As far as Colorado College is concerned, using the term on applications is "intended to represent the college's commitment to and acknowledgment of diversity related to gender," according to a statement from the school. "Colorado College is very much committed to diversity, and is very open about sexual orientation."
The school's office of Minority and International Students uses the following definition of queer in its training: "An umbrella term describing people who have a non-normative gender identity, sexual orientation, or sexual anatomy—includes lesbians, gay men, bisexual people, asexual people, transgender people, intersex people, etc."
[A]ll new money raised by Amendment 66 must be placed in the newly created State Educational Achievement Fund, where it can ONLY be used for “Implementing educational reforms and programmatic enhancements.” To be certain there is no question as to what qualifies as “educational reforms and programmatic enhancements,” lawmakers defined them in 19 categories in Senate Bill 213. As a further protection, Amendment 66 requires an annual state audit “to ensure compliance” that new money is only spent on education reforms and program enhancements. That’s why we say the money is “constitutionally and statutorily prohibited from ever being used directly to fund PERA."
Come Learn about the Upcoming School Board Elections at Citizens Project's Election Education Forums!
School Board Election Education Forums
Informed and engaged voters are essential to the democratic process, so come join us at one of our school board forums to learn more about the candidates in your district!
October 15 at 5:30 pm, District 2 Forum, Harrison High School
October 16 at 5:30 pm, District 49 Forum, Vista Ridge High School
October 21 at 6:30 pm, Disticrt 11 Forum, Carnegie Room, Penrose Library
October 23 at 5:30 pm, District 3 Forum, Mesa Ridge High School
Additionally, check our website for information on other community forums (for District 20 and on Amendment 66) being hosted by different organizations!
Don't forget about our upcoming Get Out the Vote events! Visit our website for more details.
While MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) might be the trend at other colleges and universities, Colorado College aims to be SSIP (Selective, Small, Immersive and Personal). And yes, Colorado College President Jill Tiefenthaler made that acronym up!
Tiefenthaler kicked off Colorado College’s 2013-14 academic year by unveiling “The Colorado College Plan: “Building on the Block,” which maps the college’s strategic development in the coming years and addresses many of the questions liberal arts colleges face. Questions such as how to educate the next generation of students in an era of global change, technological innovations, continued economic challenges and increased competition for students and teachers.
The plan is the culmination of Tiefenthaler’s first and second years at Colorado College, the first year known as the Year of Listening and the second as the Year of Planning.
“Our strategy is counter-cultural,” Tiefenthaler said, running as it does against trends at other schools that include cutting back the liberal arts curriculum to focus on job training and replacing face-to-face interaction between students and professors with impersonal online courses.
Among the top priorities that will shape Colorado College’s strategic development in the coming years are:
Provide additional support to realize the potential of the college’s Block Plan.
• The Block Plan supports an active, collaborative form of learning and fits well with the learning style of today’s engaged and independent students. To support faculty and students, the college will create a focal place for academic support, to be called the Center for Immersive Learning and Engaged Teaching, which will bring together current academic support programs, as well as the offices of sustainability, community engagement and international programs.
• The new center will include an office for field study, which will support faculty as they design and implement field trips. It also will provide a home for in-residence programs for artists, scholars, social entrepreneurs, journalists, post-doctorial students, filmmakers and others.
• This new center will be housed in a renovated Tutt Library — the intellectual hub of the campus – which will offer technology-equipped seminar rooms, study space and rooms for group collaboration.
• To recruit the best and brightest students, especially those who would benefit most from a Colorado College education, the college plans to develop additional resources for financial aid.
Build a nationally recognized summer program and an inventive half-block program.
• Colorado College plans to create summer programs of linked thematic blocks organized around subjects such as film, arts, pre-med, sports, foreign languages, environmental education and geology. Along with high-level academics, students will get hands-on experience in internships and meet professionals in the field.
