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News Release - Colorado educators meet to craft options for student success

Colorado Education Initiative, Jobs for the Future, in partnership with Colorado Department of Education Header

Oct. 30, 2017

Colorado educators meet to craft options for student success

Graduation Guidelines Summit focuses on prepping students for future endeavors

THORNTON, Colo. – Improving outcomes for all students is important to Colorado educators, and the state’s graduation guidelines were created to pinpoint those outcomes. Now, district leaders are looking for ways to adapt those guidelines with gusto – and engage students at a deeper level, resulting in graduates that are ready to successfully enter college, the workforce, and other postsecondary endeavors.

The interest in this opportunity is evident – more than 300 school district and education officials registered to attend today’s Graduation Guidelines Summit at the Adams 12 Conference Center. Keynote speakers Paul Leather, from the National Center for Innovation in Education, and Cañon City Schools Superintendent George Welsh will set the tone for the day, inviting attendees to consider a variety of options for transforming schools.

The convening was planned by the Colorado Education Initiative and Jobs for the Future, in partnership with the Colorado Department of Education. Jobs for the Future is a national nonprofit that builds educational and economic opportunity for underserved populations in the United States and supports learner-centered efforts throughout the nation that encourage deeper learning, including the ability to solve complex problems and communicate effectively.

“It’s great to see that national partners are excited by the way our most innovative districts are revisiting and redesigning the ultimate outcomes of the K-12 experience in Colorado,” said Rebecca Holmes, president and CEO of Colorado Education Initiative, a statewide nonprofit organization that invests time, expertise and dollars in K-12 public education.

The Summit is centered on the theme of Graduating Every Student Postsecondary and Workforce Ready: Leveraging Graduation Guidelines for Deeper Learning and Strategic Action. Participants will have the opportunity to learn from their peers – school district staff who have successfully implemented measures that align innovative teaching practices with state policy. Presenters will represent school districts from throughout the state, including Archuleta County, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Grand Junction, Greeley, Jefferson County and Park County.

Colorado Education Commissioner Katy Anthes is enthusiastic about the opportunity for collaboration among educators. “The state’s graduation guidelines allow individual students to forge their own pathways forward toward careers or college,” she said. “This event is bringing people together to talk about what works and how to best help kids prepare for success after high school.”

“Colorado is one of a handful of states leading the charge to prepare students now for a future of work that is rapidly evolving,” said Rebecca Wolfe, Associate Vice President at Jobs for the Future. “Today’s gathering provides an exciting opportunity for districts and schools from all over Colorado to showcase how learner-centered practices enable students to engage with rigorous content and develop the deeper learning and career skills that will prepare them for post-secondary education and career success.”

Breakout sessions will provide insights and strategies for meeting the needs of every learner in an environment that is authentic and engaging. Session topics include competency-based learning, Capstone projects, and work-based learning.

The Colorado Education Initiative and Jobs for the Future, in partnership with the Colorado Department of Education, are offering this event to allow educators and partners to explore a strategic approach for implementing the state’s graduation guidelines. The Summit is being offered free of charge thanks to the generosity of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.


About Colorado Education Initiative

Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) is at the forefront of improvement, innovation, and change in Colorado’s public education system. CEI is a statewide nonprofit organization that invests time, expertise, and dollars in K-12 public education. For over 10 years, CEI has worked with educators as an inspired and supportive partner on the ground in over 150 urban, suburban, and rural school districts. CEI is known as a visionary organization that fuses best practices with innovation, that is tuned into today’s school dynamic and always mindful of what the future demands.

About Jobs for the Future

Jobs for the Future (JFF) is a national nonprofit that builds educational and economic opportunity for underserved populations in the United States. JFF develops innovative programs and public policies that increase college readiness and career success and build a more highly skilled, competitive workforce. With over 30 years of experience, JFF is a recognized national leader in bridging education and work to increase economic mobility and strengthen our economy.

About the Colorado Department of Education

Through setting a clear vision for increasing student performance, the Colorado Department of Education continually supports the advancement and improvement of the state’s education system to prepare all learners for success in a rapidly changing global workplace.