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Promising Practices: Quality Schools (Lake School District)

Colorado's stories of promising practices

Quality schools

Quality Schools

Lake School District

The turnaround effort by Lake County School District in Leadville, Colo., incorporated deep community involvement, partnerships with outside organizations and building up existing resources.


Lake County School District had experienced several years of poor academic performance, landing the district on the state’s accountability clock for managed improvement.

In 2017, however, the rural district had a dramatic rebound with improved test scores and notable gains in academic growth. The district moved off of the accountability clock.

District leaders pointed to their work with the community, partnering with outside organizations and a concerted effort to build up its existing teaching force.

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  • Respecting Human Capital
  • Strategic Partnerships
  • Community Engagement


  • CDE’s Turnaround Office
  • The Gates Family Foundation
  • Expeditionary Learning
  • The Achievement Network
  • Relay Graduate School of Education


Superintendent Wendy Wyman has been an instrumental force in leading the turnaround. CDE’s Nicole Monet called Lake’s effort The Wendy Revolution. Wyman found a balance between support and accountability and is writing a playbook for how to get it done so the turnaround effort can be sustained going forward, even without her. In this interview, Wyman explains key points of the district’s turnaround.

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