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Rise & Shine: New America School Thornton offering students a way to earn credits through tests

Happy Monday.

In today's newsletter, a look at a new candidate in the Denver school board race, a look at how school districts have been preparing for the state's new graduation requirements, and a look at how one school in Adams 12 is giving students an alternative to graduate. Also, a couple of interesting profiles, about a new Denver principal, and a retired teacher who spends his time coaching students in spelling.

Speaking of retirement, readers, we have a quick favor to ask: We’re looking for retiring teachers to feature in an upcoming Q&A series and we need your help finding them. If you’re retiring this year after a long career in education, we’d love to connect. Just leave your contact information here and we’ll be in touch. And if you know someone else who fits the bill, please forward this newsletter!

— Yesenia Robles, reporter


Rise & Shine is Chalkbeat’s morning digest of education news. Subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox.


ELECTION A mother and former nurse, whose experience advocating for her own son convinced her of the need for more mental health professionals in public schools, is running for a seat on the Denver school board. Chalkbeat

CLASS OF 2021 Students entering their junior year in the fall will be the first to test out new state graduation requirements. Some believe students of color and those from low-income families will be least prepared. Denver Post

ALTERNATIVES Starting this fall, some students at New America School Thornton who are far behind on their graduation requirements can take tests, rather than trying to cram in all the classes they’d need for a diploma. Denver Post

VISIT Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will attend an invitation-only luncheon in Colorado Springs later this month, to support an organization which provides scholarships for students attending schools outside their neighborhoods. Gazette

VACANT The Cherry Creek school board won’t fill a seat left vacant by the sudden resignation of former board President Dave Willman for using a self-described “racist term” last month. Aurora Sentinel

PROFILE Stedman Elementary’s new principal started his career as a custodian. 9News

COACH A 77-year-old retired teacher in Denver has dedicated his life to coaching spelling for free and sent five students to the 2019 Scripps National Spelling Bee championship. Denver Post

OPINION The Denver Post Editorial Board writes that the state is right to intervene when schools keep failing kids, weighing in on the lawsuit Pueblo teachers filed to stop a management company.  Denver Post