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

A+ Stay Sharp: Response Digest 4

As Colorado districts and students face the realities of school closure for the remainder of the academic year, we continue to find ourselves grappling with more questions than answers for the future of education. A+ Colorado and Education Reform Now teamed up to host a conversation where many of these questions were answered with hopeful responses from national and local education experts. We also have new staff updates from the A+ team, with a new opportunity to join. 

There’s lemonade to be made in these times of uncertainty, and we have no doubt if anyone can build from these lessons, it’s Colorado’s students, families, and educators.

Spotlight: Schooling in the Era of Covid-19

A+ Colorado recently partnered with Education Reform Now for an online conversation covering “Schooling in the era of COVID-19”. This event featured national and local education leaders on the federal, state, and district roles in supporting our most vulnerable students. Panelists included Dr. John King, former U.S. Secretary of Education and President and CEO of Education Trust; Rob Stein, Superintendent of Roaring Fork Schools; Susana Cordova, Denver Public Schools Superintendent and Michelle Murphy, Executive Director from the Colorado Rural Schools Alliance.

Panelists discussed the challenges experienced by students, administrators, and teachers in the transition to online learning and the lingering concerns on how this transition will continue highlighting and exacerbating gaps between students. Secretary King highlighted the national drop-off in students completing FAFSA applications, posing significant challenges and barriers to higher education. Beyond education, the novel coronavirus has revealed the role that school systems play in meeting additional needs including food, safety, and healthcare. We were grateful to have a lot of great questions from the audience and a recap from Chalkbeat.  

As teachers prepare for the fall return to in-person learning, it’s imperative they’re mindful of their student’s progress and continue considering new and innovative ways to deliver lessons. 

What Questions About Colorado Education Do You Have?

We’ve been receiving a lot of great questions from our readers about how Colorado school districts are adapting to remote teaching. As we continue to dig into the work that districts are doing, what would you be most interested in learning more about?

A+ is Hiring a Director of Communications and Engagement

Are you as passionate about improving public education as us? Join the A+ team! See the full job description and how to apply here.

A+ Welcomes Stephen Fusco to the Team as VP of Policy and Research

Stephen brings over twenty years of policy, law, and education experience to A + Colorado.  After graduating from Emory University with Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctorate degrees, he practiced law for 12 years before entering the field of education. He received his Master of Education degree from Georgia State University with a focus on Behavioral/Learning Disabilities in May 2016. While working on his Master’s, he worked at a residential treatment facility for children with severe emotional and behavioral disabilities. Stephen was also in charge of a special education department at a large elementary school with approximately 980 students (95% English language learners and Title I) as a building leader. 

Stephen moved to Colorado to serve as Deputy General Counsel at an urban school district and later served as an educational advocate and pro bono attorney for families of children with special needs.  Stephen is finishing his PhD in educational leadership and policy studies at Denver University where his research focuses on compassion fatigue/burnout among educators and critical inquiry regarding the intersection of law and education. 

When he is not working, he enjoys spending time with his partner Dale and their dog Phoebe. Stephen enjoys cooking (I am Italian…it’s a requirement before you leave home), hiking 14’ers, yoga, swimming, and traveling the world.

Teaching Policy Fellowship Applications Open

Applications for the Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellowship are now open for 2020-21. Teach Plus is an organization that works to create and connect teachers to opportunities to lead in real ways at the policy level. Applications are due May 8, 2020. Learn more and apply here.

What we’re reading, watching, and listening to…

Lisa Berdie, Senior Advisor

Reading: Just Finished The Power by Naomi Alderman. I’ve been re-reading Talking to my Daughter About the Economy or, How Capitalism Works — And How It Fails by Yanis Varoufakis

Watching: Catching up on movies: Parasite, Jojo Rabbit and The Joker. Gentefied, Fleabag, and also Tiger King…

Listening to: KUVO 

Cooking: Made matzo ball soup that I hope would have made my grandmother proud for Passover.

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