Rise & Shine: Colorado families adopting high-needs kids aren’t getting enough support

Good morning.

Aurora's struggling Paris Elementary School has been home to a number of efforts to lift student achievement. But after logging five straight years of low performance, more drastic turnaround strategies could be coming. District officials this fall put out a “request for information” from interested parties — which could include charter schools and consultants — seeking ideas.

The wild card: The school board has a different look after four teachers union-backed candidates swept to victory last month, and the new members have expressed reservations about some of Superintendent Rico Munn's reform strategies.

Yesenia Robles leads off today's newsletter with a look inside what's happening now in Paris Elementary classrooms, and at what might come next for a school where every student qualifies for a government-subsidized lunch.

Also today, Melanie Asmar reports on a new development in an increasingly heated debate over Denver Public Schools' latest school quality ratings. Leaders from groups that advocate for communities of color say the ratings for elementary schools are misleading, echoing criticisms Chalkbeat documented in an earlier story about how this year's ratings are coming under fire.

— Eric Gorski, bureau chief


INTERVENTION TIME? Aurora’s Paris Elementary School is reporting progress as a result of its improvement strategies, but a more dramatic turnaround effort may be coming. Chalkbeat

MEASURING UP Leaders of a half-dozen community groups are calling on the Denver school board to immediately correct what they called misleading and inflated elementary school ratings. Chalkbeat

TESTING, TESTING More students in Mesa County Valley School District 51 took standardized tests last year, signaling a slowdown in the fervor to opt out of tests and allowing schools to take a better look at how their students stack up. Daily Sentinel

‘ADOPTION SUBSIDIES’ Colorado families who adopt high-needs foster kids aren’t getting enough help, according to the state’s child protection ombudsman. Denver Post

PRIZE WINNER A peek inside a Denver charter school that was recently recognized for being an innovator. 9News

OPINION The school board in wealthy Douglas County just set back educational opportunity for all Americans, according to the director of policy for Denver-based ACE Scholarships. The Hill

ALL ABOARD! The “Polar Express” came to life for some Colorado Springs elementary school students. Gazette