Colorado

Rise & Shine: Aurora used drug-sniffing dogs in schools 28 times this year

Good morning.

Congratulations, Colorado, on being essentially drought-free and giving us some upside to all this dreary spring weather. And congratulations to those of you have reached the finish line of this school year. If you have a bit left to go, hang in there.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on the end of this school year and what lessons you learned, in or out of the classroom. Please take a minute to fill out our survey.

The year is ending on a sour note for some Aurora students and teachers after a student was tackled after a drug-sniffing dog alerted on his backpack. The practice of conducting random sweeps in Aurora schools isn't new, but it was news to school board members. Some community members are pressing for the practice to stop. Yesenia has that story.

Plus, Ann dug into the trend of using private fundraising to cover unpaid lunch debt and asked an important question: Is this sustainable?

And Kati has important news for parents and teens: Denver is providing a free transit pass to youth aged 12 to 18. The information gleaned from this could help pave the way for school-year transportation options.

Read on.

– Erica Meltzer, bureau chief

SEARCH AND RESCUE The Aurora school district says it’s looking into an incident in which a student was tackled after a drug-sniffing dog found five edibles. But some community members are asking why the district conducts these searches in the first place. Chalkbeat Aurora Sentinel

ON MY WAY To help boost the mobility of young people, Denver will offer 12- to 18-year-olds free transit passes usable with their smartphones this summer. Ridership data collected during the program could help build a case for offering a pass throughout the school year. Chalkbeat

LUNCH DEBT Heartwarming stories of benefactors wiping out lunch debt have become a regular feature of local news. But is this a sustainable way to feed children? Chalkbeat

DROPPING OUT Many more schools are ending their use of Summit Learning’s curriculum and online learning system than the company had led people to believe. Backed by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Summit is part of the push for technology-abetted “personalized learning.” Chalkbeat

TEACHER PAY The Montezuma-Cortez school board will ask voters to approve a mill levy override to increase teacher salaries. The Journal