Colo. Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia visited the Pueblo Monday to praise a training program that will hopefully bring and help retain teachers in classrooms across the San Luis Valley.
The former president of Colorado State University-Pueblo said collaboration was key in helping at-risk students succeed and lessening the impacts they have on our communities if they fail to make it through school.
"The only way to lessen that risk is to do a better job of collaborating across institutions and across programs to make sure that every kid can be successful," he said.
Three valley school districts have joined with Adams State University, the Public Education and Business Coalition and the Boettcher Foundation to train teachers for lowincome and rural districts. The Colorado Boettcher Teacher Residency pilot program would enroll students for one day a week in the university's graduate education program, then pair them with teachers in the classroom at the respective school districts for the remainder of the week.
While the program won't be fully implemented until next year, the coalition and Adams State have begun training the teachers who will serve as mentors to the graduate students.
Ulcca Joshi Hansen, the coalition's vice president, said the program was meant to build capacity to train teachers and ensure they make an impact.
"The point is for Adams State and districts and the (San Luis Valley Board of Cooperative Services) to take on this work," she said.
The coalition has run a similar program in Denver schools for the last decade and retained 92 percent of its enrollees at the end of their four-year commitment.
Superintendent George Welsh, who heads the Center School District, said the program would help his district find teachers in subject areas where applicants are rare.
The Alamosa and the North Conejos school districts will join Center in the pilot program.
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