• New offerings during the nine-day half block in early January will concentrate on what students need to do to prepare for the future in both their academic and professional careers. These short courses and workshops might focus on basic programming code or analytics software, choice of majors, personal finances or writing workshops on fellowship proposals or resumes.
• Colorado College also will develop half blocks for students returning to campus after study-abroad programs and venture grant experiences that allow them to reflect and build on their meaningful time spent off campus.
Create an Innovation Institute.
• Colorado College has four strong programs that encourage students to be creative in pursuing their passions: the State of the Rockies Project, with its research and innovative approaches to environmental issues; the Keller Venture Grants, awarded each year to more than 100 students; The Big Idea, a year-long workshop for students interested in learning how to build a business; and the Public Interest Fellowship Program (PIFP), which places students in internships at Front Range nonprofit organizations.
• By developing connections between these programs, the Institute will be an incubator where students imagine, develop and test ideas— and then launch solutions. It will offer students and faculty a place to go from theory to idea to practice, while showcasing students’ cutting-edge work. The institute, which will be housed in a new academic setting of vibrant cross-disciplinary work, will provide resources, structure and encouragement to students and faculty as they investigate social and environmental challenges, understand the context in which they exist, identify sustainable solutions and put them into action.
Enhance the college’s distinctive place of learning.
• While virtual communities capture headlines and tweets, Colorado College believes that a sense of place will become increasingly important to students as they balance virtual mobility with a more enduring awareness rooted in community and the physical environment. To ensure coherence in campus design as related to aesthetics, sustainability and the educational mission, the college will develop a master plan for the physical campus to help guide and shape each new project in the coming decades.
• The master plan aims to design and create aesthetically adventurous places and spaces that encourage formal and informal learning, traditional and technology-enhanced educational experiences, curricular and co-curricular activities, intercollegiate and intramural athletics and spontaneous intellectual encounters.
Focus on workplace excellence to foster an organization that is innovative and dynamic.
• To create a campus culture that is truly creative and innovative, the college must continue to attract and retain a diverse faculty, staff and administration and foster an inclusive campus culture that truly values different backgrounds, experiences, ideas and opinions.
• Because lifelong learning is critical for individuals to reach their potential in today’s dynamic and rapidly changing world, Colorado College aims to create a top-notch professional development program that supports staff and faculty in adapting to the changing environment.
The Colorado College Board of Trustees approved the final plan in July 2013, and Tiefenthaler unveiled it in a campus-wide presentation on Aug. 27. She noted that it would take several years – perhaps seven to 10 – to implement the various facets of the ambitious plan.
While many of us are most interested in topping off our cup of coffee on Monday mornings, a group of dignitaries gathered
this last Monday morning to "top off" the Lane Center for Academic Health Sciences at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
The event involved installing the final structural steel beam to the center. On hand were Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach, UCCS Regent Kyle Hybl, Philip Lane (whose mother, Margot Lane, was the primary donor in the fundraising effort for the building), Peak Vista Community Health Centers CEO Pam McManus, GE Johnson President and CEO Jim Johnson, and UCCS Chancellor Pam Shockley-Zalabak.
From a news release from GE Johnson:
Those that spoke offered their thanks for the collaboration that has gone into the construction of the building, which is 2 years ahead of the projected schedule. They also expressed excitement for the first permanent UCCS building on the North Nevada Avenue property. UCCS Regent Hybl called the Lane Center an, “historic step,” for the university.
In addition to serving UCCS students, when completed, the Lane Center for Academic Health Sciences will house a Senior Health Clinic operated by Peak Vista Community Health Centers, who has been a primary partner in the project. The facility will also house several public and private health, wellness, and research programs including those that support our veteran care. The facility is pursuing LEED Gold Certification, and is designed by AndersonMasonDale Architects.
GE Johnson President and CEO Jim Johnson explained the significance off a topping off ceremony as a chance to celebrate the success and good fortune of the project thus far, and to look ahead to the completion and use of the building. He confirmed that the project is on schedule to open in January of 2014.
