Professional Development Update

February 4, 2021

What's in this update

The Colorado Plan to Vaccinate K12 Teachers
Monday, February 8, 2021, 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Join CASB and Jessica Cataldi, MD and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, for an informative meeting outlining vaccination details for K12 teachers and more. You learn about personal and shared responsibilities, specifics related to phase 1, 2, and 3, as well as how our state compares to others across the nation. 
At the end of this webinar, attendees will be able to 
  • Know the specifics for each roll out phase
  • Identify allergic responses and precautions related to the vaccine
  • Review the vaccination data at this point in time
  • Apply the personal responsibilities to help end the spread of COVID-19

Jessica Cataldi, MD, MSCS is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in the Section of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology. After graduating medical school at Northwestern University in Chicago, she completed her pediatric residency and infectious diseases fellowship at the University of Colorado. Dr. Cataldi works with several research teams at The Adult and Child Consortium for Health Outcomes Research and Delivery Science (ACCORDS) studying how to improve immunization delivery and acceptance. Since March 2020, she has provided additional support to the Children's Hospital Colorado Epidemiology and Infectious Prevention and Control group in the COVID-19 response, given numerous educational presentations for primary care providers and school health professionals, contributed to development of educational materials about COVID-19, and worked with CDPHE (the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment) as a subject matter expert on children and COVID-19.

Register Here

Speaker Alec Garnett to join CASB members by Zoom on Tuesday, Feb 9, at 11 a.m.

All CASB members are invited to join a conversation with the Colorado Speaker of the House Alec Garnett on Tuesday, February 9, at 11:00 a.m. The Speaker will be sharing his priorities for the upcoming legislative session and will take questions from CASB members in this interactive dialogue. We hope you can join us for this thirty-minute check-in with Speaker Garnett. 

Call-in details for members

Board President Cafes

Join CASB member board presidents and past presidents for informal discussions that are single-topic driven. These monthly gatherings for member board presidents are meant to help create community for those members in this critical role. You will be able to connect, communicate, commiserate, and celebrate with one another. The Cafe meetings are virtual and casual and will not be recorded. We welcome your ideas for discussion topics.

The first cafe is scheduled for February 18, 2021 and the topic for discussion is: What are your perspectives on learning loss and what are your plans for addressing this? CASB will be sending out meeting invites to all member board presidents.

Registration link (restricted to board presidents)

NEW CASB Advocacy Podcasts for CASB Members

Episode 8 - The Role of an Advocate with Kathy Plomer (15 min)
The role of an advocate is built upon establishing relationships first and foremost. Adams 12 board president, Kathy Plomer, shares her insights into advocacy based upon years of experience as an advocate for public education. You'll hear why you don't have to be an expert on every single issue in order to be a great advocate.
Host is Leslie Bogar, CASB Director of Professional Learning & Events

Listen on Apple Podcast
Listen on Stitcher
Listen on Spotify

Episode 7 - The Role of an Advocate with Jan Tanner (9 min)
As a school board member you are an advocate for public education and students in your district. Former CASB Board President, Jan Tanner, shares insights and practices that will help you in your advocacy role.
Host is Leslie Bogar, CASB Director of Professional Learning & Events

Listen on Apple Podcast
Listen on Stitcher
Listen on Spotify


CASB Winter Legislative Webinar Series

The annual CASB Winter Legislative Webinar Series focuses on major issues affecting legislation and other public policy issues. The goals of the webinars are to increase our members' knowledge about the political aspects of our school board work, help our members become more effective in influencing legislative changes that will support our schools, and cultivate relationships with our legislators and other education leaders.

Each webinar is offered free of charge to members:

  • Using the CASB Advocacy Resources for the 2021 Legislative Session
    Monday, February 22, 2021, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
  • CASB Advocacy — Beyond the Gold Dome
    Monday, March 1, 2021, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
  • Advocacy Action Plan for CASB members
    Monday, March 8, 2021, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Learn more

CASB joins CEA, CASE, and Rural Alliance in push to pause CMAS testing for this year

Leaders from the Colorado Education Association, the Colorado Association of School Executives, the Colorado Association of School Boards, and the Colorado Rural Schools Alliance released new polling data today showing clear majorities of Colorado voters and school parents put a higher priority on classroom instruction to close student learning gaps than on the CMAS standardized testing for grades 3-8 to assess potential learning gaps during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We care deeply about making sure all our students are learning, especially during the pandemic,” said Amie Baca-Oehlert, high school counselor and president of the Colorado Education Association. “But when students and educators are struggling, bouncing between in-person, virtual and hybrid learning depending on the COVID-19 conditions in their community, administering the CMAS this spring would be irresponsible. The wisest thing to do is to focus every single second on instruction so our students are able to concentrate on learning and maintaining their mental health until the pandemic subsides.”

