Starting college early Learn about how Denver Public Schools is encouraging more students to take college courses while still in high school in this Denver Post article. And read more about events happening and some impressive stats from Denver Public Schools itself. For instance, it’s College & Career Readiness Month in Denver, thanks to a new initiative by DPS and  the Denver Scholarship Foundation. The district is reporting large increases in the number of students taking college-readiness courses, which include Advanced Placement and concurrent enrollment in college-level classes. In the past two years, concurrent enrollment has nearly tripled, from 575 to 1,572. And in that same timeframe, AP enrollment has increased by 49 percent, 2,330 to 3,489. Join the thousands of eighth-graders will take part in a career fair at the National Western Complex on Oct. 20.

Goodwill battling drop-out problem Goodwill is known mainly for its work with the needy and adults trying to get their lives back together. The nonprofit group also has 30 facilitators placed in schools from Greeley to Denver to Aurora with the mission of getting students to stay in school. For years, the DPS dropout rate has hovered around 50 percent. Read this 9News story about the effort.

carrie heaneyEdNews Parent featured teacher honored Watch this video of Carrie Heaney giving parents of middler-schoolers tips on how to help them with math.  She was honored by the State Board of Education last week because she was one of two Colorado teachers chosen to receive the prestigious Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. The other teacher is Aaron Sams, a science teacher at Woodland Park High School.

Grad initiative money to benefit five local schools The Aurora Sentinel reports on five local high schools will benefit from $15 million in federal education grants to the state, funding that will tackle high dropout rates through tutoring, early warning systems and other intervention.

Charter school offers immersion in Chinese, Spanish Read this 9News story about a new international education program in Denver. “In the old Whiteman Elementary building, teachers are doing something never done before in the Mile High City. They’re teaching kids every subject in Mandarin. Within the Denver Language School, nearly half the students are enrolled in a full immersion program teaching them Mandarin Chinese. The other students are in a full immersion Spanish program, all tuition-free as a Denver Public Schools charter.”

🔗About our First Person series:

First Person is where Chalkbeat features personal essays by educators, students, parents, and others trying to improve public education. Read our submission guidelines here.