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Graduation Guidelines Promising Practices
The section provides examples of graduation guidelines practices currently used in Colorado schools and districts. They represent a wide variety of practices across the state, including: rural, suburban, and urban areas; districts that range from small to large; public schools, and charter schools. This collection provides school professionals with real-life examples of Graduation Guidelines implementation practices that can be downloaded and adapted for use in your setting.
This site will continue to expand as more districts align their local graduation requirements with the Colorado Graduation Guidelines, and as they begin to share their practices.
Submit a Promising Practice
If you would like to submit examples of board policy, strategic plans, implementation plans or tools, please contact:
Robin Russel, CDE
Graduation Guidelines Manager
Graduation Guidelines Summit Resources (October 30, 2017)
Find stories, models, and promising practices from the Graduation Guidelines Summit
View the Graduation Guidelines Summit on social media, #SummitGG
Aligning Local Graduation Requirements with Graduation Guidelines
Archuleta School District #50
Custer County C-1
- Process: Custer County’s local graduation requirements were adopted in 2007 and revised in recent years. In2015, a section was added regarding the district’s responsibility to meet or exceed the state guidelines. District administration involved the School Board, community stakeholders, and school staff in revision feedback (e.g., meetings, an open forum, and email communication). The addition was intended to communicate the flexibility needed by district and school administration to meet state guidelines as they change.
Policy: " The Custer County School District shall develop graduation criteria that exceeds the guidelines adopted by the state of Colorado."
Dolores RE-4A Schools
- Process: “We began our process toward the new graduation requirements in August 2015 by convening a committee of parents, students, and teachers. We began with looking at the state's minimum competencies, deciding that we would keep all of them as options, and require the capstone for every student. We met biweekly for several months. In January and February, we hosted three "world cafe" style discussions for our community and staff. The final policy is the result of the revisions that came out of the world cafe suggestions.”
Douglas County RE-1
Falcon School District 49
- Process: “In our new system, which we call 49 Pathways, District 49 students will graduate after designing their unique pathway, completing a series of classes, presenting capstone projects, earning industrial certifications, and achieving assessment results that demonstrate mastery of the knowledge and skills they will need to be successful. Our students will earn a diploma as recognition for completing the pathway specified in their individual career and academic plan. Every student will navigate their own path at their own pace toward the destination that matters most to them.”
- Policy (scroll to IKF and IKF R-1)
Greeley-Evans (Weld 6)
Poudre School District
Pueblo County 70
- IKF-E-1 (AB and IB Exams)
- IKF 2 E-2 (Capstone Projects and CTSO Competitive Events)
Roaring Fork School District
- Process: Roaring Fork underwent a visioning and strategic planning process. A nonprofit organization facilitated meetings to involve all stakeholders. The two main questions for stakeholders were: 1) “What characteristics do you want to see in schools?” and 2) “What goals should we have for our students?” Meetings revealed main themes of college and career readiness, project-based learning, and character building. In addition to traditional educational requirements (e.g., course completion, etc.), the district included a Capstone project in graduation requirements to address these themes and goals.
- Capstone Website
Thompson School District
Canon City High School, Canon City
- Capstone Guidebook: created by the Graduation Guidelines Capstone Workgroup in 2015
Denver Public Schools
- Capstone Portfolio Handbook, English
- Capstone Portfolio Handbook, Spanish
- The Capstone Portfolio in Denver Public Schools Presentation
- Capstone website
Contact: Mark Muenchau
Douglas County Schools
Contact: Nate Burgard, Coordinator, Assessment & System Performance Office
Capstone Projects - Development in Englewood Schools Presentation
Contact: Diana Zakhem, Director, Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness
Jefferson County Schools
Contact: Jef Fugita, Executive Director, Curriculum & Instruction
Green Mountain High School, Lakewood, CO
- Capstone website
- Senior Capstone Handbook
- Capstone Reflective Research Paper Rubric
- Capstone Calendar 2017
- Presentation Rubric
Contact: Tracy Csavina
North Park High School, Walden, CO
Contact: Lynnette Weddle, Language Arts Instructor
Poudre School District, Ft Collins
Polaris Expeditionary Learning School
Roaring Fork Schools, Glenwood Springs, CO
St. Vrain Schools
University Schools Charter School (Greeley Evans 6)
University High School has required senior projects for over 20 years. University High School has five pathway diplomas, and the senior project is required for all. Recently they revised the requirement to include more accountability and consistent quality.
