Gov. Polis' RISE Fund Recipients Align with Vision 2030

Earlier this month, Governor Polis announced the first round of Response, Innovation, and Student Equity (RISE) Education Fund awardees. The $32.7 million fund supports high-needs school districts, charter schools, and public institutions of higher education to address the learning challenges related to the economic, social, and health impacts of COVID-19. The fund seeks to support those creating sustainable innovations that improve student learning, close equity gaps, and enhance operational efficiency for pre-K-12 through higher education.

Many of Colorado Succeeds’ school and district partners were selected as winners in round one, highlighting the key connections between COVID-19 recovery and Vision 2030, which outlines the educational experiences, skills, and transferable competencies required for students to thrive in an uncertain future. Namely, several schools and districts from the Homegrown Talent Initiative and The Succeeds Prize were funded to further advance their critical work in expanding access to high-quality college and career-connected learning.

“As a coalition of rural and small rural districts, ensuring our students have access to innovative learning experiences has been a well-known challenge,” said Homegrown Talent Initiative’s Elizabeth Schools Superintendent Douglas Bissonette. “Support from the RISE Education Fund will allow us to put our community-led plan to implement new work-based learning opportunities and expose students to in-demand pathways into action. We are grateful for the opportunity to create long-term, sustainable change for our communities.”

  • Lake County School District: $492,149 for a Mobile Learning Center that will be housed in a repurposed school bus to bring school-based resources and learning opportunities directly to students. The Succeeds Prize 2020 Finalist
  • Academy of Advanced Learning and Coperni 2&3: $723,000 to reimagine school by advancing a “one classroom, three locations” instructional model and providing credit to students for experiences, not just academic learning. The Succeeds Prize 2019 Winner
  • Fort Lewis College: $3,607,096 for the Southwest Colorado District Collaborative, a partnership between Pueblo Community College and Southwest CO school districts to pool resources and build strong postsecondary pathways for students in the build trades and environmental science. Implementation supported by CS partner organizations Empower and Trendlines
  • Peyton School District: $852,541 to develop an innovative postsecondary and workforce readiness program in partnership with neighboring postsecondary institutions. The Succeeds Prize 2020 Winner
  • Elizabeth School District: $555,909 for a partnership between Big Sandy, Calhan, Elbert, and the Colorado Education Initiative to develop intentional career pathways in cybersecurity, construction, and agriculture. Homegrown Talent Initiative District & Expansion of HTI
  • Montrose County School District RE-1J: $846,320 for a partnership between Hilltop Family Resource Center, Center for Mental Health (CMH), and local police departments to address adverse childhood experiences. 2020 The Succeeds Prize winner
  • Clear Creek School District: $375,700 to partner with their students to create and implement a student-led District Recovery Plan that includes resource realignment, professional learning, and community building. Homegrown Talent Initiative District & Aligned to HTI

We’re honored to be in partnership with these forward-thinking schools and look forward to seeing how this critical funding supports positive outcomes for their students during this challenging time.

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Shannon Nicholas