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Denver Adopts Expeditionary Learning Curriculum for 2015-16 School Year

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    Alexis Margolin

DENVER – June 1, 2015 – The fastest growing urban school district in the country – Denver Public Schools (DPS) – has selected Expeditionary Learning (EL) to provide the curriculum for grades 4-8 in the coming academic year. DPS will use EL’s English Language Arts curriculum for approximately 18,000 students, covering all of Denver’s 6th-8th graders and the majority of the city’s 4th and 5th graders. In addition, Expeditionary Learning will provide professional development for more than 600 teachers and administrators in the district, beginning this summer.

Denver a leader in supporting teachers and students with curriculum and training
“Denver is leading the nation in innovation to raise the bar on student achievement. They understand how important it is to combine high-quality teaching materials with ongoing, on-the-job professional development,” says Scott Hartl, President & CEO of Expeditionary Learning (EL). “This comprehensive, district-wide commitment signals the priority Denver’s educators are giving to both students and teachers at a time when they need it the most.”

“We believe Expeditionary Learning’s curriculum is an exemplar standards-based literacy option for all students,” said Devin Fletcher, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Denver Public Schools. “The modules build knowledge and skills toward performance tasks, offer differentiated supports for students, and provide independent reading and choice opportunities.”

EL's curriculum gaining traction nationally
Nationwide, EL’s curriculum – which has received top ratings from educators in New York, Connecticut, and other states – has gained increasing prominence among educators as a highly effective and engaging way for schools to meet the higher-bar standards, including the Colorado Academic Standards, that every state is putting into place. Downloads of EL’s open-source curriculum for Grades 3-8 English Language Arts have recently topped 3.2 million – a 50% jump since last August.

EL’s curriculum is in use in 465 school districts across 36 states and the District of Columbia, including large urban districts such as New York City and Hartford, CT. 

“We believe the curriculum has such widespread appeal because it gives teachers clear, concrete day-by-day lesson plans while still leaving lots of room for individual teacher creativity, and offers teachers the ability to modify lessons to suit different learning styles,” says EL’s Hartl. 

Partnering in education innovation
EL has partnered with schools and districts for more than 20 years, using a combination of innovative curriculum materials that draw on real-world challenges and highly popular teacher professional development sessions that employ “embedded” coaching in the teachers’ classrooms.

“Denver is the ideal partner for EL in implementing the changes that need to happen at this critical moment in education,” says Hartl. “The demands on our young people around college and workplace readiness require a different way of thinking about student potential – it’s not just about rigor and testing, but about cultivating a sense of curiosity and joy around learning.”

“Our district partners are working toward this goal for our students, and how we can all come together to create the conditions needed for success.”