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News release - State board directs struggling Greeley elementary school to implement its innovation plan

Feb. 15, 2018

State board directs struggling Greeley elementary school to implement its innovation plan

Commissioner asks for moment of silence for Florida school shooting victims

DENVER - Before the State Board commenced its second meeting of the year, Colorado Education Commissioner Katy Anthes asked for a moment of silence in solidarity with the students, parents and educators affected by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla.

"Our support and love go out to the victims and their families, and we stand united with our colleagues in Florida and Broward County Public Schools community,” Anthes said. CDE has posted resources on its website that are helpful to districts, teachers, parents and students in creating safe school environments.

Greeley School District 6 school directed to implement its innovation plan

The Colorado State Board of Education at Thursday’s monthly meeting directed Greeley School District 6 to pursue innovation status for a chronically low-performing elementary school.

Martinez Elementary School, a high-poverty school in Greeley, will enter its sixth year with the second lowest rating on the state’s School Performance Framework. The framework measures attainment on key performance indicators identified in state law: academic achievement and academic longitudinal growth for all schools and postsecondary and workforce readiness for secondary schools. Under state law, the state board directs actions concerning schools that have been in the two lowest categories on the performance framework consecutively for five years.

In its first accountability hearing of 2018, the board advised Greeley 6 to submit a proposed written final determination regarding implementation of the school’s innovation plan. The board will make a final determination at a later meeting. Innovation status provides a way for the school to develop practices that can better meet the needs of students. It allows the school more autonomy to make decisions at the school level through waivers from local and state policies.

Innovation status for Martinez Elementary was both proposed by the district and recommended by the State Review Panel. The district began working on this accountability pathway over a year ago. In June 2017, the district was given approval by the State Board of Education for its innovation plan. On Thursday, the board determined that continued implementation of the innovation plan would address the challenges at Martinez Elementary and help the school improve student academic performance. CDE will remain involved in monitoring progress of the school through its Turnaround Network and will provide annual updates to the state board until the school comes off the clock.

Charter waiver requests

The board approved a request from Peak to Peak Charter School in the Boulder Valley School District to waive the requirement to administer the state-approved school readiness assessment to every kindergartner and instead administer an assessment of its choosing. The board denied a request from Peak to Peak that sought a waiver from the state requirement to submit school readiness assessment results.

Aurora Public School's motion to dismiss the charter school appeal from Vega Collegiate Academy was granted by the board. Vega Collegiate Academy’s request to relocate to a better and larger facility to better serve its students was denied by the district on the basis of its proximity to a marijuana dispensary.

In other action:

The board approved nine emergency authorization requests from six school districts, the Charter School Institute and Rio Blanco BOCES, helping to fill positions that would otherwise go unfilled due to a shortage of appropriately licensed educators.

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