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News Release - State board approves 42 districts for School Health Professional Grant

Aug. 17, 2017

State board approves 42 districts for School Health Professional Grant 

Board increases accreditation rating for Julesburg Re-1

DENVER - The Colorado State Board of Education during its regular meeting on Wednesday and Thursday approved 42 recipients to receive $9.2 million in funding from a School Health Professional Grant, which aims to increase the presence of school health professionals in schools throughout the state.

The grant provides money to districts and charter schools for school health professionals who can facilitate better prevention education, screen for early identification and provide referrals for students with substance abuse and other behavioral health needs. Additionally, the board adopted emergency rules to ensure funding can be allocated to recipients.

Julesburg accreditation rating

The state board approved the request from Julesburg Re-1 School District to reconsider adjusting its 2016 district accreditation rating to Accredited with Improvement Plan based on the actions the district took as a result of the accountability pathway process. Julesburg Re-1 School District was the only district implementing the school closure pathway, with the shuttering of Destination Career Academy of Colorado grades 6-8. The district was in a unique situation where its performance challenge was based on the academic performance of a single school, Destination Academy of Colorado, for which the district has already taken significant action. When the results for grades 6-8 at Destination Career Academy were removed from the district’s results, the district earned an Accredited with Improvement Plan.

Board approves innovation for two DPS schools

The board on Wednesday approved two innovation school applications from Denver Public Schools for Inspire Elementary School and Morey Middle School. Innovation status gives schools greater autonomy and managerial flexibility in order to implement diverse approaches to learning.

Accountability clock hearings debrief

Earlier this year, the state board concluded four months of 2017 Accountability Clock Hearings for Priority Improvement and Turnaround schools and districts that reached the end of the Accountability Clock. As part of the hearing process the board directed actions intended to improve the outcomes for students within 12 schools and five districts. The department collected feedback and recommendations from participating schools and districts and other stakeholders to identify areas of improvements to the process. Aurora Public Schools Superintendent Rico Munn and Greeley 6 School District Superintendent Deirdre Pilch provided feedback to the board.

Some of the feedback themes included starting early in the process, considering ways to make all pathway options feasible (particularly charter school conversion), and engaging local school boards earlier and in a more meaningful way.  The department has begun working on ways to improve the accountability hearing process based on this feedback including creating a template for district plans, reaching out to the next round of schools/districts entering the accountability clock, and administering a new round of Pathway Planning Grant funding.

Five renewal emergency authorization requests

The State Board approved requests from four school districts - Cripple Creek-Victor Re-1, Del Norte C-7, Huerfano Re-1, Ridgway R-2 - and San Juan BOCES, to approve emergency authorizations to non-licensed teachers, special service providers, principals or administrators who are enrolled in preparation programs but have not yet met all the requirements for a license.

Board hears about U.S. Department of Education’s feedback on Colorado’s ESSA plan

The board learned about an Aug. 11 letter from the U.S. Department of Education with feedback about the state’s plan for implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act. CDE  has until Aug. 24 to submit a detailed red-lined version of the state’s ESSA plan that address the issues raised in the USDOE’s letter.

September board meeting in Burlington

The September meeting of the State Board of Education will be in Burlington on Wednesday, Sept. 13, and Thursday, Sept. 14.

In other action, the board: