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News Release - State Board of Education approves waivers for state’s first charter school on tribal land
March 11, 2021
State Board of Education approves waivers for state’s first charter school on tribal land
DENVER -- The State Board of Education at its meeting on Wednesday and Thursday approved waivers from state law requested for the Kwiyagat Community Academy, Colorado’s first charter school to open on tribal land.
Requested by the Charter School Institute on behalf of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, the waivers are designed to show respect for the sovereign authority of the tribe and help avoid confusion and conflict between Colorado and tribal laws. The Kwiyagat Community Academy’s goal is to improve outcomes for students living on Ute Mountain Ute land and nearby areas by grounding its programming in Ute culture, language and traditions. The school is expected to open in fall 2021.
Board continues the temporary modification of 2018 directives for Pueblo 60 School District
The state board directed Pueblo 60 School District to continue working with Relay Graduate School of Education for partial management of Risley International Academy of Innovation for another school year. The school has experienced nine years of low student academic performance, and in 2018 the board directed the district to engage an external partner to fully manage the school. Given challenges arising during the pandemic, the board modified that 2018 order last September to allow for partial management for the 2020-21 school year. Relay will continue to have decision-making authority over instructional programming and teacher professional development for the 2021-22 school year.
Board honors 2021 Colorado Teacher of the Year
The board recognized 2021 Colorado Teacher of the Year Gerardo Muñoz, a social studies teacher at Denver Center for International Studies at Baker in Denver Public Schools. Muñoz was selected to represent the entire teaching profession in Colorado for 2021 based on his dedication to teaching, his passion for social studies and social justice, and for inspiring a love of learning in his students that empowers them and prepares them to thrive.
Muñoz has taught middle and high school students at the Denver Center for International Studies at Baker for 14 years. His classes include Concurrent Enrollment Ethnic Studies, Advanced Placement World History and 5280 Challenge - the school’s student board of education - through DPS’s Student Voice and Leadership Program. During his 21 years in education, Muñoz has been involved in a number of programs, initiatives and organizations to promote equity and anti-racism.
In other actions, the board:
Approved participating districts for the High School Innovative Learning Pilot Program. This program supports high school students in earning industry credentials by allowing flexibility for on-the-job career training, such as nursing, medical billing and information technology.
Approved Rules for the Administration of Statewide Accountability Measures for the Colorado Public School System, Charter School Institute, Public School Districts and Public Schools, 1 CCR 301-1. Based on recommendations from the COVID-19 Policy Implications Stakeholder Group, the April 15, 2021, Unified Improvement Plan submission deadline for public posting is now optional. Amendments have been made to the accountability rules to allow districts and schools to roll over their most recently posted plan. However, districts must still submit required K - 3 reading assessment and instructional programming information required by the READ Act this year.
- Approved the Rules for the Administration of the Educator Licensing Act of 1991, 1 CCR 301-37. Amendments to the rules include legislated professional development requirements to renew professional educator licenses, revisions to educator enforcement protocols and an update to the Adult Basic Education certification process to ensure alignment with the Colorado Community College standards.
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