This is the fourth consecutive rafting expedition organized by Veterans Green Jobs, a nonprofit organization that aims to “connect military veterans with meaningful employment opportunities that serve our communities and environments,” according to their website.
If all goes according to plan, the 10 military veterans will emerge from the conservation expedition with a renewed sense of purpose.
Greg Snyder, associate director of conservation programs for Veterans Green Jobs, says in a press release that the mission of the trip is not only to protect the environment, but also to provide opportunities for veterans to be physically active and "reconnect with each other."
One adventurer is Paul Sharp, a student at Pikes Peak Community College. Sharp served in the army for six years as a company fire support sergeant, and completed two tours in Iraq. This fall, he will receive an associate’s degree in general science, and then intends to pursue a degree at Colorado State University in natural resources management, recreation and tourism.
Concerning his transition from military life to student life, the most difficult part for Sharp was deciding on a major.
“I originally wanted to study biology, but from what I’ve seen, there just aren’t a lot of jobs,” says Sharp. “I like skiing, I like mountain biking — the outdoor part of being in Colorado. So the natural resources management, recreation and tourism degree would really put me into that world.”
“Working with the National Park Service on this trip will give me some good insight into how it works and allow me to network a little bit,” he says. He also believes that it will be a valuable addition to his résumé because it is volunteer-based.
Ideally, after finishing school, Sharp would like to gain employment with a company that is centered in the outdoors: “Something where I can work outside with people that enjoy the same things that I do."
Sharp, an experienced whitewater kayaker since his youth, says he feels prepared for this rafting journey.
“I’m mostly looking forward to just being on the river.”
You can donate to Veterans Green Jobs here to help them reach their goal to find jobs for 300 veterans.
Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed the bill known as "Breakfast After the Bell" into law.
The law means that schools with higher levels of impoverished children will be required — with some exceptions — to serve a free breakfast to all students after the start of the school day. Such programs have been shown to radically increase participation, and lawmakers note that children perform better after eating something in the morning.
Still the bill hasn't seen support from all corners.
Some school districts, including Colorado Springs School District 11, have complained that the bill does not provide additional funding for implementing the program. They say federal reimbursements won't cover the costs of Breakfast After the Bell, meaning it could hurt other nutrition programs. Read more here.
Hick Signs ‘Breakfast After the Bell’
(May 15) — A bill to help make sure more Colorado schoolkids get a decent breakfast was signed into law today by Gov. John Hickenlooper.
The governor went to Rose Hill Elementary School in Commerce City today to sign HB13-1006, sponsored by Reps. Dominick Moreno (D-Commerce City) and Tony Exum Sr. (D-Colorado Springs). The bill will phase in a requirement that schools where at least 80 percent of the students qualify for federal free or reduced-cost lunch will serve breakfast to all students after the official start of school.
Hungry children don’t learn as well as their better-fed peers, but many students who qualify for existing before-school breakfast programs don’t get to school in time to eat, some of them because of the stigma of acknowledging that their families are too poor to feed them. When the Adams 14 School District went from school breakfast before the bell to an after-the-bell meal, the participation rate went from 30 percent to 98 percent.
“Breakfast after the bell gives students from low-income families an equal chance to learn and succeed,” said Rep. Moreno, who qualified for free in-school meals on his way to becoming valedictorian of his high school class.
By serving breakfast during attendance-taking and announcements, schools that have already initiated Breakfast After the Bell have been able to do it with no reduction in instruction time.
“This is a significant part of making sure our students get a good education,” Rep. Exum said.
The vast majority of the cost of Breakfast After the Bell is covered by an existing federal program.
Colorado Springs School District 11's extensive summer feeding program will continue this year.
Anyone ages 1 to 18 is invited to eat free at one of many locations — both in neighborhoods and schools. All locations will serve lunch, but only some will serve breakfast.
