New Member Spotlight!
The CREC welcomes Otis R3 School District

Otis R-3 School District is in Northeast, Colorado. The district consists of grades preschool through 12 and consists of 239 students, 21 teachers, and one counselor. Demographics of the district's student population reflects primarily Caucasian, English-speaking middle- to lower- socioeconomic students and families. An increase in enrollment has significantly impacted all areas of the school district. In just six years, 52 new students have entered the district. The District is also experiencing an increase in its population of at-risk students, and staff are working hard to meet the needs of their students in their changing school environment. Otis School District is proud of its rural community, progressive instructional practices, and students bursting with bulldog pride!

Upcoming Grant Opportunities

Grants Currently Accepting Applications

CDE School Bullying Prevention and Education Grant Program 
Due: Nov. 1, 2018
Amount: $25,000 per school per year (for three years)
This grant supports schools in the creation of anti-bullying programs. These programs must be driven by the input of staff members and students and guided by the results of surveys completed during Phase 2 of the process.

Phase 1 is the application phase, due November 1, 2018.
Phase 2 is a planning, survey, and school readiness stage, which will start in November 2018 and must be completed by May 1, 2019, for the school to be fully accepted to BPEG by June 1, 2019.
The application (Phase 1) should be no more than 15 pages and will include:
  • Needs Assessment
  • Program Description
  • Policies and Practices
  • Evaluation and Reporting
  • Budget Narrative and Electronic Budget.
For a link to the CDE application, click here.

If interested in getting help and support, contact Kirk Banghart.

Empowering Action for School Improvement (EASI) Grant
For the last year, the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) has been advancing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) state plan.  CDE is now accepting applications to distribute extensive funding for high need districts and schools in the state.

CDE offers a number of different grants, through a grant application called EASI, to schools included on this list, and your eligibility for these funding opportunities could lead to significant new resources for your students.
Schools with the following designations qualify:
  • Comprehensive Support (CS) for lowest 5%, Priority improvement or Turnaround Rating on SPF and/or c omprehensive support for low graduation/completion rates
  • Additional Targeted Support (Specific student group(s) identified for intervention which would also qualify in the lowest 5%)
  • Targeted Support (Specific student group(s) identified for intervention)
The CREC and GSN have significant experience with writing and implementing these grants, and we would be happy to assist you with any and all of the EASI grant process. GSN can provide onsite leadership development, coaching and technical assistance to schools in each of these categories, to support robust growth in systems design, teacher quality, and student success (see   GSN menu of services).

For a link to the CDE application, click here .

Genesis Groups - Connecting our Efforts Across the State

Teacher Recruitment & Retention
Grants Awarded

"Plan Into Action" in Partnership with the University of Denver and the SFT BOCES

The CREC will be partnering with the Rural School Health & Education (CRSHE) at the University of Denver's Morgridge College of Education to implement the Plan Into Action grant alongside the Santa Fe Trail BOCES. This grant will help create a robust rural school mental health workforce in order to increase classroom teacher retention rates and meet the mental health needs of students. The first step of grant implementation will involve recruiting 20 mental health professionals to work in rural school districts by the end of 2019. A Rural Immersion Experience will take place in spring of 2019 and will introduce graduate students to the benefits of working in a rural environment. Then, an online professional learning community will be created for rural school mental health professionals to increase the training, knowledge, skills, etc. of these professionals to improve retention rates. Once trained and integrated, those professionals will help the university, school administration, and other community partners to develop a 5-year hiring forecast that will help ensure that the needs of the schools are met in the future. This grant will help alleviate the gap that exists between the mental health resources that rural students and teachers need and the assistance they actually get.

"Plan Into Action" in Partnership with the University of Colorado - Colorado Springs and the SC BOCES

The CREC and GSN will be partnering with University of Colorado - Colorado Springs to implement the Plan Into Action grant in the South Central BOCES. This grant builds on a Math-Science Partnership grant and a distance-learning grant and seeks to "employ technology in developing a mentoring infrastructure that increases the capacity of in-service teachers to mentor early career teachers and pre-service teachers." It will address issues of teacher retention, preparation, and placement in rural southern CO and combines face-to-face (meetings, a 4-day Summer Institute, etc.) and virtual professional development opportunities (virtual PLCs, asynchronous learning and coaching activities). During Phase 1, teachers will participate in hybrid/virtual PLC's and will meet monthly to collaborate on goal-setting, data analysis, etc. These activities will help build their capacity and help them serve as positive mentors. In Phase 2, 35 educators will attend the UCCS Summer Institute where they will learn about professional development. In Phase 3, five pre-service teachers will be placed in SC BOCES districts for student teaching.

Student-Centered Accountability Program
We would like to welcome the following districts that are joining the S-CAP family for the 2018-2019 school year: Akron, Haxtun, Las Animas, and Holyoke. 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. 

Social Emotional Learning and Student Engagement
SEL Expansion Grant Kicks Off in 14 Districts
This school year, nearly 10,000 students and their teachers are receiving support to integrate Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in their schools. Schools receive support with planning and implementation coaching, professional development, curriculum and surveys to intentionally help students build skills such as communication, leadership, grit, perseverance, and teamwork.
What is upcoming? SEL Trainings will be conducted throughout the month of October and November to help schools troubleshoot and create actionable next steps for a successful Advocacy program! 

Teacher and Leader Efficacy
The Principal Induction Program is sponsored through South Central BOCES and is approved by the Colorado Department of Education. Generation Schools Network supports the work as an effort of the Colorado Rural Education Collaborative. We currently have six school districts participating with a total of eleven acting administrators from the various districts. Our first kick off will be on Friday, October 26 where participants will become familiar with the guidelines and expectations of the program. They will meet the mentor which is Olivia Bachicha and begin the journey of principal induction. Candidates will participate in an online course which is comprised of modules through CSU Global. They will meet monthly with the mentor to discuss progress as well as participate in a mid-year site visit. This process will be completed in June 2019. At the completion of the program, participants will be able to apply for their professional principal license through the state of Colorado.

STEM Integration
St. Vrain School District has generously offered to help rural districts who are interested in partnering with them to start a Vex robotics program. If you want to learn more, please contact Axel Reitzig.  

Interested in a series on professional development to integrate STEM across the curriculum? This  series was created for San Luis Valley Districts.

The I Learn Collaborative is looking for rural members to receive support in  STEM and technology. Click here for more information.

Pathways to Prosperity
On October 8 & 9, teachers and business leaders from across the communities that make up the Santa Fe Trail BOCES met in La Junta for training in business connected problem-based scenario learning with the help of Tasha Weary of Bridges to Careers, Battelle for Kids and Generation Schools Network. Thanks to the Daniels Fund for helping to launch this important work and stay tuned for updates on how to bring work connected probl em-based learning to your school, district or BOCES.

Reporting Out from the National Rural Forum
Congratulations to Colorado for hosting the largest National Rural Education Forum on record October 10-13 at the Hyatt Regency in the Tech Center. Over 600 rural leaders, teachers and stakeholders attended to share innovative ideas and practices to meet the needs of rural communities.

CREC Chief Facilitator, Kirk Banghart joins rural colleagues in celebrating banner attendance at the National Rural Forum

If you would like to join the conversation, please contact Kirk Banghart at
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. 
  • La Veta S-CAP SSR, October 29th for more information, click here!
  • Monte Vista S-CAP SSR, November 12th for more information, click here!
  • Las Animas S-CAP SSR, November 28th, for more information, click here!
Get Involved with CREC

Kirk Banghart, Chief Facilitator - Colorado Rural Education Collaborative

720-452-3603 |
Colorado Rural Education Collaborative | /