Jan. 10, 2019
State Board of Education approves Colorado Skies Academy's charter appeal
$465,177 awarded for computer science teacher training
DENVER – During its first regular meeting of 2019, the State Board of Education approved Colorado Skies Academy’s appeal of Cherry Creek School District’s denial of its charter application.
The charter was originally granted by Cherry Creek School District on Oct. 26 and later revoked on Nov. 16 after the district decided the school had not reached enrollment targets. The state board found that Cherry Creek School District’s decision was not in the best interest of students, families and the community.
Colorado Skies Academy’s charter application is remanded back to the local district, with instructions for the district to give the school an August deadline to reach its enrollment targets. In the event the school does not reach its enrollment targets, the state board also specified that the school may not request more funding from the district beyond that which it is entitled to and instead would either have to agree to operate under a reduced budget that accounts for the lower enrollment or to terminate their contract with the district.
Computer science teacher training
The state board awarded $465,177 for teacher computer science training to 24 local education providers, including one BOCES and one charter school. Funds from the Computer Science Teacher Education Grant program will provide direct training or funding for K-12 teachers to pursue courses, certificates or degrees in computer science education.
School districts, BOCES and charter schools can now apply for an additional computer science training opportunities for K-5 teachers, including regional training offered in partnership with Colorado School of Mines. Participating elementary teachers will also qualify for stipends.
The board voted to approve updated rules for the Administration of Medications. The board outlined documentation that is required should a district choose to allow school personnel to administer medical marijuana to such students, as allowed by legislation passed in 2018.
The board voted to approve the following:
- Rules for the Administration of the School Counselor Corps Grant. Updates to these rules include technical changes as well an updated definition of “school counselor” to include interns who are hired using grant funds.
- Rules for the Administration of School Health Professional Grant. Changes to these rules are meant to clarify the term of the grant and to update the definition of a “School Health Professional” to allow a state-licensed professional or educator to be hired using grant funds.
Notices of rulemaking
The board approved notices of rulemaking for the following items:
- Rules for the Administration of the Advanced Placement Exam Fee Grant Program. House Bill 18-1396 created the grant program to increase the number of eligible students who take AP exams and receive scores for which college academic credit is awarded. The program will provide funds to high schools to pay all or a portion of exam fees on behalf of eligible students. Eligible students are students receiving free and reduced priced lunch, other public assistance or all students in schools with high poverty rates.
- Rules for the Administration of the Education Stability Grant Program. House Bill 18-1306 created the grant to support students considered “highly mobile” and therefore are more likely to experience low graduation and high dropout rates. They also tend to be disproportionately represented in disciplinary actions and are above the state average in special education designations. The definition of highly mobile includes children or youth who at any time during the academic year were homeless or in foster care.
In other actions, the board:
- Certified $367,678,953 in state share monthly entitlements to local school districts for December 2018.
- Affirmed Denver Public Schools as a District of Innovation by approving its innovation school zone application for Beacon Network Schools. The application was on behalf of Grant Beacon Middle School and Kepner Beacon Middle School.
- The board reviewed a revised timeline for the accountability rulemaking process, which will begin with an informational presentation at the February meeting followed by a potential notice of rulemaking in March. In May, the board will hold the first of two rulemaking hearings. The second will take place at the June board meeting in Salida. If the board approves the rules at the June meeting, the new rules would take effect in August 2019, but would not impact school and district performance frameworks until 2020 at the earliest.