Recent efforts to support Colorado education stakeholders’ use of a geographic information system (GIS) map to strengthen the workforce pipeline include transitioning the map to the Experience Version. This mapping software update includes an introduction to the map with links to resources and materials developed by R12CC to inform strategy selection, action planning, and implementation of efforts to improve educator preparation, recruitment, and retention. The project team also created a 6–7-month superuser training agenda to build the capacity of Colorado Department of Education (CDE) staff to independently update and maintain the GIS map.

R12CC staff conducted needs sensing to identify other potential areas of support for rural district and other education leaders interested in improving the workforce. The project team is shifting its focus to consider individual district/organization supports aligned to their needs, including collaboration on the development of a grow-your-own program, and support for a communications effort focused on recruiting high school students into educator careers.

As part of our collaboration with the CDE to update the dropout prevention framework, the project team met with CDE to present and collect recommendations for strategy-specific implementation stories related to the revised framework. Based on feedback, R12CC developed a prototype of an inventory tool to collect and categorize potential implementation stories. In doing so, the team sought to enhance the final version of the framework so that intended users would have access to contextualized examples of the strategies in action. During a quarterly workshop designed to gather input from CDE staff on iterations of the framework content, participants also shared ideas regarding how to collect feedback about the revised framework from external stakeholders. Based on this input, the project team planned a three-tiered approach to engaging external participants through focus groups and has completed another step toward finalizing the framework.