Rise & Shine: The Aurora district may offer stipends for staff in hard-to-fill jobs

Good morning!

The Denver school district is making improvements at its Montbello campus, including a refurbished library, more class options, and the addition of stadium lights on the football field. But the changes may not be enough for local residents and athletic coaches who want a comprehensive high school in far northeast Denver. Melanie Asmar takes a look at how the changes are being received by critics of the district's small-school approach in that part of the city.

Also in our news roundup today are stories on possible stipends for Aurora district staff who take hard-to-fill positions, a big prize for the Denver-grown DSST charter school network, and the impact of the opioid crisis on the nation's schools.

— Ann Schimke, community editor

Rise & Shine is Chalkbeat’s morning digest of education news. Subscribe to have it delivered to your inbox, or forward to a friend who cares about public education.

UPGRADES Changes at the Montbello campus in far northeast Denver will create something closer to a traditional high school experience, but not the comprehensive high school some residents want. Chalkbeat

SWEETEN THE DEAL The Aurora school district may experiment with paying some teachers and staff about $3,000, to see if the district can attract more candidates, fill more vacancies, and retain more employees. Chalkbeat

WINNER Denver’s largest homegrown charter school network, DSST, won a $250,000 prize Monday for its success in educating students from low-income families and students of color. Chalkbeat, The 74

IMPROVEMENTS ON THE WAY Two local school districts and two charter schools in the Colorado Springs area will benefit from this year’s statewide distribution of school construction grants funded in part by taxes on recreational marijuana. The Gazette

IN LONGMONT, TOO St. Vrain Valley’s plans to renovate its Main Street School building for special education students will get a financial boost from a state grant. Times-Call

OFF TO JAPAN Three elementary school teachers from the Boulder Valley School District will be traveling to Japan this week as part of a cultural development program in advance of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Daily Camera

OPIOID FALLOUT The nation’s schools increasingly must tend to yet another crisis produced by the opioid epidemic: the trauma inflicted on the children of drug abusers. Politico

BESIDES PAY Often missing from this spring’s teacher protests was discussion of an issue that has contributed greatly to the financial woes of America’s schools: skyrocketing health care costs. Kaiser Health News