More than half of respondents prioritized classroom instruction focused on teaching to close student learning gaps, while almost 4 in 10 identified social and mental health supports for students as the most important priority. Just seven percent chose standardized testing to assess potential learning gaps as a priority this spring, slipping to just four percent for parents with students in public school.

“Considering all that’s happened this year, I question the value of replacing instructional time with another test whose results won’t help my son this school year,” said Laura Martinez, parent in the Adams 14 School District. “We don’t see the benefit of standardized tests for our children, but we do see the costs. Loss of instructional time, money — which could be spent in making our schools safe from COVID — and additional needless stress and anxiety for our children. It just doesn’t make any sense.”

The polling data shows solid majorities believe that CMAS testing should be cancelled this spring, including two-thirds of public school parents and six out of 10 rural voters.  

“The reality is that schools can’t provide fair and uniform testing conditions for students,” said CASE President and Strasburg superintendent Monica Johnson. “Not only is every community different in terms of how many students are able to attend school in person versus hybrid or remote, access to technology and the internet also varies for students based on their own personal and family circumstances. To comply with COVID-19 health and safety protocols, many schools would need to test across multiple days in multiple locations, including virtually. This compromises the integrity and security of CMAS and takes away instructional time that our kids so badly need.”

“The results of this poll align with what our school board members are hearing from their local communities,” said John Wittler, Board President of Vilas School District and CASB President. “During this challenging school year, our families want to prioritize student learning by preventing additional disruptions to learning and CASB stands ready to work with policymakers on this important issue.”

Colorado Voters & School Parents Favor Cancelling CMAS Tests this Spring
Press Conference
Sample Resolution in support of suspending state assessments for the 2020-2021 school year (PDF)
Sample Resolution in support of suspending state assessments for the 2020-2021 school year (Word)

Parent Advocacy Network will focus on assessment pause on February 11

CASB is partnering with the Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE), the Colorado Rural Schools Alliance, and the Colorado Education Association (CEA) to convene our first-ever Parent Advocacy Network. The first meeting was held on January 21 and over 60 attendees participated (click here for the post-meeting summary with a link to the presentation slides).  

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, February 11, and will focus on the topic of pausing CMAS testing for this year. Board members are welcome to join the network and recruit parents for the Parent Advocacy Network. 

Sign up form

NEW DATE — Rural Kids Connect brings together rural students

The next meeting of the Rural Kids Connect program will be held on Monday, February 22, at 6:30 pm. Please share the date and time with students you think would be interested in connecting with kids from rural districts throughout the state to learn about life in other rural schools and explore ways to make their (and our) worlds a better place. 

Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 893 3343 1364
Passcode: 617236

NSBA Complimentary Equity Online Symposium on Wednesday, Feb. 10

More than 1,400 leaders across the country have signed up to hear the keynote session, Undoing Miseducation, by Brandon P. Fleming, founder & CEO of Harvard Diversity Project and assistant debate coach at Harvard University. In this presentation, Fleming will share his riveting journey from being an at-risk youth and college dropout to becoming an award-winning Harvard educator. Fleming will reveal the lessons and tools that he uses to transform underprivileged youth into global champions and Ivy League scholars. Among the many topics addressed are best practices in the importance of leadership in intentionally supporting pedagogy, classroom management, climate and culture, administration, socio-emotional intelligence, and much more. This is a “not to miss” event!


NSBA Online Experience takes place April 8 -10

NSBA is pleased to announce the transformation of its in-person NSBA 2021 Annual Conference & Exposition to the NSBA 2021 Online Experience. This experience will bring world-class programming, inspirational keynotes, top education solution providers, and plentiful networking opportunities. Join us on April 8-10, 2021, for a fully transformed and memorable event!

Learn more