funds can and are helping address teacher/staff shortages to assist districts in attracting and retaining effective educators, including providing one-time initial hiring incentives and increasing compensation, building and maintaining a cadre of high-quality substitute teachers, supporting educator and staff well-being, and making investments in the educator pipeline.

U.S. Department of Education Letter

Rural Centered From the Colorado Center for Rural Education

Hello Friends of Colorado’s Rural Educators,
The Colorado Center for Rural Education is accepting applications for these two stipends. Financial incentives help recruit and retain teachers!
Rural Inservice Educator Stipend up to $6,000 (application deadline Feb. 28)

Inservice PK-12 educators working in rural Colorado are encouraged to pursue the necessary qualifications to a) teach concurrent enrollment courses, b) add an additional endorsement, or c) fulfill a local faculty need.
Colorado Rural (Student) Teacher Stipend up to $4,000 (application deadline March 31)
These awards are designed to encourage candidates to student teach and eventually become teachers in Colorado rural school districts. 

2022 Future Rural Teachers Summit

Also . . . please encourage your high school students to participate in our Summit! The Summit will be held on the evening of Feb. 17, in conjunction with the annual Future Teacher Conference (FTC) at the University of Northern Colorado. High school students discover what it’s like to be a teacher in one of Colorado's rural schools. Registration deadline is Feb. 1. 
Have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

Here’s to a restful holiday break for all our friends who support Colorado’s rural educators!

Robert Fulton, PhD
State Coordinator

[email protected]

Colorado Department of Higher Education opens application for Educator Loan Forgiveness Program

Qualified educators are eligible for an annual payment of up to $5,000 toward their outstanding educational loans

DENVER – Dec. 15, 2021: The Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) is now accepting applications for its Educator Loan Forgiveness Program, which will grant up to $5,000 annually to educators currently serving rural districts or teaching in hard-to-fill positions. This program is funded for five years. To qualify, teachers, administrators, and special service providers must have a license valid in the state of Colorado.
 
The program prioritizes applicants who serve in rural school districts or teach in content shortage areas—subjects that historically attract fewer educators. Prospective applicants can check eligibility on the CDHE website. Additional information and FAQ can be found in the program’s informational booklet.
 
To apply, prospective participants first fill out the interest survey. Doing so will grant them access to the online application portal where they can complete their application. Completed applications must be submitted by April 15, 2022. CDHE will notify all applicants of their program status within 60 days from the close of the application.
 
“As we deal with educator shortages across the state, this loan forgiveness program is particularly timely,” said Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, sponsor of the original loan-forgiveness bill in the state legislature. “Colorado teachers have demonstrated their worthiness in the face of the disheartening challenges brought on by COVID-19. This program rewards the educators who have shown their willingness to invest in our children and our communities.”
 
The loan forgiveness program is among several strategies CDHE and the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) are pursuing to help curb the state’s educator shortage, which has hit rural districts especially hard. According to CDE’s Education Shortage Survey 2020-21, small rural districts had the highest percentage of teaching positions that remained unfilled.
 
For more information, visit the Educator Loan Forgiveness webpage.

Early Childhood Leadership Commission: Transition Planning Transition Advisory Group

Meeting Reminder

Wednesday, Dec 15, 2021 
3:00-5:30 pm

Join with Zoom
Meeting ID: 8976129 5150
Passcode: 014029

Key Meeting Topics

  • Review draft recommendations
  • Discuss feedback on recommendations

Important Documents

The ECLC is required by legislation to convene a Transition Advisory Group (TAG), to learn from parents/families, members of the early childhood workforce, providers, school districts, human services leaders, Councils, and other stakeholders. 



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LCS Looking Forward to 2022

The LCS Chronicle

Your Digital Newsletter from The Legislative Council Staff

Looking Forward to 2022

As 2021 nears its close, Legislative Council Staff are reflecting on another year spent doing what we do best - serving the Colorado General Assembly.  The 2021 legislative session brought many new procedures as the COVID pandemic continued to challenge our normal ways of doing business.  The LCS helped the legislature develop new ways for members and the public to safely participate in the legislative process.  We also adopted new and more efficient ways to conduct our work too.  Throughout all the changes of the past year, however, our commitment to serve the Colorado General Assembly safely and effectively remains unchanged.  As you prepare for the 2022 legislative session, please know that LCS staff are available to assist with any issue.
  
Do you have a question for LCS?  Contact LCS today by stopping by our front office in Room 048 in the State Capitol, by emailing [email protected], or calling 303.866.3521.

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Girls With Impact's Business and Leadership Academy

Scholarship Spots for Girls With Impact’s Business & Leadership Academy

Families - We’re partnering with Girls With Impact to bring you scholarships for their 10-week mini-MBA program. Girls With Impact is the nation’s online live, online business, and leadership academy for young women, 14-18. We are able to offer these scholarships courtesy of Denver headquartered company, US Bank.

Winter classes start the weeks of January 10th and will fill up, so sign up today.

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