Student Assessment Results

Last spring, 2,200 4th graders and 2,300 8th graders took the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test, and yesterday the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) released the results.  According to the Department's press release, "Colorado has more students who are proficient or above in math than most other states.  In reading, the percent of Colorado students who scored at proficient or above was about the same as students in other states."  This test is sometimes referred to as the "Nation's Report Card."  You can view the results, as well as more information about the test and its 2016 administration, by clicking here.

This spring students also took the CMAS (Colorado Measures of Academic Success).  You can find those results here.  For further information including individual school performance data, see CDE's SchoolView website.  This site provides data not only on assessments but also on programs, accountability, and more.  A key feature of the site is the Colorado Growth Model, which measures the growth and progress of individual schools and districts.


Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado Rocks and Minerals

Back in 1913, mining played an important role in Colorado's economy and employed thousands of workers.  Hundreds more were made wealthy by owning and investing in Colorado's mines.  Therefore it is no surprise that in that year the Colorado Geological Survey published a book entitled Common Rocks and Minerals:  Their Occurrence and UsesAs suggested in its title, this book explores the numerous types of rocks and minerals available in Colorado and, tangentially, how money could be made from them.  It provides information on all types of rocks and minerals, from gemstones to metallic minerals to stones useful in the building trade.  "Many valuable minerals lie unused for want of knowledge of what they are and how they may be used.  It is hoped that [this book] will stimulate an interest in, and a search for, valuable geological products," the book explains, demonstrating the importance of minerals to the state's economy and the continued opportunities available to exploit those resources in the early part of the twentieth century.

Underground inside the Yule marble quarry in Pitkin County.  Photo courtesy Colorado Geological Survey.


Help Writing a Resume

If you're looking for a job, one of the most important things you can do is to create a successful resume.  This will list not only your skills and job history, but will also demonstrate your writing and organizational ability.  The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment offers a helpful Resume Guidance webpage that can help you produce a resume that will open up more doors for you.  Information on this webpage includes how to choose the type of resume that is best for the job you seek; how to use references; what to do when the job posting asks you about salary; mistakes to avoid; and much more.  The site can also connect you with job search engines and other resources helpful during the job-hunt. 


National School Bus Safety Week

Today ends National School Bus Safety Week.  Here in Colorado, we have numerous laws to protect children who ride school buses.  In addition, school bus drivers are rigorously trained on safety standards.  Our library collection includes several helpful resources on school bus safety, including
For historical information we also have a number of documents on this topic from the 1970s and '80s, which provide an interesting comparison.  Search our library's web catalog using search terms "school bus" or "school transportation" to find these resources. 


Time Machine Tuesday: Women and Children's Labor Laws

In 1970 the Colorado State Legislature appointed a committee to study labor laws for women and children.  This continued the Progressive Era reforms of several decades before by bringing these laws up-to-date with changing attitudes about discrimination of women in the workplace and employment opportunities for youth:  "...The Committee attempted to remove overly protective restrictions from the statutes which hamper youth employment opportunities.  At the same time, the Committee retained present Colorado educational requirements and the emphasis on safety training."  Further, "the Committee recommends a repeal of certain provisions of the statutes which tend to discriminate against the employment of women."  These provisions included a law that prohibited women from working in mines as well as special accommodations such as providing special seating for female employees.  The child labor laws discussed by the committee included relaxing laws on how many hours an employee under age 18 could work, which limited the employment of some 17-year-old high school graduates.  The committee also addresses laws regarding the employment of 14- and 15-year-olds.  The committee's final report is available digitally from our library.  For more resources on this topic, search our library's web catalog.


National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week

October 18-24 has been designated to bring awareness of the growing problem of alcohol on college campuses, much of which is consumed by young people under the legal drinking age.  The State Publications Library collects all state government documents, including those from state-funded colleges and universities, so we have a number of documents in our collection that address this issue, including studies and policies from the universities as well as consumer information from the state's health and human services agencies.  Listed below are some of the resources you can find in our library that address college and/or underage drinking:


Colorado Water Resources Archive

Water and the issues surrounding it -- water rights, drought and climate, flooding, availability, etc. -- is an important topic in our state where this diminishing resource must be found for millions of residents.  Colorado State University Libraries and the Colorado Water Institute have put together a Water Resources Archive that includes thousands of resources, both current and historical, regarding water in our state.  The site includes numerous digital objects including studies, reports, and theses and dissertations, but also includes some valuable historical content such as online exhibits, photographs, and, most recently, a collection of oral histories about the 2013 northern Colorado floods
This digital archive is a great place to start if you are researching water issues in Colorado -- but also be sure to check out the State Publications Library's resources, which also offers numerous reports and studies on water through our digital repository.  Our library also offers a large collection of print documents -- search our online catalog for these as well as links to online serials and other documents.


Time Machine Tuesday: Keeping Kids Healthy in 1944

In 1944 the Colorado Department of Education and the State Division of Public Health teamed up to issue a handbook for teachers with tips on understanding, promoting, and addressing health issues in schools.  Entitled Conserving the Health of Colorado's Children, the booklet was put together by a joint commission which included members from the two state agencies as well as several local school districts, the University of Colorado School of Medicine, the Visiting Nurse Association, the Colorado Education Association, and other interested organizations.  The publication was issued as "the result of requests for assistance and information that have come from many teachers throughout the state." 