For a list of locations and hours, check out their press release here: News_Release-FNS-Summer_Program-5-13-13-1.pdf
——- ORIGINAL POST, MAY 7, 5:24 P.M. ——-
Who says there's no such thing as a free lunch? This summer, the meal's free to kids all season long in Harrison School District 2.
Such programs are vital in poorer areas, where children often rely on free school breakfasts and lunches for their nutrition. Expert organizations like Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado have long called summer the hungriest time of the year, because kids can no longer rely on school meal programs.
Read on for more information on Harrison's program:
Any child under the age of 18 currently living in Harrison School District 2 will have access to free meals twice a day this summer.
The Harrison School District Nutrition Services announces the sponsorship of the Summer Food
Service Program. Free meals will be made available to children 18 years of age and younger.
Otero Elementary School
1650 Charmwood, Colorado Springs CO
Centennial Elementary School
1860 S Chelton, Colorado Springs CO
Session One: June 4- June 28, 2013
Session Two: July 9- August 2, 2013
Breakfast: 8:15 - 9:00am
Lunch: 12:15 - 12:45pm
Breakfast and Lunch will be served daily, Monday through Friday. Adult meals are available for
Now, if you're an out-of-state-but-a-citizen-of-these-United States-yet-can't-obtain-residency-status-until-two-years-so-paying-high-tuition student like myself, then you no doubt shook your head in frustration as you made your student loan payment this month. And with the national student loan debt having crested $1 trillion, it's even more apparent now that we need deals on our education.
I, like so many are already setting out to do, was ready to begin beating the war drums demanding my tuition be lowered. I wanted to scream it from mountaintop that I deserve to be considered for in-state tuition as well. But once the caffeine in my system had diminished, I read article after article to further understand the gist of the bill. And after reading the actual bill (and not what other people thought the bill to be), I understood the various hoops through which undocumented immigrants have to leap to even be considered for in-state tuition.
(See attached pdf for actual bill:)
Here are a few stipulations to be considered:
1) The student must've attended three years of high school, or attained a GED in the state of Colorado.
2) The student must attend a college or university within 18 months of finishing high school.
3) The student must have applied for legal presence in the state.
These are among a plethora of other requirements that U.S. citizens don't have to go through.
Referred to as ASSET (Advanced Students for a Stronger Economy Tomorrow) bill, SB 033 makes Colorado one of 12 or so states to embrace such legislation. I've read that the bill makes Colorado a "haven" for undocumented immigrants, and that is bypasses the rights of citizens. But in my reading, the reality is it does nothing to compromise the level of education in colleges and universities.
Through this bill, Colorado embraces student longevity and opportunity for those that don't have it in their homeland. Lets face it: It's not like undocumented immigrants are getting a free education. I, for one, think that there is enough brain-learning to accommodate anyone. And personally, I would like to welcome undocumented immigrants to the world of student loans.
This means lots of local money and, naturally, lots of students, with plenty of charming college complaints and observations. Luckily, those pupils already have a dedicated public platform: @OnlyAtUCCS.
(The Twitter account just makes me feel old. Back in my days at UCCS, Facebook had just come out. My first profile picture? An image from South Park that read "Don't fuck with Wendy Testaburger!")
With 455 followers and 221 tweets, the account's well-stocked with snippets of mountain lion life, some of which are more universal than the account can claim:
@onlyatuccs Pretty sure I just paid $5.22 at the bookstore for a single pencil...😳 #whatthe #UCCSprobs
— Shae Lynn (@toushae12) May 8, 2013
Email from Sallie Mae, offering a credit card: "helps pay down your student loans".Entrapment or double jeopardy? @onlyatuccs
— Ryan Johnson (@RyTriGuy) April 30, 2013
From issues uniquely UCCS-related, like parking ...
@onlyatuccs will your friend get a boot on her car when she is in four diamonds and has no prior fines! #whatthehell #areyouserious
— Lauren Murphy(@LaurenNicole735) May 2, 2013
@onlyatuccs Do you want to graduate just so that you can get away from having to find parking. Oh, and also tests. Obviously.
