School and Child Care Immunization Data

This month the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment debuted a new website that provides data on vaccinations and vaccination exemption rates by school, district, or child care facility, making it easy for parents to find immunization data specific to their child's school.

According to the department's press release, prior to the release of this website the only school vaccination data available from the state was based on a sample of 350 kindergarteners.  The reports for these samples, which can be used to draw some comparisons over time, are available from our library.  These go back to 2005, but older reports from the 1980s and 1990s can be checked out in print from our library.

For more health and immunization data and reports search our library's online catalog.  


Time Machine Tuesday: School District Organization

In 1934, when much of Colorado was still very rural, Colorado had 2,076 school districts.  This became an enormous organizational problem during the Great Depression, when many of the poor and rural schools needed to apply for federal aid in order to continue to function.  In the summer of 1935 the state's Superintendent of Public Instruction, Inez Johnson Lewis, asked the University of Colorado's Bureau of Business and Government Research to conduct a study on how to organizationally deal with the many small and rural schools in the state.  The resulting study was The Elimination of Small Schools in Colorado, which has been digitized and made available online by our library. The purpose of the study was to envision "a long-term program of school re-organization and the methods of financing it."  The results of the study would assist the Legislature and the state's education department with reorganizing and consolidating these many districts, an effort which continued in one form or another over the next fifty years.

According to Stanley A. Leftwich's 1989 paper School District Organization:  Historical Outline of Colorado School District Formation, written for the Colorado Department of Education, the reason there had been so many school districts -- over 800 already by 1880 -- was that districts were formed by the citizens of a community upon petition to the county superintendent.  A district only needed ten students to qualify.  By 1935, when the small schools report was published, it was becoming apparent to state government officials that something needed to be done to fix this ungainly system, especially as the state continued to add to its population -- yet it would be more than a decade before legislation was passed to deal with the problem.  The General Assembly eventually passed the "School District Reorganization Act of 1949" but over the years it was "amended into uselessness," says Leftwich, so a new act was passed in 1957.  This act reduced the number of school districts in Colorado to 181.  Further legislation was passed in 1965 and 1992 and today there are 178 school districts in Colorado.

In addition to the resources named above, our library has many other reports and documents concerning the history of school district organization in Colorado.  A Report on School District Organization, written by the Colorado Department of Education's Morris Danielson, is a particularly helpful resource.  Also, annual reports on school district organization were published between the years 1958 and 1963; these can be checked out in print from our library.  In 1987, the General Assembly published a major three-volume study, Evaluation of School District Organization and Staffing, which can also be checked out in print.  Finally, the Colorado Department of Education issued its Manual of Procedures for the School Organization Act of 1992 as Amended in 2003.  Search our library's online catalog for more titles dealing with the history of education in Colorado.

A one-room schoolhouse in Clear Creek County, one of early Colorado's many small rural schools.


New Reports from the Colorado Energy Office

The mission of the Colorado Energy Office is to "deliver cost effective energy services and advance innovative energy solutions for the benefit of all Coloradans."  The office explores policy and practices related to a variety of types of energy production and consumption, including electricity; renewable energy sources (solar, wind, geothermal, methane, hydropower); traditional energy sources (natural gas, coal, petroleum, propane, nuclear); and more.  In the past year the office has released several new reports, available from our library, dealing with these important resources:


Emergency Medical Services in Colorado

In Colorado the Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) oversees emergency medical services (EMS), including training and certification, trauma services, funding, air and ground ambulance, etc., and provides data on these services.  In our library you can find many resources on EMS in Colorado from the CDPHE and cooperating agencies.  Some highlights include:
For more resources, search our library's online catalog.


Time Machine Tuesday: Colorado Water Study 1978

The 1970s were times of major growth in Colorado, and with it came an increased concern over the conservation of natural resources, as evidenced by Colorado voters' rejection of the 1976 Olympics.  The natural resource that became the State of Colorado's biggest conservation priority was water, and in 1978 Colorado conducted a major water study, the reports of which have been made available online by our library.  The Colorado Water Study:  Directions for the Future included an initial introductory volume, followed later by a nearly-800 page Legal Studies volume.  The study examined Colorado water rights, public interest, future demand, and conservation.  The 1978 study was followed up a year later with Water and Growth:  An Inquiry into the Potential Impact of Municipal Water Use Restrictions Upon Future Growth of the Colorado Front Range Urban Corridor, which is available for checkout from our library.

How much has changed in nearly 40 years?  An analysis can be made by comparing these documents with the major Colorado Water Plan issued in 2015, as well as other state documents produced in the intervening decades.  Because water is such an important issue in Colorado, our library contains hundreds of studies on our state's water resources, which you can find using our library's online catalog.  Some of the other studies from the 1970s era of growth, also available online, include:
The challenge of water and growth was not limited to the 1970s, of course; see 1999's Finding Water for One Million New Residents and 2001's Water and Growth in Colorado.  The information in these reports can be helpful for planning for the future now that Colorado is in the midst of another population boom.


June is Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month

Alzheimer's, dementia, and related conditions are an important health concern, and will continue to be so as the baby-boom generation ages.  According to the Alzheimer's Association, currently 47 million people worldwide are living with Alzheimer's and dementia.  These diseases can be very difficult not only on the person suffering them but on their family members as well, who have to watch their loved one mentally slip away.  Because Alzheimer's and dementia are so difficult for everyone affected by them, the month of June has been set aside as a national month of awareness.*

In our library we have a number of publications on Alzheimer's, dementia, and other brain conditions that can serve as helpful resources for families, practitioners, and researchers.  If someone you love has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, or if you have a family history of the disease and want to learn more, Colorado State University has published two fact sheets that explain the disease:  Alzheimer's and Dementia and Alzheimer's DiseaseFor health practitioners and others looking for more technical information, or to learn about what the State of Colorado is doing to address Alzheimer's, see the Colorado State Alzheimer's Disease PlanSearch our library's online catalog for further resources.

*Alzheimer's awareness is also commemorated with National Alzheimer's Disease Month in November.  That is the month when caregivers are specially recognized.


Colorado Kids Food Finder

 Many Colorado children are in free and reduced lunch programs at their school.  But what happens when school's out?  The Colorado Department of Education and other partners have launched a new website, Kids Food Finder, which parents/guardians can use to locate community-based sites such as churches and rec centers which have agreed to provide free meals to qualifying children all summer long.  Use the Kids Food Finder's map feature to locate participating sites.

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