These posts are the opinions of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of A+ Colorado.

A+ Stay Sharp: 6.11.2020

Educators, parents, and students have begun their summer vacations after the end of a truly unprecedented school year. Questions remain surrounding the return to school in the fall, how districts will respond to budget shortfalls in the fallout of COVID-19, and significant policy proposals from local leaders that will alter schools’ trajectories for years to come. The latest Stay Sharp newsletter includes information on these topics, opportunities to engage, and a community conversation with the Colorado Children’s Campaign.

A+ Updates

Aurora Public Schools Blueprint APS

The June 9th APS Board vote on the Blueprint APS plan for a network of new magnet schools was postponed until June 16 due to technical difficulties with the district’s virtual meeting software that forced the district to cancel the meeting 30 minutes after it started. In addition to audio and video issues that left Board members unable to communicate, the meeting capacity was capped at 200 attendees leaving an unknown number of community members unable to join the meeting livestream. 

The issues experienced in this week’s meeting are illustrative of the broader challenges that community members face in trying to engage district leaders and Board members in a time of remote decision making. As districts across the state stare down deadlines for budgets for the 2020-21 school year, important decisions around returning to school in the fall, and increased calls for substantive action on systemic racial injustice in school systems, the ability of all members of the community to have a voice and engage in decision making processes are more important than they’ve ever been.

Could COVID help reinvent the American high school?
Could American High School Learning improve with COVID planning? As many schools are planning to open this fall; leaders are weighing risks and trying to understand how to best reduce the risk of transmitting COVID. Read the latest blog from A+ Colorado CEO, Van Schoales on the future of education reform, and the opportunities to rethink American High School.

Denver Public Schools – Budget Advisory Committee Update

DPS Budget Advisory Committee recently presented an update to the DPS Board of education on June 8th. This included a financial outlook for the projected FY21 shortfall, an updated budget timeline and five year financial forecasts. What would it like to be making these budgetary decisions? Use the Balancing Act simulator to try and balance the DPS budget with your education priorities! 

Community Spotlight – Stephanie Perez-Carillo – Colorado Children’s Campaign

A+ Colorado, in partnership with DFER spoke to Stephanie Perez-Carillo from the Colorado Children’s Campaign to learn about their Youth Policy Pipeline Pilot. The program is to center youth in decision making processes and to highlight youth resiliency. The program is intended for youth (ages 16-24) interested in advocacy and policy. You can learn more about the Children’s Campaign by visiting their website at

Engagement Opportunities

Preparing for our return to school in the Fall SurveyDenver Public Schools

DPS recently asked families for feedback on how remote learning is going used the results from to create options for how our schools could safely reopen and operate in the fall. DPS would appreciate hearing your thoughts and preferences on the potential school scheduling options before a plan is finalized. Please take the NEW survey on the DPS website by Friday, June 12. It is important that all schools and regions are represented in our feedback.

Hace poco les pedimos a las familias de DPS que compartieran sus opiniones sobre la manera en que ha transcurrido el aprendizaje a distancia, y utilizamos los resultados de nuestras encuestas a fin de crear opciones para reabrir y operar nuestras escuelas de manera segura en el otoño. Nos gustaría saber sus opiniones y preferencias en cuanto a las posibles opciones de horarios escolares antes de que se finalice el plan. Les pedimos que llenen la NUEVA encuesta en el sitio web de DPS antes del viernes, 12 de junio. Es importante que todas las escuelas y regiones se vean representadas en nuestros comentarios y sugerencias.

What will financial turmoil mean for public education in Colorado?

The financial impacts of Covid-19 on public education are profound; and education leaders face communicating these impacts and the trade-offs from decisions they make with families, staff and the broader community. District CFO’s and finance staff are invited to attend a webinar with Dr. Marguerite Roza from Georgetown University as she shares her perspective on the financial outlook and what finance leaders may consider as they look to the next Fall and beyond. Register here for the webinar taking place on June 12th.

Community Resources

Family Partnerships and Home Visits Webinar

Family Partnerships in the time of COVID-19 webinar by the Colorado Education Initiative, Climb Higher Colorado and Aurora Public Schools. This webinar, taking place on Tuesday, June 16th to discuss strategies of virtual home visit programs during the COVID-19 crisis. Register here.

Blueprint 4 Summer CO

ReSchool has created the Blueprint 4 summer CO which serves as a Hub for students, and families to scope out summer programs, and learning opportunities for students from pre-school through 12th grade and is available in multiple languages. This tool is designed to provide families with access to learning options that fit their specific needs and interests.

Staff Spotlight

Stephen Fusco, Vice President of Strategy and Operations

Go-to quarantine meal: Sushi
Favorite spot in Colorado during the summer: Any of Colorado’s 14’ers
Favorite online concert or recording: OurSong Atlanta, Unlocking Us

Want A+ Colorado news delivered to your inbox? Subscribe!