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Innovative Learning Opportunities Pilot Program

Governor Polis signed SB19-216 into law on May 10, 2019 which created the High School Innovative Learning Opportunities Pilot Program, hereafter known as the Innovative Learning Opportunities Pilot Program.  This program enables participating Local Education Providers (LEPs) to offer their 9th through 12th grade high school students a variety of learning experiences that usually occur outside of the classroom. These learning experiences should be designed to enrich students’ education and support them in successfully transitioning from high school to postsecondary education and/or the workforce.

Innovative learning opportunities may include work-based learning such as apprenticeships or residency programs, enrollment in postsecondary courses taught on college campuses, competency-based learning or capstone projects, and other learning experiences that are designed to help students develop and demonstrate personal, entrepreneurial, civic and interpersonal, and professional skills as described in CDE’s Essential Skills Required in the Colorado Academic Standards.

Selected LEPs that enroll part-time students and fewer than 5,000 students in grades nine through twelve will be allowed to count their part-time students that are enrolled in grades nine through twelve and are participating in innovative learning opportunities as full-time pupils, regardless of the actual number of teacher-pupil instruction hours and teacher-pupil contact hours for each pupil.

The 2020-21 school year will be the pilot year of the Innovative Learning Opportunities Program. It is the intent of the General Assembly to increase the number of LEPs that participate in this program to 100% participation by 2025-26.

Benefits for LEPs

In addition to counting their participating students as full-time pupils regardless of the actual number of teacher-pupil instruction hours and teacher-pupil contact hours for each pupil, selected LEPs will be able to:

  • Participate in a network of all selected LEPs
  • Receive technical assistance* in evaluating the effectiveness and measuring the success of the LEPs innovative learning plan (ILP).
  • Rural LEPs & small suburban school districts will receive technical assistance* in developing an ILP.
  • Rural LEPs & small suburban school districts will receive technical assistance* in implementing the LEPs ILP.

*Technical assistance will be provided by a statewide non-profit entity contracted by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) that has expertise in system innovation and career and postsecondary readiness.

Key Dates:

  • October 24, 2019:  Letter of Intent link (to SurveyGizmo) will be post to CDE webpage
  • November 7, 2019:  Application will be posted to CDE webpage
  • November 19, 2019 from 2:00-3:00pm:  Live webinar
  • November 22, 2019:  Letter of Intent is due by 3:00pm
  • December 19, 2019: APPLICATION DUE DATE  (by 11:59 pm)
  • March 1, 2020:  Notification will be sent to applicants by CDE