August 16, 2013

For more information:
Melissa Reeves,, Jeffco Public Schools,
Lynn Setzer,, Jeffco Public Schools,

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Jeffco Public Schools has received a $5.2 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that will fund professional development for middle and high school teachers.  The three-year grant will focus on meaningful and innovative strategies for teacher training with a focus on professional development that is created by teachers for teachers.

“We are thrilled at the prospect of being leaders in this exciting work.  We believe that every child deserves an education that will prepare them for a successful future.  To do that, we need to create a system that increases the effectiveness of every one of our teachers,” said Jeffco Superintendent Dr. Cindy Stevenson.

Out of nine districts nationwide competing for the grant money, Jeffco was one of three districts chosen for the Innovative Professional Development (iPD) grants.  The money will be used to build systems, structures and resources for teachers empowering them to design and implement their own professional learning.

“Every student matters and every teacher matters.  The challenge for our team is to create a system that supports struggling teachers as well as moving good teachers to be great teachers.  This grant will help us do that,” said Dr. Heather Beck, Jeffco’s Chief Academic Officer.

Beck said that the training for teachers will incorporate a variety of learning models including online, in person or a combination of both.

“In the past much of professional development has been developed for the masses.  Now we’re building a system that will personalize learning for our teachers, just as we are personalizing learning for our students,” said Beck.

Work on the iPD grant begins during the 2013-14 school year.