CEI 2015-2016 Annual Report - Page 9

Colorado Legacy Schools The Colorado Legacy Schools (CLS) initiative works with high schools and districts to dramatically increase the number and diversity of Colorado high school students who are succeeding in Advanced Placement (AP) math, science, and English courses. As of May 2016, CLS has supported 38 schools across 20 districts. CLS supported 10 additional schools across six new districts during the 2015-16 school year. The work is focused on students who are typically underrepresented in AP courses, including females, minorities, and students living in poverty. Students participating in CLS report that their AP courses have exposed them to more rigorous content and, as a result, they have gained confidence in their academic abilities. In fact, 97 percent of CLS students report that because of their participation in CLS AP courses, they more deeply believe they can be successful in college and career after graduating high school. “Sometimes we honestly need to struggle more. Most of the time [in AP], it’s like one of those [problems] where you just get really stuck. And so then you just kind of learn to work through it. I think that’s really important because there are going to be problems, even times in your life, where you’re just stuck and you’ve just got to figure out how to push it through.” CLS Student Next Generation Learning Challenges Thompson is one of three Colorado school districts to receive support from CEI’s Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) project to transform classrooms. Colorado Springs School District 11 and Westminster Public Schools are also putting school redesigns into motion, developing whole-school personalized learning models that strive to increase student engagement and ownership of their learning. Out of the six national NGLC grantees, Colorado is the only one that has engaged our state department of education—a partnership that has been instrumental in elevating the importance of the NGLC design work in the state. “This innovative partnership supports our competency-based system, which embraces the idea that students should take ownership of their learning in an environment that requires them to be fully engaged and show mastery of their learning material.” Dr. Pamela Swanson, Superintendent Westminster Public Schools (Adams 50 School District) is directly connected to how much and how well a student learns. 7