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Jeffco Innovation Acceleration Fund Recipients Finalized

Jeffco Innovation Acceleration Fund Recipients Finalized
Posted on 03/12/2018

In January, the Jeffco Public Schools Board of Education approved $1 million for a new innovation grant program. The idea was inspired by the Jeffco Generations vision, launched in October 2017, which proposes entrepreneurial efforts as a way to “keep the main thing, the main thing,” and the main thing is Learning. This fund offers an incentive for staff to look for innovative ways to improve Learning, Conditions for Learning, and Readiness for Learning for Jeffco students; it encourages the organizational value of “Entrepreneurial Spirit.”

All employees had the opportunity to apply for the Jeffco Innovation Acceleration Fund (JIAF), which invests in innovation and ideas to improve the learning experiences and outcomes for students. The JIAF was created to capitalize on and expand the impact of the innovative ideas from teachers, counselors, coaches, principals, and educators who are impacting the student learning experience.

Applicants were encouraged to partner with other organizations, such as post-secondary institutions, non-profit organizations, local businesses, and community-based agencies to strengthen ideas and offer authentic learning experiences.

There were over 100 applications submitted by the February 9 deadline, with a total request for funding of $9.3 million. The JIAF committee then began a two-round review process. In round one, each application was scored using the JIAF rubric by two committee members. Applicants were then notified of their application status on February 16. Fifty-one applications, which scored above a 24 on the rubric, were invited to “pitch” their ideas in round two. The total monetary ask of those invited to pitch was $6.2 million.

All applicants invited to “pitch” were strong, which made decisions very challenging. Committee members relied on the rubric to facilitate this difficult discussion. Additionally, to avoid multiple applicants receiving the same score using the rubric, the “pitch” evaluation process also included a fixed amount of points that committee members distributed across all pitches.

Applicant scores were then sorted from highest point total to lowest and submitted as the committee’s recommendation for funding. Ultimately, ten applications were chosen for funding by Superintendent Dr. Jason Glass. Congratulations to the recipients listed below!

Stott Elementary Stott Elementary Innovation Team Tinker Lab
Golden High School Jesse Swift STEAM Makerspace
All High Schools Dave Kollar HSE+ Post-Secondary Accelerator
Health Services Julie Wilken School-Based Health Centers
Green Mountain Articulation Area Colleen Owens GM Articulation Area Academy Program
Dakota Ridge High School & Wheat Ridge High School Josh Cooley, Jim Jelinek, Griff Wirth Career Explore
Fletcher Miller Special School Colleen Dodge Adapted Daily Living Upgrade
Van Arsdale Elementary Tami Thompson Mechanical Engineering Leads to Robotic Understandings
North Arvada Middle School Amanda Summers North Arvada Middle School's Wellness & Emotional Health Initiative
All Schools John McDonald Safe School Environments

Click here to read a description of the recipient innovations in the applicants’ own words.


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