Thursday Churn: Good at math?

UpdatedDenver Public Schools is looking for 75 math tutors to help students in seven schools improve their math performance.

The initiative is part of the district’s turnaround plan in Far Northeast Denver. The math tutors, or fellows, will serve one-year fellowships with DPS and receive intensive summer training and ongoing professional development from Boston-based Blueprint Schools Network, a turnaround partner.

Students in grades 4, 6 and 9 are slated to receive daily, small-group tutoring in an attempt to ensure they make more than one year’s worth of growth in math in 2012-13. The initiative aims to add 50 minutes of math help every day.

The district began the tutoring effort this year and says 30 percent of students have moved a proficiency level in math in six months. Learn more.

Daily Churn logoWhat’s churning:

Ten Colorado high schools will participate in the 2012-13 inaugural year of a state program to improve college readiness.

The schools, located across the state, were named Wednesday as participants in the Colorado Legacy Schools Initiative, which will focus on dramatically improving the number and diversity of students who enroll in Advanced Placement coursework and receive qualifying scores on their exams.

The initiative is funded through a $10.5 million investment from the National Math and Science Initiative. It will include teacher training and incentives for students and teachers.

The ten schools – Abraham Lincoln High School in Denver, Northglenn High School, Aurora Central High School, Arvada High School, Centennial High School in Pueblo, Central High School in Grand Junction, Fruita Monument High School, Grand Junction High School, James Irwin Charter High School in Colorado Springs and Vista Ridge High School, also in Colorado Springs.

“Recruiting and supporting students from all walks of live in rigorous, college-level coursework is a proven method to help close the achievement gap,” Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia said in a press release.

The program is based on the Advanced Training and Incentive Program, which supporters say has an “unprecedented track record” in increasing college readiness.

“This program gets results and it gets results for kids that too often don’t pursue or are not encouraged to pursue advanced classes,” said Helayne Jones, president of the Colorado Legacy Foundation.

Ten more schools will be selected for the 2013-14 school year, and another ten schools will be chosen in 2014-15, for a total of thirty participating schools.

Douglas County school district and teachers’ union leaders on Wednesday held their second day of public negotiations on a 2012-13 contract. Some progress was made, according to Dougco officials. You can read a brief update and hear audio of the discussions here.

What’s on tap today:

Aurora Public Schools is hosting a Pathway to Results celebration at 9:30 a.m. that highlights the district’s unique P-20 programs. Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia is expected among the guests for what’s described as a demonstration of how Aurora’s Academic and Career Pathways are impacting student achievement. Students will provide hands-on demonstrations and there will be a simulated hospital room, a 21st century classroom and anatomy sculptures molded from clay. It’s all at 15771 E. First Ave. in Aurora.

Jefferson County school board members meet for a study session at 5 p.m. at district headquarters, 1829 Denver West Drive in Golden. The agenda includes a discussion with Edgewater city leaders and a legislative update.

Good reads from elsewhere:

Stolen tests: Cherry Creek School District officials say they’ve recovered ACT and Advanced Placement tests stolen Sunday from the basement of a building at the Cherry Creek High School campus. The theft prompted the school to cancel ACT testing for students this week – but they still have to take the test on the statewide make-up day. 9News has the story.

Neighborhood charters: Some Washington, D.C. leaders are intrigued by charter schools with attendance boundaries, like some charters in Chicago and Denver, where examples include West Denver Prep at Lake. The Washington Post‘s Bill Turque says the idea isn’t popular with “charter purists.”

The EdNews’ Churn is a daily roundup of briefs, notes and meetings in the world of Colorado education. To submit an item for consideration in this listing, please email us at

What's Your Education Story?

As the 2018 school year begins, join us for storytelling from Indianapolis educators

PHOTO: Dylan Peers McCoy/Chalkbeat
Sarah TeKolste, right, and Lori Jenkins at a Teacher Story Slam, in April.

In partnership with Teachers Lounge Indy, Chalkbeat is hosting another teacher story slam this fall featuring educators from across the city.

Over the past couple of years, Chalkbeat has brought readers personal stories from teachers and students through the events. Some of our favorites touched on how a teacher won the trust of her most skeptical student, why another teacher decided to come out to his students, and one educator’s call to ramp up the number of students pursuing a college education.

The event, 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, is free and open to the public — please RSVP here.

Event details:

5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018
Tube Factory artspace
1125 Cruft St., Indianapolis, IN 46203
Get tickets here and find more on Facebook

More in What's Your Education Story?

School safety

Hiring more security officers in Memphis after school shootings could have unintended consequences

PHOTO: Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Tennessee’s largest district, Shelby County Schools, is slated to add more school resource officers under the proposed budget for next school year.

Superintendent Dorsey Hopson earmarked $2 million to hire 30 school resource officers in addition to the 98 already in some of its 150-plus schools. The school board is scheduled to vote on the budget Tuesday.

But an increase in law enforcement officers could have unintended consequences.

A new state law that bans local governments from refusing to cooperate with federal immigration officials could put school resource officers in an awkward position.

Tennessee Education Commissioner Candice McQueen recently reminded school personnel they are not obligated to release student information regarding immigration status. School resource officers employed by police or sheriff’s departments, however, do not answer to school districts. Shelby County Schools is still reviewing the law, but school board members have previously gone on the record emphasizing their commitment to protecting undocumented students.

“Right now we are just trying to get a better understanding of the law and the impact that it may have,” said Natalia Powers, a district spokeswoman.

Also, incidents of excessive force and racial bias toward black students have cropped up in recent years. Two white Memphis officers were fired in 2013 after hitting a black student and wrestling her to the ground because she was “yelling and cussing” on school grounds. And mothers of four elementary school students recently filed a lawsuit against a Murfreesboro officer who arrested them at school in 2016 for failing to break up a fight that occurred off-campus.

Just how common those incidents are in Memphis is unclear. In response to Chalkbeat’s query for the number and type of complaints in the last two school years, Shelby County Schools said it “does not have any documents responsive to this request.”

Currently, 38 school resource officers are sheriff’s deputies, and the rest are security officers hired by Shelby County Schools. The officers respond and work to prevent criminal activity in all high schools and middle schools, Hopson said. The 30 additional officers would augment staffing at some schools and for the first time, branch out to some elementary schools. Hopson said those decisions will be based on crime rates in surrounding neighborhoods and school incidents.

Hopson’s initial recommendation for more school resource officers was in response to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people and sparked a wave of student activism on school safety, including in Memphis.

Gov. Bill Haslam’s recent $30 million budget boost would allow school districts across Tennessee to hire more law enforcement officers or improve building security. Measures to arm some teachers with guns or outlaw certain types of guns have fallen flat.

For more on the role and history of school resource officers in Tennessee, read our five things to know.

Sheriff’s deputies and district security officers meet weekly, said Capt. Dallas Lavergne of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. When the Memphis Police Department pulled their officers out of school buildings following the merger of city and county school systems, the county Sheriff’s Office replaced them with deputies.

All deputy recruits go through school resource officer training, and those who are assigned to schools get additional annual training. In a 2013 review of police academies across the nation, Tennessee was cited as the only state that had specific training for officers deployed to schools.