12.18.2014

Teacher and Principal Evaluations

SB10-191 set forth new laws requiring evaluation of teachers and principals, otherwise known as educator effectiveness.  The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) has created a state model evaluation system based on recommendations in SB-191.  There are many components to the system including rubrics, determination of ratings, and teacher quality standards.  All the information can be found on CDE's respective teacher and principal model evaluation system webpages.  Other school service specialists, such as school counselors, school nurses, etc., also need to be evaluated.  Information on evaluation of specialists can be found here.

A number of resources on educator evaluations are available online from our library.  Helpful resources include:

TEACHERS
PRINCIPALS
SPECIALISTS

12.17.2014

Colorado Cottage Foods Act

It is becoming increasingly popular to produce one's own food or buy products directly from farmers and other producers.  Many cities such as Denver now allow residents to keep chickens, goats, and bees, to produce fresh eggs, milk and cheese, and honey.  Others have signed up for cooperatives where they can buy fresh milk direct from the farm.  There are health concerns to be aware of when buying or producing such items, however; for example, the milk is unpasteurized. 

To address the safety concerns stemming from the increasing popularity of home-produced foods, the Colorado legislature passed the Colorado Cottage Foods Act in 2013.  If you're interested in either buying or selling these types of products, it's important to become familiar with the rules set forth by this law.  The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE) has produced a Fact Sheet on the Colorado Cottage Foods Act that contains answers to many common questions, such as labeling, and lists what foods can be legally bought and sold under the Act.  The CDPHE has also issued a producer brochure and an eligibility checklist.  

12.15.2014

Colorado the Least Obese State

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has issued a press release stating that Colorado is the least obese state in the nation, being #1 in the U.S. for fitness and having the lowest prevalence of diabetes.  Colorado took top honors last year as well.  The CDPHE has published a number of studies on obesity and diabetes in Colorado.  Check out the following resources:

12.10.2014

Emissions Testing

Colorado's emissions testing laws are changing beginning January 2015.  The most significant change is that newer vehicles will need to be tested after seven instead of the current four model years.  This law was changed because new vehicles are being designed to stay efficient for a longer amount of time.  For information on the new laws and what they mean for your vehicle, whatever its age, see this information from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

Emissions testing in Colorado is overseen by CDPHE's AIR Program.  The program's annual reports are available online from our library.  For further information including locations and hours of testing stations and information on RapidScreen roadside emissions testing, see the CDPHE's Automobile Emissions Inspection webpage.

12.09.2014

Preparedness Factsheets

The Colorado Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management and www.readycolorado.gov, the State's official preparedness website, are offering a set of fact sheets or "preparedness bulletins" on the Division's website.  Intended for general audiences, the bulletins are quick summaries on how to prepare for a variety of disasters, including avalaches, earthquakes, electrical outages, fires and floods, landslides, winter storms, and more. 

One particularly timely fact sheet is about holiday cooking safety.  Check out this quick two-pager to find out about how to safely prepare your holiday meals.  The fact sheet offers tips on food safety; cooking with children; and how to avoid burns and cooking fires.  For example, did you know that it is dangerous to use extension cords for cooking appliances?  The fact sheet tells us that they could overload electrical circuits and cause fires.  More about home fires can be found in the bulletin on that topic.