Colorado Legacy Foundation announces selection of 13 school districts to serve as “learning laboratories” for new statewide effort to raise student achievement
(Denver, CO) Today, the Colorado Legacy Foundation (CLF) announced the selection of the Colorado Integration Project Partner Districts who will work to significantly improve the number and rate of students who graduate from Colorado high schools ready for college or career. The Integration Districts are: Centennial School District, Denver Public Schools, Eagle County School District, San Juan BOCES (nine school districts in the Southwest corner of the state), and Thompson School District.
“We believe every school should have an effective leader, every classroom should have an effective teacher and every student should be healthy and ready to learn,” said President and CEO of the Colorado Legacy Foundation, Dr. Helayne Jones. “Throughout the country there is an increased awareness about the crucial importance of effective instruction. Colorado is leading the way by significantly increasing expectations not only for students but for educators as well. These Integration Districts will help us learn quickly and early what does and does not work in the effort to support our educators in successfully meeting this higher bar for performance outcomes. We are honored to be a part of an effort to raise student outcomes which can serve as a model for the entire country.”
The Colorado Legacy Foundation will partner with the Colorado Department of Education and these Integration Districts to develop, support and recognize outstanding teachers by accelerating and integrating implementation of new educator performance evaluation systems and the Colorado Academic Standards using instructional tools aligned to those standards. The tools developed and lessons learned from those sites will be shared statewide. The Integration Districts will receive funding and technical assistance over the course of the three-year grant period. In exchange, they have committed to implement new teacher supports, participate in the early implementation of Colorado’s new educator performance law, and develop systems to ensure that those two efforts are “integrated” into a cohesive set of evidence-based tools, sustainable supports, and data to help teachers move their students toward success and college readiness. A document outlining the benefits to Integration Districts can be found here.
Collectively, the Integration Districts serve more than 100,000 students. The participating districts range in size from 65 to 79,000 students. Each was selected because they demonstrated a strong commitment and readiness to implement the state initiatives. In addition, the size, geography and student demographics of the participating districts are reflective of the 178 school districts across Colorado.
“We are thrilled with the caliber of districts who have committed to partner with us in the Colorado Integration Project to take on this important work,” said Nina Lopez, Vice President of Strategy and Partnerships for the Colorado Legacy Foundation. “We are confident that they, with the support of our organization and the Colorado Department of Education, will provide a powerful opportunity to increase outcomes for their students and share what works with other school districts across our state.”
This work is being funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Colorado was chosen for funding in large part because current statewide education efforts provide a strong framework for the proposed work. The Integration District work will be conducted in parallel with two other pilot programs through CDE. A breakout of the programs can be found here.