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The Spark - June 2021

The Spark. A newsletter filled with information and inspiration for Colorado teachers.

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Katy Anthes headshot during the Thanksgiving holiday message


Dear Educators,

As we close the books on what has been one of the hardest school years of our lives, I want to express my deep appreciation and gratitude to you for your herculean efforts to support your students.  

I am in awe of everything our teachers have done to keep our students inspired, keep families functioning and even keep our economy firing over this past year.  You worked day and night to respond to all the twists and turns of the past year, and I know you put your heart and soul into engaging and supporting your students through learning remotely, through masks and even through plexiglass. 

It has filled my heart to see some return to normalcy this spring with in-person graduation ceremonies, proms, concerts and field days. I know that May is always an incredibly busy time for teachers, but I do hope that the return to our traditions and rites of passage also brought you joy. 

As we head into summer, my sincerest wish is that you each have the opportunity to rest, reflect and rejuvenate. After you take time to rest and reflect on your successes over this year, I hope you can think about all the things you learned and how they can enrich your practice moving forward. This year has been incredibly difficult, but there have been silver linings. We’ve learned new ways of connecting with our students and with each other, we’ve learned how to use technology more effectively to enhance student learning… and we’ve learned the benefits of grocery delivery! If you are looking for some additional ideas, CDE has created a new Learning Impacts Toolkit, organized around the themes of Reset, Reflect and Reimagines. 

Summer always goes by too quickly, but I do hope you can enjoy some lazy days. And when you’re enjoying a long cup of coffee on a slow morning, or just sitting on a porch swing, think about all you accomplished this year that didn’t seem possible last summer. 

You are incredible, and I can never thank you enough. 

Be Well,



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COOL Licensing System Logo

The recently launched educator licensing system is pretty cool – literally. 

The COOL acronym stands for the easy-to-remember Colorado Online Licensing System. Designed with you, the teacher, in mind, this new system provides a streamlined application process and includes several new features, such as:

To make the transition to COOL as simple as possible, the Educator Licensing team has provided step-by-step user guides and video tutorials. These resources, as well as application checklists and more information, are available on the Educator Licensing webpage.




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READ Act Image

Kindergarten through third-grade teachers now will have until the start of the 2022-23 school year to complete a reading training requirement under the Colorado READ Act, after Gov. Polis signed House Bill 21-1129.

The legislation signed into law recently extends the deadline for K-3 teachers to complete the training in evidence-based reading, which is geared at improving reading among the state’s youngest students. The previous deadline for the training was Jan. 31, 2022. 

The training will give teachers an opportunity to improve their teaching practices and better support students. Teachers who have already completed the training have said that it has made a difference in their ability to help students improve at reading. 

For more information about the training, visit this link.



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Photo of Colorado's Capitol Building

As the 2021 legislative session winds down, education issues that affect teachers continue to make news. Here is some legislation that could interest teachers:

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Learning Impacts Logo

The Colorado Department of Education created a COVID-19 Learning Impacts Toolkit to help district and school leaders plan and implement strategies to address the impacts of lost instructional time on the learning and wellbeing of students over the past school year. 

The toolkit provides a variety of new and existing strategies to help school and district leaders address the impacts of the pandemic on the learning and wellbeing of students and staff. The key themes of the toolkit are Reflect, Reset, Reimagine. CDE will continue to add resources to the toolkit over the next year to help district and school leaders adapt to the evolving needs of students.

Additionally, the toolkit is aligned with the Equity and Excellence Learning Series, which is an online event designed to catalyze conversations about resources and strategies. The event is spread out over June 16-17, June 23-24 and Aug. 4-6. District and school staff can follow this link to register. Capacity for the Learning Series is limited and CDE encourages timely registration. Registration will close at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 9.



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book logo

Call or Text the CU Anschutz Well-Being Support Line (303-724-2500)

The goal of this support line is to help our community through the stress and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic and focus on providing care and support for those impacted by this pandemic.  The CU Anschutz Well-Being Support Line (303-724-2500) is a free service for healthcare workers and educators -- statewide.   

The support line is available via call or text from 8 AM to 8 PM, seven days a week.




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