— Emily Bellizio (@emilybo_bemily) May 2, 2013
... and its weird weather-cancellation record ...
Finally gets another snow day, not really any actual snow...so is this technically a "wind day"? 😏 #nocomplaint #OnlyAtUCCS
— Only At UCCS (@OnlyAtUCCS) April 9, 2013
Today is our karma for having a snowday when there was no such snow. #UCCSprobs
— Only At UCCS (@OnlyAtUCCS) April 17, 2013
... to those tweets that remind everyone that, hello,
your you're still learning:
@onlyatuccs is their a couple that passes notes in class like they're in middle school
— Savannah Mahoney (@mahoneys1340) April 16, 2013
Ah yes, there is much to look forward to.
On Saturday, Democratic Rep. Tony Exum Sr. will be holding a town hall to discuss the School Finance Reform Act.
From the Denver Post:
The new finance formula would revise the way money is distributed to schools, with greater emphasis on at-risk students and English-language learners and increased transparency in the way funds are spent. It would go into effect only with passage of an initiative for a $1.1 billion tax increase.
Exum is the first-term representative for Colorado Springs' House District 17, which covers the southeastern past of the city.
He will be speaking for an hour, starting at 10:30 in the morning at Sand Creek Library, 1821 S. Academy Boulevard (map here).
I grew up a stereotype.
Too tall for my age, with bushy hair and bad fashion sense, I tended to walk down school hallways with my nose quite literally in a book. And yes, I did occasionally run into open locker doors.
Needless to say, I was one of those rare kids who took easily to the library. I loved the quiet. I loved the brainy librarians. I even loved the card catalogue. Here was a place that I could go and be left alone with my books.
And I do mean alone.
But the modern school library isn't the quiet affair that it once was, and many educators say that's a good thing. Libraries — including local ones — have gotten louder and more creative, drawing kids with programs on blogging and creating webpages.
The Colorado Department of Education just handed out 14 awards for "Highly Effective School Libraries" statewide. Three went to Colorado Springs School District 11. Only Jeffco Public Schools received more honors. That's certainly worth an "atta boy" — even if the nerd in me is a little sad to see the quiet sanctuary of the school library go the way of the dinosaur.
Colorado recognizes 14 Highly Effective School Libraries
Today’s most effective libraries are centers of activity with students sharing ideas and creating online displays of what they’re learning. Those are hallmarks of the 14 Highly Effective School Library honorees announced today by the Colorado Department of Education.
In comparison with libraries in past decades, which were associated with keeping quiet, reading, and maintaining order, today’s school libraries are the interactive hub of the school. They are places where active learning and inquiry are encouraged and explored. Students at these recognized libraries created blogs during an argumentative writing unit, created web pages to demonstrate learning in a science unit and offered constructive peer feedback to one another using Google comments.
“Twenty-first century skills are an essential component in education today, and effective school libraries and librarians are critical links for attaining these skills,” said Eugene Hainer, assistant commissioner and state librarian at CDE. “Students can benefit from the district’s support of these highly effective programs and the staff in the honored libraries.”
Prior to applying, each teacher-librarian, along with their respective principal, assessed their library program using the “Highly Effective School Library Program Evaluation Rubric.” This assessment tool outlines what a quality school library program should look like in areas such as student and teacher collaboration, differentiated instruction, curriculum development and leadership both within and outside the school community.
State and national studies conducted over the past two decades show that students in schools with endorsed librarians score better on standardized achievement tests in reading, compared with students in schools without endorsed librarians. The presence of school librarians positively impacted students’ standardized reading scores even when controlling for student poverty (free and reduced-cost meals). Even if schools had overall staff declines between 2004 and 2008, students’ standardized reading scores were better in schools that maintained or gained a licensed librarian.
Go to www.lrs.org/documents/school/school_library_impact.jpg to view a complete list of the study and its findings.
