New Member Spotlight!

The Collaborative welcomes Salida and Canon City Schools!

Salida School District located in Salida Colorado serves Salida, Poncha, and  Howard Colorado. Salida School Dis trict strives to be not only a community school but also works to help every student gain success individually. The district has created a trade program that enables students to work with local businesses to learn life skills. Salida offers a number of extra-curricular activities such as Diversity Club, Environmental Awareness Club, Knowledge Bowl and a Mountain Bike team.

Canon City School District located in Canon City, Colorado serves 3,600 students, 
K-12 with multiple schools, including an exploratory and core knowledge charter  school. The district strives to develop compassionate, responsible, independent, and productive students. The district offers various activities such as basketball, track, and National Honor Society.

Genesis Groups - Connecting our Efforts Across the State

The CREC is connecting diverse groups of leaders, educators, and partners across the state to discover, share, leverage resources, and plan action around the following high priority areas.

Student Centered Accountability Program (S-CAP) - Upcoming S-CAP events and more! 

S-CAP is excited to announce that the project is looking to have additional districts join the S-CAP group. If you are interested in learning more and being part of the project. We'd love for you to join us at our next SSR, March 5-6 in Monte Vista, CO. We are looking forward to completing our final two SSRs of the 2017-2018 school year. March 5-6 in Monte Vista, CO (comprehensive, 2-day) SSR, our next event will be April 23 (Focused, 1-day), in Holyoke, CO.
Check out the SSR's below, to register yourself, and feel free to forward on to any in your leadership team, including principals, instructional coaches, and board members. Don't hesitate to reach out with any questions!

Monte Vista S-CAP SSR
Monday March 5, 2018
Register  here!

Holyoke S-CAP SSR 
Monday April 23, 2018
Register here! 

"Attending System Support Reviews can be a valuable professional development opportunity for teachers, board members and administrators. We have heard from administrators that it is the most helpful feedback they have ever received and from teachers that it has significantly reduced isolation and seeded ideas and relationships to solve problems of practice".  
Lisa Yates, Superintendent Buena Vista School District

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) - SEL Program Growing Across Colorado 

On February 9th, GSN's Ellen Sarkisian, Yael Holzman Castellands, and Maggie Mather provided a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) training to the teachers of Bennett Elementary School. The training covered important topics for both students and teachers: Self Awareness and Self Management. The Bennett Elementary staff participated with the GSN staff in fun and thought provoking activities, and left the day with tangible next steps for effective SEL implementation in the classroom. 

Wondering what more you can do to help your students most at-risk? The Expelled and At-risk Student Services grant deadline is coming up March 15 and through the Rural Itinerant Advocacy Program, districts have seen dramatic improvements in their ability to support struggling students:
  • Increased parent engagement by over 70%
  • Increased student attendance by more than 50%
  • Participation in at-risk behaviors decreased by 35%
If you would like to consider how an EARSS grant can help your students, please contact Kirk Banghart at (719) 207-3858 or

Wanting to consider Health & Wellness for all of your students? Contact Brittney Ames at (408) 621-2743 about the Colorado Healthy Schools Grant. Upcoming deadline is June 15

College and Career Readiness -  Military & Protective Services Career Exploration Workshop Coming this Spring

In April, students from the Santa Fe Trail and South Central BOCES will have the opportunity to participate in a Military and Protective Services Career Exploration Workshop in Pueblo.  MAPS Exploration Workshop is a one-day event in which students and their families explore all military and protective services (EMS, firefighting, law enforcement) careers. The purpose of the Workshop is to encourage students and parents to consider military & protective services as an achievable pathway to pursue after high school. This event will provide opportunities for them to directly communicate with members of each branch of the military and protective services personnel and programming through multiple interactive sessions. 

STEMSan Luis Valley (SLV) STEM Professional Development

The final STEM PD will take place on March 9th with special guest speaker, Dr. Lucy Hansen.   Dr. Lucy Hansen is an innovative educator who has been serving the needs of California students for over 30 years as an elementary school teacher, principal, program specialist, and curriculum commissioner for the state of California. Currently Dr. Hansen serves as Coordinator of Supplemental Educational Services (SES) for Palm Springs Unified School District, exploring innovative academic interventions to increase the academic achievement of students in schools in the second year of improvement, corrective action, or restructuring.   As principal of Agua Caliente Elementary School, where 96% of the students receive free or reduced lunch and 70% are English language learners, Dr. Hansen provided strategic leadership that transformed the school's culture and instructional process.
Participants from the last STEM PD testing out their aerodynamic models.

During this workshop, Dr. Hansen will share her unique approach to engaging students and their families in collaborative, hands-on STEM learning. Through content-based science activities, merged with English Language Development (ELD) instruction and a focus on literacy, Palm Springs students are gaining an equitable foundation to ensure their success in college, career, and life beyond Lucy will discuss the project's current district-wide impact at Palm Springs Unified School District, and describe how her work at Agua Caliente Elementary school evolved into the model that is yielding these results.

