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Turnaround Network



The Colorado 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 LEAs, and the Colorado Department of Education. Schools in the Network will benefit from enhanced diagnostic reviews and planning support; personalized, professional learning opportunities with a cohort of peer schools; and additional resources through supplemental grant funding. CDE’s Theory of Action is that by supporting both LEAs and schools together, we will see lasting, sustained improvement in the lowest-performing schools.

The Network uses a guiding framework to support schools in developing a rigorous improvement plan around four research-based conditions to improve school performance and student achievement:

  • Culture Shift: Build a school culture focused on student learning and parent and community engagement.
  • Instructional Transformation: Design and implement a rigorous, aligned, and engaging academic program that is responsive to student learning needs, is driven by data, and is flexible to meet the needs of all students.
  • Talent Development: Employ systems and strategies to recruit, develop, evaluate, and retain excellent teachers and staff.
  • Leadership: Customize and target leadership development to meet the improvement needs at all levels of the educational system.

All participating Network schools will receive access to specialized professional development, on-site performance management sessions, and quarterly Network events.

Each Network school will be assigned a Turnaround Support Manager from CDE, who will serve as a resource and partner to the LEA and school. All participating Network schools will be required to engage a “district partner” to serve as a key support and advocate for the school at the LEA level. The district partner must be a senior-level LEA staff member who will attend all Network professional development opportunities and events with the school team. The district partner should remain assigned to the school for the duration of the Turnaround Network participation and will be responsible for ensuring the conditions for turnaround success are established at the school and supported by the LEA.


Districts with schools identified for Comprehensive Support (CS) or Targeted Support (TS) and/or schools on the accountability clock (i.e., Priority Improvement, Turnaround) are eligible to apply.

The Network is a good fit for schools with systemic challenges and the following characteristics:

  • Strong LEA support and buy-in, and
  • School leadership demonstrates a mindset of learning and growth

This grant opportunity is not a good fit for schools that currently are participating in the Connect for Success grant.


Schools are eligible for funding between $30,000 and $75,000 per school per year. The amount of funding available to LEAs is dependent upon the number of participating schools in that LEA. A budget and plan will be jointly developed with CDE. Subsequent year funding is dependent upon demonstrated fidelity to processes, meeting reporting requirements, and availability of funds. If an eligible school is not awarded funds through EASI, they may still be eligible to participate in the Network without funding.


Funding from this opportunity may be used for:

  • Costs related to Network events: convenings, professional development, and site visits to bright spot schools
  • Costs related to staff planning and collaboration
  • Strategies and practices that align with the findings of the CDE diagnostic review

Funds from this opportunity must be used to supplement and not supplant any federal, state, and local funds currently being used to provide activities. There will be no carryover of funds. Unobligated funds at the end of the fiscal year will be returned to the CDE to be redistributed.




January Award Notifications

February – April

CDE conducts half-day school visits

April – May

School, LEA, and CDE collaborate to conduct initial planning, goal setting, budget development; optional professional development sessions


Kick-off convening


All participating Network schools are required to engage in Network performance management routines, protocols, and documentation. Participating LEAs and schools must utilize an online Performance Management (PM) tool (see Attachment G of the EASI) which will require entering, managing, and sharing schools’ Unified Improvement Plan (UIP) action steps and interim data.

Because the online PM tool is not housed in a secure platform, no personally identifiable information of students or educators will be entered or shared. Only aggregate data will be entered or shared. In entering or sharing aggregate data, LEAs and schools will use an n-size which preserves the privacy of student level data. CDE will work with each participating school and LEA to ensure that any data entered and shared does not contain PII or violate n-size privacy concerns. Participating LEAs are responsible for ensuring that the data entered or shared by LEA personnel complies with the respective LEA’s data privacy and security policies.

Each school will be asked to frequently track key school improvement indicators and will be asked to submit major improvement strategies, implementation benchmarks and quarter 1 action steps for the 2020-2021 school year by June 30, 2020.

Action planning work completed in the school’s PM Tool may be attached to the school’s online UIP and utilized in place of the action planning portion of the UIP.

Key school improvement data to be collected in the PM tool includes:

  • School improvement plan implementation;
  • Student daily attendance rates;
  • Student chronic absenteeism rates;
  • Student suspension data; and
  • Student achievement and growth on local, interim assessments.

Turnaround Network schools will also be asked to participate in Network-wide surveys to provide feedback to CDE about the Network services.


The Role of the District Partner (participating principal’s supervisor):

  • Attend and participate in all Network convenings and professional development events.
  • Attend and participate in monthly (year 1) or quarterly visits (years 2 and 3) with principal and CDE staff at the school. District partner will play an active role in facilitating weekly school site visits. The district partner may be asked to maintain a district partner site visit log.
  • Provide actionable feedback weekly to principal based on classroom observations, review of student work, observation of weekly data teams, etc. Weekly visit should be documented in Network online tools.
  • Engage in performance management process throughout the year.
  • Ensure school has systems for observation and feedback, weekly data teams, and short cycle assessments.
  • Commit to establish, protect, and support necessary and identified conditions such that the principal is able to make dramatic improvements at the school.
  • Take ownership and hold oneself accountable for the results at the school.
  • Collaborate with CDE in the event of a leadership change at the school while participating in the Turnaround Network. A change in leadership may require a new Diagnostic Review and/or an extension of Turnaround Network participation.

The Role of the Principal:

  • Attend and participate in all Network convenings and professional development events.
  • Attend and participate in monthly (year 1) or quarterly visits (years 2 and 3) with district partner and CDE staff at the school.
  • Visit with district partner at the school every week and document visit in online tracker tool.
  • Engage in performance management process throughout the year - providing and entering data into the tracker tool as relevant data becomes available.
  • Ensure every teacher receives observations and actionable feedback.
  • Ensure data teams meet weekly and review student work.
  • Establish systems for short-cycle assessments and planning.
  • Share aggregate progress monitoring and leading indicator data, which may include: student attendance rates, student behavior data, local interim assessment data, teacher attendance data, TLCC survey results, teacher evaluation data, principal evaluation data, budget analyses, use-of-time audits, or other relevant indicators.
  • Commit to establish, protect, and support necessary and identified conditions in order to make dramatic improvements at the school.
  • Take ownership and hold oneself accountable for the results at the school.

The Role of the CDE Turnaround Support Manager:

  • Support and coach school and district partners during professional development and on-site supports.
  • Attend and facilitate monthly or quarterly visits with district partner and principal at the school.
  • Gradually release responsibility of quarterly visits to district partner and principal.
  • Facilitate use of online tracker tool.
  • Advocate within CDE and in the LEA to establish, protect, and support necessary and identified conditions in order to see dramatic improvements at the school.
  • Initiate honest conversations about the school’s performance and potential impact with regards to the state accountability system.
  • Identify and negotiate additional resources and supports for identified conditions.

Successful participation in the Turnaround Network will result in:

  • Dramatic increases in student achievement as measured by ambitious and specific goals.
  • Meeting and improving on identified school goals through implementation of prioritized strategies as measured by local culture and academic data indicators.
  • Active engagement by all parties to find productive, collaborative, and innovative solutions to challenges.
  • Demonstration of commitment, by school and LEA, to urgent and dramatic improvements to result in increased student learning.
  • Successful school efforts will be recognized and advocated for if the school remains on the state Accountability Clock

Who Can I Contact For More Information?

Nicole Monet
Director of Intensive Supports, District and School Performance Unit
720-737-2454 | Send an email