Commissioner of Education Robert Hammond will recognize the 14 libraries at the April State Board of Education meeting.
The Highly Effective School Library 2013 recipients are:
• Bennett High School, Bennett School District
• Bill Roberts ECE-8 School, Denver Public Schools
• Chipeta Elementary, Colorado Springs School District 11
• Deane Elementary, Jeffco Public Schools
• Eaglecrest High School, Cherry Creek Schools
• East Middle School, Mesa County Valley School District 51
• Holmes Middle School, Colorado Springs School District 11
• Horizon High School, Adams 12 Five Star Schools
• Ken Caryl Middle School, Jeffco Public Schools
• Martinez Elementary, Colorado Springs School District 11
• Ralston Elementary & Parmalee Elementary, Jeffco Public Schools
• Ryan Elementary, Boulder Valley School District
• Thomas Jefferson High School, Denver Public Schools
Upset parents will get a chance to recall six members of the Colorado Springs School District 11 Board of Education, the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder's Office announced today.
After some initial problems, the clerk approved the petitions to recall all the members of the board except Bob Null.
The three parents leading the effort are upset about recent school closures, including the decision to close Wasson High School, and related issues. They will need to collect 15,000 verified signatures per board member over the next 60 days in order to force an election.
El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Approves D11 Recall Petitions for Circulation
(March 7, 2013 — Colorado Springs, Colo.) —El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Wayne Williams approved as to form petitions submitted to recall six of seven Colorado Springs School District 11 Board of Education Directors (Nora Brown, Al Loma, LuAnn Long, Sandra Mann, Elaine Naleski, and Jan Tanner). The Recall Committee may now circulate the petitions for no more than 60 days. A minimum of 15,000 verified petition signatures are required for each of the petitions.
Petitions were initially submitted on Feb. 28 and, after review, were disapproved as to form on March 4. The Recall Committee members, including Mariam Kurvink, Elaine Shoemaker, and Dorothy Dykes, submitted revised petitions March 5.
The Clerk & Recorder is the Designated Election Official (DEO) in school board recalls. Recall petitions are submitted to the Clerk and Recorder’s Office for approval as to form. The Clerk’s Office has until the close of the seventh business day following submission to approve or disapprove a petition for circulation.
Once the DEO receives a signed petition, it is reviewed and verified against the registration records. The petition review must be completed no later than 15 business days after the initial filing of the petition. If the petition is deemed sufficient, a 15-day protest period begins. If a protest is filed, a hearing is set and is heard by the DEO. The hearing shall be concluded within 30 days after the protest is filed.
If the recall petition’s sufficiency is sustained, a date for the election is set. The recall election date shall be from 45 days to 75 days after the recall petition has been deemed sufficient and the time for protest has passed. Nomination petitions for successor candidates may be circulated beginning the first date on which a protest may be filed and must be filed no later than 10 calendar days after the DEO sets the election date. Nomination petitions are taken out at the office of the DEO.
The timeline below for the recall process shows estimated dates only. All dates are subject to change depending on when/if protests are filed, how many are filed and the length of time for the Clerk’s office to complete each step.
3/07/13 — Petition approved for circulation
3/08/13 — First day to circulate the petitions
5/06/13 — Last day to file petitions with Clerk & Recorder
5/28/13 — Petition review complete and notice of appearance of sufficiency or insufficiency issued
6/12/13 — If petition is sufficient 15 day protest period ends on this day
6/21/13 — Last day to hold a hearing if protest filed on last day
7/12/13 — Final day for hearing decision
8/26/13 to 9/25/13 — If sufficiency sustained on last day, election date set between 45 and 75 days from 7/12/13
The school district is responsible for reimbursement to the Office of the Clerk & Recorder for reasonable expenses incurred in performing duties relating to the recall of an incumbent of the political subdivision. The 2006 recall election involving District 11 cost $256,729.22.
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