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Last Updated: May 13th, 5:00pm.
A+ Colorado and DFER interviewed Danielle and Ivana from Stand for Children to learn about their current work during COVID-19. Danielle and Ivana shared how their work as organizers is to listen to their families and to serve them. And that’s exactly what they’re doing during this pandemic. We want to thank Stand for their time and presence in our community.
A+ Colorado and DFER have partnered to highlight community organizations and community members’ incredible work during COVID-19. Check out our interview with Nicholas Martinez and Ariel Smith from Transform Education Now (TEN.) Nicholas and Ariel speak about how TEN’s work has shifted to virtually support the families they serve. We appreciate them for their time and leadership.
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; Rob Stein, Superintendent of Roaring Fork Schools; Susana Cordova, Denver Public Schools Superintendent; and Michelle Murphy, Executive Director of Colorado Rural Schools Alliance.
A+ Colorado interviewed Mike Miles from Third Future Schools to learn about how they’re rescoping their work during COVID-19. Watch to learn how school leaders and districts are responding to the unique challenges of these unprecedented times.
Weekly Response Digest from A+ Colorado
April 1, 2020
A+ Colorado has shifted our work to focus on responding to the education needs within the state while continuing to provide data-driven information and advocacy to support the community. In the coming weeks, we will be providing weekly news and updates, partner resources, and stories worth spotlighting.
All Colorado schools have suspended in-school learning for the remainder of the school year, and while most school districts and families adjust to this new normal, there are still so many hurdles districts are facing to meet the needs of their students and families. Meal distribution continues throughout the state in many areas, with some districts going as far as personally delivering these to their families. Districts are still facing a technology shortage to ensure families are prepared for virtual learning, and Colorado’s largest district has only just begun day 1 of the last month or so of school via e-learning. The times are difficult, but provide opportunity for lessons to be learned throughout the state and how our children will adapt post-COVID.
Colorado students, teachers and communities are adjusting to this “new normal”. The transition to online learning which is likely to continue for the remainder of the year, has presented unique challenges for rural and urban districts. This week’s Stay Sharp Response Digest includes an interview with a local school leader, an A+ Answer digging into which areas of the state are most vulnerable economically and how that might affect students, and the funding impact on school districts’ budgets.
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.
As the Coronavirus has continued to present unprecedented challenges for students, families, and district leaders; our Colorado teachers have responded with their familiar creativity, patience, and resilience. We’re grateful for our teachers; especially heading into Teacher Appreciation Week. Follow our social media channels next week to share gratitude for your favorite teachers.
This week’s Stay Sharp Response Digest includes an opportunity to join the A+ Colorado team, a spotlight on transformational educational leadership, and the economic realities of projected budget shortfalls. Onward to #EdColo news and updates!
Colorado’s teachers take on one of the highest and most noble professions, shaping the hearts and minds for the future of the Centennial state. We’re grateful for the talented and passionate teachers throughout #EdColo and recognize their commitment to students in the midst of the Global Pandemic. This National Teacher Appreciation week, make your favorite teacher feel loved and appreciated.
As the state of Colorado is gradually moving closer to “re-opening” the historic and unprecedented circumstances caused by Coronavirus will linger, posing significant threats at across levels of education from the statehouse to the classrooms. This week’s Stay Sharp Digest includes our recent panel discussions on the topics of supporting students in the transition to higher education, and district leaders responding to budget decisions, a community spotlight, and resources to track local school boards. Read more in our latest Stay Sharp Covid Digest below.
As unemployment numbers grow in Colorado and across the nation, the forecasts for state and local tax revenue become increasingly dire. Current projected shortfalls are looking to be north of $3 billion (the state budget had been projected at about $13.4 billion with K-12 making up about $4.5 billion of that proposed spending). This despite the fact the state began FY 19-20 with a very significant 11% General Fund reserve.
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.
Which Students are the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 crisis and what can be done to help them?
During these difficult times, as districts are tasked with unprecedented situations and decisions, A+ Colorado wanted to take the time to shine a light on a student population that is often overlooked, those without stable home environments.
Making Lemonade out of COVID-19 or Simply Surviving with Kids at Home by Van Schoales
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 learning.
Parenting During the Pandemic by Alexis Senger
A Colorado parent shares the new reality and challenges she faces teaching and working from home, and her new normal as COVID-19 has forced the closure of all public and private schools throughout Colorado.
A+ Colorado stands with the Colorado community.
Friends, families, educators, students, and partners,
We are in the midst of one of the biggest global crises some of us have experienced. We know it will be very difficult, and may get far worse in the coming months, but we know we can get through this together.
We are grateful for the leadership of state and local leaders who have made the hard decisions that can protect our communities. We are grateful for school district leaders across the state that have stepped up to support our most vulnerable families with food distribution. There are many families that need support as well as a growing list of organizations to meet those needs including food, healthcare, mental health supports, childcare and supporting their kids at home. Additionally, we are encouraged by the school districts and educators, of all backgrounds, who are stepping up home learning resources for all ages of kids.
It is crucial that we all try to stay calm while also radically changing our lives so that we can try to “flatten the curve” and reduce the spread. Reducing the spread of the virus is critical to ensure our health care systems can address the needs of what will be growing numbers of people that will need health care support.
A+ Colorado is committed to doing whatever we can to support our schools and students at this time. We have transitioned to remote work and are retooling our focus to provide information and advocacy to support the community during these evolving challenges.
We plan to assist where it’s needed to provide support to our partners and districts. You can expect our response and future communications to be rooted in research. Please reach out with information, resources you hope to share, and suggestions about how we can help. We are in this together.
Thanks, and stay safe.
Van and the A+ team