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Turnaround Network

Pause on 2020-21 and 2021-22 State Accountability System Due to COVID-19

A second year of Accountability Pause (2021-2022) has been authorized by the Colorado legislature. The state's accountability system has been paused for 2020-21 and 2021-22. More details on the implications of a pause in accountability are available in the links below.



Turnaround Network Evaluation Update - Spring 2021

In the Fall of 2020, CDE partnered with the Center for Assessment, Design, Research, and Evaluation (CADRE) at the University of Colorado Boulder to perform an evaluation of the Turnaround Network support program. CADRE has recently completed the quantitative analyses portion of the evaluation, and will continue to work with CDE to complete the qualitative portion during the 2021-22 school year. Below is a link to the quantitative analyses report posted on CADRE's website, as well as more in-depth evaluation update from the Turnaround Network team at CDE.

Evaluation Update - Spring 2021 (CDE)

Evaluation of Colorado School Turnaround Network and School Turnaround Leadership Development Grants: Descriptive Analysis of 2015-2020 Cohorts (CADRE)

The Turnaround Network School Application is now part of the the Empowering Action for School Improvement (EASI) application.

With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Colorado is taking the opportunity to change the way school improvement (1003a) funds are awarded to LEAs. Rather than multiple applications on separate timelines, CDE is now streamlining school improvement opportunities into a single application and using a “needs-based approach” to award services and funding.


Information about the Network and the EASI process are available at the links below:

Grant Reporting


The Turnaround Network will accelerate student achievement for select schools through targeted support, resources, and flexibility. The Network is a highly-collaborative and accountable endeavor between local schools, their districts and the Colorado Department of Education.

With the support of the Commissioner, the CDE District and School Performance Unit launched a Turnaround Network for schools, welcoming the first cohort of 9 schools with the support of their districts in the summer of 2014.  Each year the Network has grown and it currently supports 13 districts and 53 schools.

Schools in the network benefit from:

  • Enhanced diagnostic review & planning support
  • A cohort of peer schools
  • Performance management
  • Personalized professional learning opportunities
  • Supplemental grant funding

School & district conditions for success

A common framework to diagnose and evaluate progress is provided below.

All participating Network schools are required to engage a district "partner":

The district partner serves as a key support and advocate for the school at the district level. They should be a senior-level district staff member who will attend all Network events with the school team. The district partner is also responsible for ensuring the conditions for turnaround success are established at the school and supported by the district. The school team consists of the principal and one or two teacher leaders, and are required to attend all Network events.

What Commitments Will I Make?

Districts will:

  • Agree to conditions set forth within MOU
  • Dedicate a "partner" to support and supervise Network principal(s)
  • Task a "partner" with engaging in all Network activities
  • Engage in performance management process
  • Provide agreed-upon flexibilities to Network school
  • Systematize and generalize conditions for success in other non-Network schools within two years

Network School Principals will:

  • Engage in all Network activities
  • Follow and implement all agreed-upon improvement strategies
  • Engage in performance management process and will lead the use of data-driven decisions with all staff
  • Ask for support and conditions from district as needed
  • Actively supervise all school staff

CDE will:

  • Provide intensive professional development and support in areas of four conditions
  • Provide quick diagnostic review
  • Provide intensive improvement planning aligned to the conditions
  • Allocate resources and/or grants
  • Provide staff to support and partner with network schools

What Benefits Will I See?

Districts will:

  • Have access to intensive professional development in identified Network conditions
  • Learn about performance management and use of data to drive instructional improvement
  • Have access to CDE’s best thinking on turnaround strategies
  • Have access to high-quality partner organizations

Network School Principals will:

  • Have access to intensive PD in identified conditions (along with a teacher)
  • Have access to high-quality partner organizations
  • Have dedicated support by district "partner"
  • Have opportunity to visit other high-growth schools
  • Learn about performance management and use of data to drive instructional improvement

CDE will:

  • Have commitment of districts to make accelerated academic improvements in participating schools
  • Have strong relationship to district "partner" and school principal
  • Create proof points in school improvement to share with other schools



For Program Questions:

Nicole Monet, Director - Office of Intensive Supports

For Budget/Fiscal Questions:

Evan Davis, Grants Fiscal Analyst

For Application Questions:

Kim Burnham, Senior Consultant


Previous Cohort Performance

The Turnaround Network has graduated four cohorts; Cohort 1 (2014-15 thru 2016-17), Cohort 2 (2015-16 thru 2017-18), Cohort 3 (2016-17 thru 2018-19), and Cohort 4 (2017-18 thru 2019-20). The images below show the School Performance Framework (SPFs) for Cohorts 1-3, from the time of eligibility identification through completion of the program. Cohort 4's SPFs are not listed below due to the accountability pause in 2019-20. Please note that “N/A” means a school did not receive an SPF due to closure, too small of a student sample size, or similar reasons.
More data from Cohort 1-3 is available in the Legislative Report to the Colorado Legislature on the School Transformation Grant (July 2020) (PDF), beginning on page 44.