Skill-Building for Rural Colorado Teachers Increases Student Equity, Transforms Outcomes

While policymakers, reformers and the media have focused much attention on the problems facing urban education in the United States, rural schools face many of the same challenges: high percentages of low-income students, low achievement on standardized tests and low rates of college attendance.

Enter TeachUNITED, a change agent that has impacted more than 100,000 students since its founding in 2016. TeachUNITED believes in the power of dedicated teachers to help transform the outcomes of rural schools, which serve one-fifth of the nation’s youth but often face challenges in finding and retaining teachers due to geographic isolation, low salaries, lower enrollment leading to less per-pupil funding, fewer professional development opportunities and more.

All Points North Foundation is helping TeachUNITED address these challenges for 12 middle-school teachers who reach 1,000 students at three schools in rural Colorado: Estes Park, North Valley and South Valley Middle Schools. The grant funds job-embedded instructional coaching and professional learning networks to increase teacher engagement — improving and refining teachers’ skills and instructional strategies — and helping them overcome the professional isolation felt by many rural teachers.

The grant also provides for the continued development of an online teacher training program to support efficient scale of the program and ensure it is adapted to current and future challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Committed leaders and teachers at these Colorado schools work alongside TeachUNITED coaches over a full school year to create engaging and energized data-driven, student-centered classrooms. Teachers engage in online courses and workshops, with facilitated professional teacher networks allowing for peer-to-peer collaboration and support. TeachUNITED’s evidence-based training helps this group of underserved Colorado teachers tangibly shift their practice, resulting in improved student engagement and learning outcomes where students gain skills for the future.

For more information: https://www.teachunited.org/

Photo credit: Brian Martinez

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All Points North Foundation provides grants for U.S.-based projects and initiatives that support our priorities: improving public middle school education and teacher training, and implementing effective solar programs and/or projects.

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