Posted inBusiness, Coloradans, Education, News, Technology

St. Vrain, with a decade of momentum, is on a “high-tech high” that’s gaining national attention for its students and teachers

Eric Berngen realized just how different a learning environment he had signed up for when he almost stepped on a small robot zooming down a hallway at Skyline High School in Longmont  during his first week on the job. “It was surreal,” Berngen recently said of the near collision with the robot a student was […]

Posted inBusiness, Education, Health, News, Politics and Government

Polis, Democrats will seek voter approval to boost nicotine taxes to raise money for education and health care

A last-minute proposal pushed by Gov. Jared Polis and key Democratic lawmakers will ask voters to increase cigarette taxes and add a new tax on nicotine used in vaping devices to raise about $300 million annually. The money would go toward paying for health and education programs, according to people briefed on the measure. Officials […]

Posted inColoradans, Crime and Courts, Education, News

Jeffco Public Schools’ security chief was already losing sleep over the Columbine anniversary. And then this week happened.

John McDonald already struggles with sleepless nights. The man in charge of the safety and security of the 86,000 students attending Jeffco Public Schools often wakes from the recurring nightmare that visits him late, the one where the kindergartners are running to him in search of protection. As the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High […]

Posted inSun Investigation

No Colorado school districts meet federal safety standards for behavioral health staffing, investigation shows

Tamara Durbin is responsible for making sure more than 4,300 students across some 5,000 square miles of Colorado’s Eastern Plains get mental health care when they need it. She does so with a patchwork of staffers that comes nowhere close to what the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends for student safety. The […]

Posted inSun Investigation

Twenty years after Columbine, Colorado schools are assessing an astonishing number of student threats

The Snapchat messages were chilling. “13-inch steel knife,” a 15-year-old boy wrote to a fellow student, describing his weapon and including a list of kids at Green Mountain High School that he planned to “eliminate.” She could keep her friend off the kill list, the boy noted, if she came over to his house or […]

Posted inEducation, News, Politics and Government

Colorado lawmakers seek overhaul for troubled $231 million program meant to help kids catch up on reading

State lawmakers on Monday introduced bipartisan legislation that would overhaul a statewide program that has failed to improve the reading deficiencies of young students despite costing the state more than $231 million over the past five years. Senate Bill 199 would add significant state oversight into how schools throughout Colorado teach kindergarten through third grade […]

Posted inEducation, Health, News, Politics and Government

5,800 Colorado kids in second grade or younger were suspended last year. State lawmakers want to reduce that.

A deal that gives school administrators control over the number of days preschool and young elementary students can be suspended from school has increased the odds for a new law that will make suspensions and expulsions rarer in Colorado. For several years, a broad coalition of civil rights groups, early childhood advocates and mental health […]

Posted inEducation, News

Teachers living in campers: How rural Colorado districts are coping with growing teacher shortage

Steve Wilson has spent 35 years in education in rural Colorado, the past 14 as superintendent of the Big Sandy School District that stretches across ranchland in Elbert and El Paso counties. In his second year as superintendent there, four teachers retired, wiping out more than 132 years of experience. Back then, the vacancies posed […]

Posted inEducation, News, Politics and Government

The Denver teacher strike is over. Now lawmakers are trying to solve Colorado’s chronic education funding problem.

Top legislators this week said they feared the teacher strike in Denver was a symptom of chronic underfunding for Colorado public schools and expressed concern that teachers in other districts will get restless if the state doesn’t tackle school financing. They pointed out that the state put a budget-balancing tool in place in 2009, in […]

Posted inEducation, News, Politics and Government

Colorado education officials failed state by botching $231 million reading-improvement program, whistleblower lawsuit claimed

Colorado education officials botched a reading-improvement program that cost the state $231 million over the past six years by caving in to political pressure from local school districts, a whistleblower lawsuit contended. Testimony in the case mirrors current criticism as reform of the Colorado Reading to Ensure Academic Development Act rises to the top of […]