New Member Spotlight!
The CREC welcomes De Beque School District

De Beque School District is centrally located on the western slope and serves over 200 students k-12. The district is committed to helping every child succeed through partnerships with parents and the community. Students are currently busy preparing to present the drama, You're A Good Man Charlie Brown in the month of December.
Upcoming Grant Opportunities

Grants Currently Accepting Applications

We are seeking 1-3 rural projects to fund through our annual Chinese New Year Gala.

If you have a compelling story for something you're seeking funding for, please send it to me!
  • This is something that must appeal to the average donor who may not have the best understanding of the inner-workings of the education world. We're looking for stories that will really touch the heart.
  • Our live appeal portion typically raises $40,000-$50,000, so your requests can range from $15,000 to $50,000
  • If selected as one of our featured projects, you and a guest will be invited to our event (travel and lodging provided).
The event is February 9, 2019 at the Grand Hyatt Downtown Denver, but please send all letters BEFORE you head out for winter break in DECEMBER (no need for a full grant request - just a letter).

Grant Name: Student Re-engagement Grant (SRG)
Letter of Intent Due Date: November 30, 2018
Application Due Date: February 19, 2019
Duration: 3 years - funding for each grant year will be contingent upon the annual appropriations by the Colorado State Legislature
The Colorado Student Re-engagement Grant Program (SRG) is authorized by C.R.S. 22-14-109 to assist local education providers in providing educational services and supports to students to maintain student engagement and support student re-engagement at the secondary level. Eligible Applicants:
  • School District
  • District Charter School (note: the charter school's authorizer will be the fiscal agent, if funded)
  • Institute Charter School
Note: LEAs who have received previous funding through the Student Re-engagement Grant are eligible to apply unless they received funding in FY2018-2019.
Funding priority will be given to eligible applicants that seek to improve postsecondary and workforce readiness indicators and student re-engagement at high-need schools. "High need" is determined by the school's performance rating for Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness (PWR) and by the school's state and federal designation through ESSA.
Funding: The annual grant request should not exceed $100,000 per recipient school. Funding from this opportunity may be used to support activities and strategies focused on student engagement and student re-engagement and improvement of PWR performance indicators. 
If you are interested in applying for this grant, the CREC and Generation Schools Network's grant writing team can help you. Please contact Kirk Banghart for more information.

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 Santa Fe Trail BOCES and Southeastern 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 and the Southeastern 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. 

Click the links to Learn more!

"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 see ks 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.

The SC BOCES is currently identifying 10-12 experienced teachers to participate in the "Math Mentors" Plan Into Action Grant. If you are a teacher in a SC BOCES district and are interested, check out the flyer for full details and links for how to apply!

Student-Centered Accountability Program
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.

Thanks to the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Nathan Yip Foundation for supporting this important work!

Social Emotional Learning and Student Engagement
Bennett Elementary School opens up Advocacy to Parents!
The first week of November, Bennett Elementary held a "Parent Learning Walk" where eight parents from their School Advisory Committee (SAC) participated in Advocacy classrooms. Parents were able to meet with the Advocacy teacher and had a powerful debrief afterwards about what they observed and the importance of teaching Social Emotional Learning in the classroom. Bennett Elementary principal Anna Hogberg said it was great to hear about the parents experience and perspectives. Hogberg plans to open it up to more parents at the end of November with a goal of parent attendance as a regular occurrence.

Salida School District collaborates and crafts plans for Advocacy time during their second SEL training.

Sargent School District battles it out in a Rock-Paper-Scissors Tournament during their second SEL training.

Bennett's efforts are part of the 15 district SEL Expansion Grant. Thanks to the Wend Foundation and the Einhorn Foundation for helping to fund this important work!

College and Career Readiness
The Santa Fe Trail BOCES with support from the CREC and its partners is piloting several rural college/career readiness efforts as a way to create a rural template for CCR efforts across multiple districts that includes:
  • Career Exposure Opportunities such as a Career Cab and entrepreneurship opportunities
  • Building Bridges to Careers problem-based, business connected learning scenarios
  • Internships, apprenticeships and business succession opportunities.
A kick-off event was held for the business scenario problem-solving scenarios on October 8 with pairings created for 10 teachers and 10 businesses. Thanks to the Southeast Colorado Power Association for hosting the event and to the Daniels Fund for supporting creation of a rural playbook for college/career readiness.

Teacher and Leader Efficacy
South Central BOCES newly minted Principal Induction Program has been approved by the Colorado Department of Education and launched its first cohort in October. Candidate development is guided by on-line coursework and accompanied by monthly coaching and site visits. At the completion of the program, participants will be able to apply for their professional principal license through the state of Colorado. There are 10 administrators involved in the program from 6 school districts including Branson, Las Animas, Aguilar, Huerfano, Custer County, and LaVeta. Thanks to the Wend Foundation for funding this important work.
The group from the first meeting of the Principal Induction Program.

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.

The Nathan Yip Foundation has refurbished Hp Laptops . Do you know of a deserving rural teacher, admin, or student who could use a laptop pick-me-up? This would be a great surprise/gift for the holiday season.
  1. Please write in with a nomination of who you'd like to gift a laptop to and why, and we will select some lucky recipients and coordinate delivery/pick-up in time for the holidays
  2. Laptop requests must be in by the end of NOVEMBER.
Contact Tarika Cefkin for more information or to submit inquiries!

If you would like to join the conversation, please contact Kirk Banghart at
Upcoming Events

Get Involved with CREC

Kirk Banghart, Chief Facilitator - Colorado Rural Education Collaborative

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