Eagle County Schools land $300K grant | VailDaily.com

Eagle County Schools land $300K grant

Randy Wyrickrwyrick@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado – The Eagle County school district is one of the few in the nation tabbed to receive a grant from the Colorado Legacy Foundation.Only 13 Colorado school districts were selected. Colorado is one of only three states selected.The grant is around $300,000 a year for three years, school district officials said. It’s designed to improve the number and rate of students who graduate from Colorado high schools ready for college or career.”We believe every school should have an effective leader, every classroom should have an effective teacher and every student should be healthy and ready to learn,” said Dr. Helayne Jones, president and CEO of the Colorado Legacy Foundation. “Throughout the country there is an increased awareness about the crucial importance of effective instruction. “Colorado is increasing expectations for students and educators, Jones said. The school districts chosen for the grant will help the foundation learn what does and does not work in meeting those increased expectations.That information can help serve as a model for the country, Jones said.”It’s a testament to the leadership of Eagle County schools and the community that they’ve been willing to step up and be a learning laboratory not only for Colorado, but for the rest of the country,” said Heather Fox with the Colorado Legacy Foundation.Colorado lawmakers passed legislation that begins to implement teacher performance standards. Over a three-year period, the Colorado Legacy Foundation grant will help school districts determine how to help teachers meet those standards and how to measure performance, Jones said.This gives the local school district a head start on meeting teacher performance standards, said Dr. Sanrda Smyser, superintendent of the Eagle County School District.The 13 school districts serve more than 100,000 students. They range in size from 65 to 79,000 students.Colorado has 178 school districts.The grant is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.Sharing the information was a concern because of the staff’s time and the amount it would consume, said Kate Cocchiarella, a school board member.”Now the Gates Foundation has addressed that concern,” Cocchiarella said.Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

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