The LIFT Program Business Ethics Curriculum created by the Better Business Bureau is free to Schools

This multi-week teacher-led and community-engaged course demonstrates to youth the importance of integrity and ethics and how these concepts impact them currently and in the future. The workshop and project-based learning curriculum offer an introduction to business ethics as well as personal character lessons. These lessons focus on topics like responsibility, character, values, and development, and the program concludes with each student presenting their project and signing the LIFT Commitment to Conduct. Let us know if you give this a try in any of your schools.



Introduction to program and information on registering

Student Guide

Teacher Guide

Genesis Group Updates

Teacher Recruitment & Retention

CREC Website Job Board

REMINDER: We advertise job openings on the CREC website and once a month, a job openings newsletter goes out to more than 100 agencies and higher education institutions, giving your postings a wider audience! In addition to the job board, teachers can submit resumes for superintendents and administrators to review. This is a great opportunity for our members to bring future educators into the amazing rural communities of Colorado!

To view our job board, click  here.
To submit an open position to our job board, click here.

Student-Centered Accountability Program (S-CAP)

We are currently looking for ten new districts to join S-CAP which is at the forefront of peer-driven innovation in the accountability space. If you are interested in learning more about S-CAP or becoming a member, please visit the S-CAP website and plan on attending one of our School Site Reviews (SSR) this coming year. Look for the SSR dates on the S-CAP website and consider attending and bringing teachers with you. Teachers have said that attending an SSR is some of the most valuable PD they have ever experienced.

Did you know that S-CAP is part of the national conversation around student-centered accountability as a grantee of the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation around deeper learning?

The S-CAP program officially has a new website to showcase their work! Check out the new revamped site by clicking here.

You can learn more about the S-CAP program and services offered by clicking here

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

The CREC is looking for Districts who would be interested in joining the SEL Genesis Work Group. 

There are currently more than a dozen Districts working together to implement SEL in their schools and the data around impact is strong. These districts are in the process of implementing a SEL structure, receiving planning and data support, professional development for staff and coaching for administration in the area of SEL along with free access to curriculum. 

The CREC is in the process of obtaining more funds for Districts to implement this type of work. If you are a district interested in participating in this work, please contact Kirk Banghart for more information.

College and Career Readiness

SFT BOCES Celebrates Work-based Learning Outcomes

On June 10th and 11th, partners, community members, teachers, principals and school counselors representing all six Santa Fe Trail BOCES member districts joined together for a time of celebration, reflection, and planning forward around their Pathways to Prosperity effort. In 2015, at the launch of the Colorado Rural Education Collaborative (CREC), Santa Fe Trail BOCES member districts joined together around making college/career readiness their chosen CREC Genesis Group priority. A grant from the Daniels Fund provided the opportunity for Generation Schools Network and Battelle for Kids to support the effort, along with Building Bridges to Careers out of Marietta, Ohio  ( that has pioneered a work-based learning approach that was of interest to the SFT BOCES.
After a year-long effort, in which teachers paired with local community members to engage students in work-based problem scenarios, reports were given with additional teachers joining the effort for 2019-2020. Among the highlighted projects were:
  • James Hall, Social Studies Teacher at Cheraw whose students worked with Jim Rizzuto (former State Senator & Otero Junior College President) to balance state Medicare, Criminal Justice, Human Services, and Education budgets.
  • Shawna Frankmore, teacher from La Junta, worked on two projects. In the first, middle school students worked with SE CO Power and SECOM took on the challenge of getting internet access and electricity to your house. Her second project, with her high school sports & entertainment class, developed an event to attract out-of-town youth to the area, providing a potential solution to a need identified by partner Pam Denahy of the City of La Junta Tourism Board.
  • Maggie Pacino, English teacher at Wiley, led her 7th graders in a project with Tempel Grain to find unique grain storage solutions.
  • Kolleen Howe, teacher from Las Animas, and her 5th graders collaborated with Steve Keefer of the Colorado Department of Wildlife to try to find effective incentives to encourage homeowners to give up part of their land for wildlife.
  • Cisco Perez, a business partner from Innovative Water Technologies discussed his project with Marty Roberson's 6th graders in La Junta aimed at developing solutions to areas affected by hurricanes. The first task was to build a hurricane-proof structure and the second was to create a water filtration system out of household items.
The group also considered the success of their internship program, designed a prep course and heard from last year's participants:
  • "Participating in this internship has provided me with an amazing opportunity to network with career-related professionals and find my true passion within my very own community. The relationships  I have made are priceless," said participant Sophie Russell.
  • "First National Bank was excited to have the opportunity to host a student intern for the Spring of 2019. Making lasting investments in our communities is one of the core principles of our organization, and making the investment into one of our local students was an easy decision. Many of our mid-level and senior-level managers started out in banking just like intern Nick, building upon their work experience and introduction to finance. I would strongly encourage other businesses to seriously consider their opportunities to take part in programs like this." - Internship host, Ben Johnson
For more about work-based problem scenarios and rural internships, contact: Kirk Banghart, Chief Facilitator, Colorado Rural Education Collaborative,

Teacher Leader Efficacy

New Rural Podcast: Redefining Rural

The show airs 4:00pm on Denver's Money Talk 1690 AM as well as on YouTube at .

To listen to the second episode, click  here.

National Forum for Advancing Rural Education!

This year's Rural Forum will take place October 24-26 in Louisville, Kentucky at the Louisville Downtown Marriott

Registration is now open for All Attendees. Two CREC Genesis Groups will be presenting their work, the Student-Centered Accountability Program and the Pathways to Prosperity Work-based Learning Group. Check out the Battelle for Kids website for all information by clicking here.

To register directly, click here.

If you would like to join the work of one of the CREC's Genesis Work Groups,  please contact Kirk Banghart at
Upcoming Grant Opportunities

Colorado Teaching Policy Fellowship Opportunity
What is the Colorado Teaching Policy Fellowship?
  • A highly selective leadership opportunity for outstanding Colorado teachers looking to deepen their knowledge of education policy and gain a voice in decisions that affect students and the teaching profession. 
  • Fellows expand their influence without leaving the classroom, starting in August 2019 and concluding in June 2020.  
  • Three in-person training sessions, and online monthly virtual sessions
  • Fellows receive training through expert-led modules and direct engagement with key stakeholders. No prior policy experience required 
  • Fellows receive a $1,500 stipend for their commitment
Applications are due June 28th
For all the details and to apply, click here.
Upcoming Events

S-CAP Professional Development Opportunities! 
The Student-Centered Accountability Program (S-CAP) is actively looking for people to attend and participate as a Reviewer or Observer at the upcoming S-CAP System Site Review (SSR) events listed below: 

July 23
Cohort 2 Orientation Session
Register here

2019-2020 System Site Review Schedule coming here.

To learn more about S-CAP, click here.

Save the Date for the Rural CASE conference in Breckenridge
Pre-Conference  July 22-23
Main CASE Conference July 24-26 (catch our S-CAP session)

For more info, click  here.
For Hotel and lodging info, click  here.
Contact Us! 

Kirk Banghart, Chief Facilitator - Colorado Rural Education Collaborative

720-452-3603 |