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

Opening Lessons: Kids need to learn from one another and adults

Virtual school, image via Pexels. Credit: August de Richelieu Going into September, most schools have opened throughout the land: some in-person, some partially in-person, and some fully online. I have been trying to track what I am hearing and seeing through conversations with folks on the ground — and with lots of reading. Kids (and…

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Is the Denver Public School Board no longer focused on ending inequality?

Is the Denver Public Schools board no longer focused on ending inequality? Van Schoales – President of A+ Colorado. This piece was originally published in the Denver Post on August 18th. The Denver School Board’s recent letter to families asking them to prioritize the school district’s interests above the interests of their children is a remarkable…

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Would I send my kid to school this Fall?

Would I send my kid to school this fall? Van Schoales – President of A+ Colorado. This piece was originally published in the 74 on August 4th. I get asked daily what I would do if I had a child entering school this fall. While every family situation is so different, I can share my…

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Could COVID help reinvent the American high school?

Could American high school learning improve with COVID planning? Most of the planning for opening schools this fall around the world is being driven by how best to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID. Can you reduce class sizes? Rethink meeting in large groups? Break up schedules to meet less often or more often for…

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7 Principles for School District Budgeting in a Time of Financial Armageddon

This post originally appeared in The 74 on 5/17/2020. 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. School district budget decisions in the next month will have a profound impact on…

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What are teaching expectations during COVID-19 school closures

Educators, like many health and other essential workers are stepping up in remarkable ways to serve students and families. Jimmy Fallon said and sang it well on last night’s Tonight Show, Many Colorado educators spend far more time than they did a few months ago connecting with students remotely, on their porches or through phone…

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The Case for Social and Emotional Support Now- and Always in School

If ever there was a time to pay attention to how students are doing socially and emotionally in school, it would be now in what is likely to be the most disruptive societal change since World War II.   Millions of people are already out of work, our health care systems are overwhelmed, we are likely…

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Making Lemonade out of COVID-19 or Simply Surviving with Kids at Home

Families and kids are now faced with a new reality of school at home, not just for the next few weeks but likely for the rest of the school year. As this is a time of uncertainty and stress for most families, it could be a time to rethink what and how students can be…

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Teaching Empathy

Last month, I had the pleasure of moderating a discussion on the “Teaching of Empathy” at the Denver Biennial of the Americas. It was a powerful reminder that the heart of teaching begins with empathy.  The Biennial is a magical gathering of artists and activist leaders from across the Americas that happens in Denver every…

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What is a good school in Colorado? And will Denver set a standard to ensure that students can read?

Discussions have been swirling at the state and district levels about school data and accountability over the last few months.  Accountability, for those who may not know, is a term for measuring how well a school is doing and what should be done or celebrated about these rankings. These discussions cut to the core of…

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