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

A+ Stay Sharp: Response Digest 8

As the state transitions to Safer at Home, A+ Colorado will be transitioning from our weekly COVID-19 Response Digest back to our Stay Sharp Newsletter. In a world where change is happening daily, we remain committed to bringing you timely news and research to keep you informed on education in Colorado and connect you with opportunities to get involved. To that end, our Stay Sharp Newsletter will continue to go out on a weekly basis sharing actions that A+ is taking to ensure all Colorado students are getting the education they deserve. We will also continue to share community resources and engagement opportunities in each digest. The future of public education in Colorado is being shaped by passionate stakeholders like you, let’s do our research and stay sharp.

Upcoming Webinar

Join us on Wednesday, May 27th, 2020 from 12:00-1:00pm MDT for a webinar in our series, Schooling in the Era of COVID-19: School Board District Budget Decision Making.

This discussion will cover how school board members can navigate the development of effective school district budgets with rapidly declining revenue. This is a more in-depth discussion and follow-up for the first webinar on school district budgeting earlier this month.

The conversation will be moderated by Erica Meltzer from Chalkbeat Colorado, and will include a presentation by Dr. Marguerite Roza from Georgetown University, one of the leading experts on school finance followed by a panel discussion with School Board members from across Colorado. Register here.

Sponsored by Chalkbeat Colorado, A+ Colorado, ERN, RootEd, and Gates Family Foundation.

Seven Principles for School District Budgeting

Colorado school district boards are about to make the most difficult financial decisions of their lives. Never have school boards or district financial leaders been asked to make such deep cuts in their budgets. Read about the 7 principles A+ President, Van Schoales thinks school board members should follow when making difficult decisions about their budgets.

Schooling in the Era of COVID-19: Webinar Playlist

A+ Colorado has co-hosted three panels covering Schooling in the Era of Covid-19. These panels have brought local and national education researchers, advocates and stakeholders to discuss critical topics including; smart school district budgeting and supporting juniors and seniors to ensure successful transitions. We’ve partnered with various organizations on these panels including Education Reform Now, The Colorado Sun, the Colorado Education Initiative, and the Colorado Children’s Campaign. We’re grateful for the partnership and collaboration from these ecosystem stakeholders and their meaningful perspectives on public education. You can check out recordings of all previous webinars here.

What do we really know about Online Education?

A+ Colorado released a memo last week diving into what the research says on online learning. Educators globally are navigating the unprecedented situation of delivering academic and nonacademic content to students remotely. Distance learning is not new, but the scale is vast and all communities are confronting how to effectively support students. In this context, it is not surprising that Colorado educators and districts may be turning toward current online education providers to either supplement or replace previous curriculum. Read the full memo here.

Spotlight: African Leadership Group


A+ Colorado and DFER sat down with Ousman from African Leadership Group (ALG) to learn about ALG’s work during COVID-19. Ousman shares with us that ALG is providing resources for their families and are continuing their programming virtually. We appreciate ALG’s leadership and presence in our community and we thank Ousman for his time.

Engagement Opportunities

Denver Public Schools – Budget Survey

In Denver Public Schools, the newly formed Budget Advisory Committee (BAC) — made up of members of the Board of Education, teachers, parents, alumni and staff — will meet on May 15, 22 and 29 to review possible solutions for the DPS budget challenges ahead. There are several opportunities for the entire DPS community to share suggestions and perspectives on the budget in the coming weeks:

Share your budget suggestion here for the BAC to consider.

Submit written public comment here for the BAC to review.

Sign up to speak at the board’s special public comment session on Monday, May 18, or at the regular board meeting with public comment on Thursday, May 21.

Sign up to speak at the BAC’s meeting on May 29 — more details coming soon.

View a list of BAC members, ideas received so far, and other details on the BAC website.

Community Resources

As the school year draws to a close for students across the state, many families who traditionally rely on a network of camps and other activities to keep their kids safe and engaged over the summer are left wondering what’s next. Our friends over at RESCHOOL Colorado have been working hard to track up to date opportunities on the Blueprint4Summer CO website.

A+ Wants to hear from you!

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?

Take the Survey!

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

Van Schoales, President

Reading: The Tyranny of Metrics -Jerry Muller
Watching: Homeland and Larry David
Listening to: Keith Jarrett, WWOZ and The National

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