Toolkit for Community Collaboration
In early 2015, the Colorado Department of Education, The Colorado Education Initiative, and The Learning Accelerator invited two Colorado districts - Archuleta 50 in Pagosa Springs and District 51 in Mesa County - to pilot a new model in their local communities. The early lessons from these two pilot districts are the basis for the Community Collaboration for School Innovation Toolkit, a resource that will continue to evolve as districts are able to use, own, and adapt it to meet the needs of their unique communities.
This toolkit was created for use by any district as administrators and leaders begin the important work of shifting to a new community collaboration model that encourages the district to pull in guidance and directives from the community and leverage that input to drive innovations. This new model is critical as school districts look for innovative and effective ways to meet the growing challenges facing public education in the 21st century.
- Englewood Schools- Graduation Guidelines (Powerpoint)
- Mesa 51-Preparing Our Graduates for the 21st Century(Prezi)
- * Preparing Our Graduates for the 21st Century
The subtitle for this Prezi: What the New Graduation Requirements Mean for our Schools, Students, and Community
- * What You Need to Know About Graduation Requirements
"This toolkit provides resources related to creating, communicating, and implementing upcoming graduation requirement revisions. It follows years of work from the district on the initiative, ‘Transforming into a 21st Century District.’ "
- District 51 - Progress
This brochure highlights District 51’s progress on meeting the state’s graduation guidelines and postsecondary and workforce readiness. Sections of the brochure include timeline, previous year’s accomplishments and planned accomplishments for the next three years.
- 49 Pathways
“In our new system, which we call 49 Pathways, District 49 students will graduate after designing their unique pathway, completing a series of classes, presenting capstone projects, earning industrial certifications, and achieving assessment results that demonstrate mastery of the knowledge and skills they will need to be successful. Our students will earn a diploma as recognition for completing the pathway specified in their individual career and academic plan. Every student will navigate their own path at their own pace toward the destination that matters most to them.”
- ASVAB Official Site
- ASVAB Career Exploration Program
- Information for schools, students and families:
- ASVAB – AFQT Explanation
- ASVAB – Sample Summary Results
- ASVAB – Career Cluster Connection
Poudre Integrated District
Poudre Integrated Services provides coordination of Transition Services that promote movement from school to post-school activities.
- ACE Coffee Project
Coffee Roasting is a new program provided by the Alternative Cooperative Education (ACE)-Supported Employment Program. This presentation describes the purposes, process, and tasks of The Coffee Roasting project in the ACE-Supported Employment Program. Other entrepreneurial programs in the district are also listed, including: Laser Engraver, Coffee Cart & BloomTown, Sign Shop, Clyde’s Closet, and Dog Biscuits.
- Pathways to Graduation
This document describe pathways to high school graduation for students with exceptionalities, including the following programs: Alternative Cooperative Education (ACE), WorkKeys, Credit Recovery, Career and Technical Education (CTE), and School to Work Alliance Program (SWAP). Post high school programs are also listed.
- SWAP Brochure
Poudre School District developed a partnership for SWAP with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. This brochure describes the School to Work Alliance Program (SWAP) for young adults ages 16-25. It describes participant candidacy, benefits for participants, and benefits for employers. It also provides a link to the Poudre Integrated Services webpage for more information.
- Transition Series Flyers and Videos
These flyers publicize the following events to students with disabilities ages 14 and over and their families: Job Readiness Skills and Community Resource Fairs, Community Centered Board – Foothills Gateway, Transition Programs and opportunities post high school, Legal and Social Security Information for Transition, Community Resource Fair and Employment Opportunities.
Roaring Fork underwent a visioning process which led to a strategic planning process. A local nonprofit organization facilitated meetings to involve all stakeholders. A strategic plan was developed from the themes of these meetings.
- Strategic Plan Overview
This overview displays five strategic pillars, numerous strategies, and target results of the district’s strategic plan, along with the mission and six core values that guide them.
- Strategic Plan Summary
This summary describes the foundations (mission, commitments, and values), results-based approach, process, results, monitoring plan, data development agenda, and recommendations of the district’s strategic planning efforts.
- Strategic Plan Coordination Website
This website includes information about Roaring Fork’s strategic plan: an overview, a summary report, and a 1000x view that includes results and indicators, academic excellence, character development, talent development, strategic use of resources, and community partnership. The website also provides plans and resources for each of 16 action teams and the commitments and final report for the visioning process. It was created for action teams to use in collaboration, monitoring, and implementation efforts.