The booklet begins by listing the "factors conducive to good health," points that we can still relate to today which emphasize both physical and mental health: 

1.  Proper diet
2.  Fresh air and sunshine
3.  Play and exercise
4.  Sleep and rest
5.  Suitable clothing
6.  Healthful surroundings
7.  Protection against communicable diseases
8.  Periodic medical and dental examinations
9.  Normal mental attitudes

The booklet continues on to offer teachers advice on what to do with a sick child, including recognizing the signs of illness in children; how to ascertain when a sick child should be isolated from other children; suggestions on proper nutrition; activities to help kids learn about health and healthy habits; eye, ear, and dental health; mental health (the book's top suggestion:  "create a happy school environment"); personality development; accident prevention; and how to control the school's environment to ensure the best possible health of students (proper lighting, temperature, and ventilation; fire safety; playground safety; adequate desks and furniture).  The booklet also includes a long section on proper first aid that teachers can refer to when needed.  Finally, there is discussion of certain diseases and conditions, how to test for them, and how to manage and control them if a child becomes infected.  As this was during the era of polio, that condition is discussed at length.  Other diseases are included that are no longer much of a threat today, such as tuberculosis; but some of the diseases discussed in the booklet are seeing a resurgence, such as whooping cough.  Also less of an issue today, and discussed at length in the booklet, is proper sanitary measures particularly for schools that lacked indoor plumbing.  Aside from these few things, much of the information in the booklet is common sense and still relevant today -- and the publication as a whole provides an interesting look at school life in the 1940s. 


School Lunch and Nutrition

This week, October 12-16, is National School Lunch Week, which has been celebrated each year since declared by President Kennedy in 1962.  NSLW is about recognizing the importance of healthy school lunches and their effect on student learning.  Here in Colorado, the state's Department of Education (CDE) includes an Office of School Nutrition.  Their website includes information on Colorado's recognition of NSLW as well as information on programs such as Colorado Proud School Meal Day, Smart Snacks and Competitive Foods, school wellness, and more.  In our library collection you can find numerous resources on school lunch and nutrition, including:
Finally, for an interesting historical perspective, check out the 1931 publication Health and Nutrition of the School ChildFor more resources, search our library's web catalog.


October 10 is Electronic Records Day!

This coming Saturday, October 10, is Electronic Records Day, where we recognize the importance of preserving our digital heritage and making our history more accessible online.  Aside from recognizing the benefits of preservation and access, Electronic Records Day also promotes the preservation of the electronic records themselves, which can deteriorate or become unreadable over time as computer programs change and develop.  Just because a document has been placed online doesn't mean it is permanent -- be sure to keep your records accessible by updating them as computer programs advance.  Don't lose your personal or community history by neglecting to preserve your electronic documents!

You can search through thousands of Colorado state government documents at our library's digital repository.  Other helpful repositories containing digital documents, particularly those from state colleges and universities, include the Digital Collections of Colorado repository, a consortium of Colorado public universities hosted by Colorado State University; the University of Colorado's CU Scholar; and the University of Northern Colorado's Digital UNC.  There are many others, so search your local library or university library's website for digital documents.  Be sure to also check the Internet Archive for electronic documents
from libraries across the United States.


Time Machine Tuesday: Drought in Colorado, 1990

Back in 1990 Colorado State University's Colorado Water Resources Research Institute (today known as the Colorado Water Institute) published a basic guidebook on drought in Colorado:

Water is very important to Colorado.  Because of its fickle climate, the state is subject to drought.  This brochure was prepared to explain why this subject is important, where Colorado's water comes from, how it is managed, and what Colorado is doing to best deal with drought.  --abstract

Despite the passage of a quarter century most of the information in this booklet is still highly relevant as Colorado's climate swings from extreme to extreme -- this year saw one of our rainiest springs change into one of our dryest late-summers.  Other resources on drought available from our library include:

Search terms such as "drought," "climate," or "water" in our library's web catalog for numerous other resources from various state agencies including CSU, the Colorado Water Conservation Board, Colorado Division of Water Resources, and many others. 


Family and School Partnership in Education Month

http://www.cde.state.co.us/sacpie/fspe_month_2015_proclamation-_engGovernor Hickenlooper has declared October in Colorado to be Family and School Partnership in Education Month.  During this month, Colorado will be recognizing the importance of learning both in home and at school, and how home and school can work together to give a child their best future, no matter their cultural or socioeconomic background.  For resources and information on family-school partnerships see the Colorado Department of Education's State Advisory Council for Parent Involvement in Education (SACPIE) website, or search our library's web catalog for resources.


Student October Count

Today is the official "pupil count date" for Colorado K-12 public school students.  Annually on October 1 school districts report attendance numbers for purposes of school funding.  School funding is based on student population.  The Colorado Department of Education has issued a Student October Count Audit Resource Guide that can answer parents' and school administrators' questions about the process.  For further information about this year's count, see this page from the Colorado Department of Education.  Data back to 2000 can be accessed here through our library.  Additionally, our library has pupil membership reports in print going back to the 1960s.  Check our library's web catalog and contact us for more information.

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