 If you would like to plan a STEM integration project for your district (anyone interested in building a ninja course with their students?), please contact Nita McCauliffe   for a an event schedule and to let her know you are coming.
Teacher Recruitment and Retention - Teacher Immersion Event and more!

From February 7th-9th, fifteen teacher candidates participated in a STEM Rural Teacher Immersion Workshop in La Veta, Colorado. These teacher candidates plunged head first into a hands on immersion experience with real teachers, school administrators, and community members from La Veta. Candidates were able to experience what life is like in rural Colorado communities over the course of three days. At the end of the experience, candidates were invited to interview with superintendents from local school districts for open positions.
At the end of March, the Santa Fe Trail BOCES will be participating in their own Rural Teacher Immersion Experience. Teacher candidates from all over Colorado will travel to La Junta to immerse themselves into rural teaching and living. Over the course of two days, candidates will meet with teachers, administrators, students, and members from the community. If you are interested in participating in the event you can sign up here!
Northeast BOCES Immersion Experience, February 22-24, 2018:
Twelve rural school districts in Northeastern Colorado are working together on their first Teacher Immersion Weekend. College students from all institutions pursuing careers in teaching are invited to spend a few days in our schools and interacting with our teachers, students and communities.   The goal for the weekend is to allow college students an opportunity to experience teaching in a rural school. This will be a terrific opportunity for prospective teachers to experience a different setting and find the joys of teaching life in a small school.
Click here for more info!

Look out for the Job Board coming to the CREC website! Future teachers will be able to post resumes and look at open teaching positions throughout Colorado! Superintendents and school administrators will also be able to look at resumes as well as post job openings on this board. Stay tuned for more information!
If you would like to join the conversation, please contact Kirk Banghart at
National Rural Education Association: Essay Contest! 

The annual NREA Foundation Essay Contest allows contestants to participate in three divisions: elementary, middle/junior high, and high school. Grades 3-8 may participate in a written essay contest using the provided prompt and rubric. Grades 9-12 may participate in a video essay contest using the provided prompt and rubric. The winner in the elementary division receives $250. The runner-up will receive $100. The winners in the middle/junior high and high school divisions receive $400. The runner-ups receive a $200 prize.
  • Click here for the 2017 Essay Contest Winners
  • Click here for Essay Contest Guidelines 
The National Rural Education Association is very proud to present the Annual Monsanto Fund Rural Teacher of the Year Award to a deserving rural teacher. The generous support provided by Monsanto Fund lets the Monsanto Fund Rural Teacher of the Year receive a $2000 honorarium, and the Monsanto Fund Rural Teacher of the Year's school district receives $1000 to purchase instructional materials and school supplies.
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 events listed below!  
The Student-Centered Accountability Program (S-CAP), is a collaborative effort by six rural districts in Colorado to create a more comprehensive system of accountability than the state DPF system and to focus on "whole child" accountability through continuous improvement of the system. The program is focused on providing parents and the community accurate, well-rounded information to be used for strategic and continuous improvement. 

To find an S-CAP event happening near you, check out the links below: 
    • Monte Vista S-CAP SSR, for more information, click here!
    • Holyoke S-CAP SSR, for more information, click here!

ILearn Collaborative Conference

ILearn Collaborative will host their fifth annual conference  iLC 2018 on February 22-23 in Denver. If you are looking for a deeper dive on student-centered learning and how to utilize technology to enable it, you will find this conference a great opportunity to get an honest perspective from your peers on what is working and what to avoid.  With key note speakers Katy Anthes, Colorado Commissioner of Education, and Caitlin Tucker, a teacher, international trainer, and bestselling author, as well as over 40 breakout sessions delivered by education leaders, the conference is an opportunity to make connections and bridge between the theory and practice of student-centered learning.  Register  here!

The state is supporting approximately 50 hours of consulting services for 15 school districts each at no cost each year via an application process. Colorado Empowered Learning Network: building a collaborative space for CEL districts to communicate and share resources. To learn more click here!

Enrollment for Educator Professional Development will be $25 for the first 700 enrollments statewide. 

All courses will be university accredited. 
There will be a 20% discount for Annual Blended & Personalized Learning Conference. To learn more, click here!

Click  here  to apply! 
Ticket Prices will cost $180
Use CREC2018 to get a group discount for a group of 10 CREC educators. 

Northeast BOCES Teacher Immersion Weekend
  • February 22-24, click here to learn more! 

Save the Date: National Forum to Advance Rural Education!

If you're looking to engage with national experts, leading researchers, K-12 and higher education practitioners, policymakers, and philanthropic leaders to advance conversations and ideas around innovative rural leadership, practice, research, and policy, this is THE event for you!

If you share our passion for advancing rural education, we hope you will join us and help unite and inspire people to action!

To learn more, click here!
Get Involved with CREC

Kirk Banghart, Chief Facilitator - Colorado Rural Education Collaborative

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