New Member District

The CREC Welcomes Wiggins School District!

Wiggins School District RE-50(J) is located about an hour Northeast of Denver. Wiggins has over 600 students in grades PK-12. Recently, a new secondary building was opened, adding more space and classrooms for use.Wiggins is looking forward to engaging in the CREC through participation in the Student-Centered Accountability Program.

Genesis Group Updates

Teacher Recruitment & Retention

Two new grants have been awarded to the Northeast BOCES and the San Luis Valley BOCES to support math teacher recruitment and retention. Teachers will benefit from the opportunity to pursue a master's degree in math or concurrent certificate in math from CSU-Global, will attend a summer math academy and have access to BOCES-wide math professional learning communities.

These grants combine what the CREC has been learning through the Santa Fe Trail teacher retention grant that saw 100% of masters or concurrent certificate earners staying in their districts for the following three years and the South Central BOCES Math/Science Partnership that has provided professional learning committees and a math summer institute.

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)

School Mental Health Mini-Grant and Toolkit
The CREC is helping to spread the word that Mental Health Colorado has developed the School Mental Health Toolkit to increase support and resources in planning for school mental health. The Toolkit is a comprehensive framework, based on 10 best practices to help community advocates, schools, and local leaders work together to assess, identify, prioritize and fund school-based mental health services. It will show you how to promote school-based mental health and connect you to wellness programs that work.

Through grant funding, Mental Health Colorado is offering school mental health capacity-building grants designed to assist school districts with the ongoing implementation of the School Mental Health Toolkit's 10 best practices. Eligible applicants are school districts, local education agencies (LEA), boards of cooperative educational services (BOCES) and community partners. Community partners must be a registered entity with the State of Colorado. Districts must have completed an initial Toolkit review and planning meeting with Mental Health Colorado and must include a completed copy of the Toolkit's Needs Assessment.

Please contact Sarah Younggren at  with grant questions or to schedule your initial Toolkit introduction and planning meeting.


Challenger Learning Center of Colorado
Check out the Challenger Center's E-Missions learning modules, interactive lessons designed to get kids to work together to solve real-world scenarios.

Delivered digitally in a live session by a Challenger Flight Director, students interact with realistic data and storylines. These programs highlight engaging scenarios and the skills used to collaborate, investigate and develop well-thought out solutions to real-world problems. Teachers observe and evaluate as their students put classroom skills to the test.

For more information, click here.

Teacher Leader Efficacy

National Forum for Advancing Rural Education Save the Date!
Battelle for Kids and the National Rural Education  Association (NREA) will host the 2019 National Forum to Advance  Rural Education and 111th NREA Convention and Research Symposium.  At this annual event, a diverse community of national experts, K-12 and  higher education practitioners, leading researchers, policymakers, and  philanthropic leaders come together to learn, collaborate, and lead 21st  century learning in rural schools. By leading together, we can help  communities innovate and leverage local assets to create meaningful  learning experiences for rural students.

This year's Rural Forum will take place October 24-26 in Louisville, Kentucky at the Louisville Downtown Marriott. Be sure to save the date and stay tuned for more information!

Fifth day Learning Opportunities 

Blog from the Center on Reinventing Public Education Learning Inside and Outside of School: What Can the Four-Day Week Teach Us?
Thousands of students in about half of Colorado's school districts attend school four days a week. These small, rural districts try to do in four slightly longer days what others accomplish in five. Why? Some say they are trying to save money. Others say a shorter work week helps recruit and retain teachers. For others, the four-day week opens up the fifth, unscheduled day for families to take children to appointments or travel for sports events.

Be sure to Read the full article here.

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

Rural Economic Development Innovation (REDI) Initiative

Application Deadline: April 5th

USDA and four of its partners are now accepting applications from rural communities and regions for free technical assistance to implement economic development planning projects. Through the Rural Economic Development Innovation (REDI) initiative, USDA is partnering to provide this assistance with the National Association of Counties, Rural Community Assistance Partnership, McClure Engineering Company, Purdue University Extension/ Community & Economic Development Initiative of Kentucky.

Participation in REDI will enable a rural community, or region, to create economic development plans that include: evidence-based assessments, quantifiable goals, plans to improve the local and regional economy, and metrics to track implementation and progress.

Rural communities with 50,000 or fewer people are eligible to apply. USDA and REDI Cooperators will score, review and select applications on a competitive basis.

Colorado State Youth Council Innovation Grant 

The Colorado State Youth Council (SYC) is offering grants up to young adults and local organizations for projects that support innovative, youth-focused projects. There is up to $20,000 of funding available. The maximum award amount for any young adult or organization is $4,500. 

Applications Deadline: April 8th

In addition, the SYC recognizes that supporting young adults to self-sufficiency requires strong partnerships with the business community, including work-based learning opportunities and career pathway development. Funding to increase youth voice and opportunities will lay the groundwork for improving access to comprehensive services that engage or re-engage young adults, leading to self-sufficiency.  The innovation grants are available to young adults ages 16-24 and local organizations for projects that involve;
  • Increasing youth voice in workforce development programs and initiatives,
  • Building awareness of the need of workforce and education programming for vulnerable or underserved young adults, and
  • Business engagement, career pathways, and/or work-based learning opportunities for all youth.
Innovation grants for organizations:
Learn more about the grant opportunity
Access the application

For more information, contact
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: 

April 3 - Fleming SSR
Register here

April 8 - Kit Carson SSR
Register here

To view other upcoming events, click here.

To learn more about S-CAP, click here.
Contact Us! 

Kirk Banghart, Chief Facilitator - Colorado Rural Education Collaborative

720-452-3603 |