The entire team at the CRUE Center is very excited to be sending our first monthly newsletter out to our CRUE Members! We hope you will find effective, usable tools and resources in the issue; it is designed to help you in your endeavors to make our schools equitable for all students. Please share this with your colleagues and friends, and visit us at www.cruecenter.org soon!



Monthly Feature

Meet Michael Gallegos, Executive Director of Equity and Minority Student Success for the Mesa County Valley School District #51 in Grand Junction, Colorado. Mike has been an educator in Colorado for 31 and with Mesa County’s Equity Office for four years; he has spent the majority of his career in Southern Colorado as a teacher, coach and administrator. In his current position, Mike administers all of the activities and programs in The Equity Office. The office exists to provide staff, students, parents and community members with resources, technical assistance and consultation.

In his quest for educational equity, diversity and multicultural education, Mike leads a host of student programs. The Latino Education Achievement to Graduation (LEAG) Program is a unique intervention program for at-risk students. The program is voluntary for at-risk Latino students to join. Over 580 students are participating this year. The program base consists of classified bilingual employees trained as liaisons to connect students, parents, and the school in an information loop. Each liaison is equipped with a laptop computer from Mike’s office and makes school and home visits to monitor student progress and explain data to students and families. Through interpretation of grades, attendance records, and CSAP scores, along with other tools, the liaisons are able to create a team between the family and school.

In addition, the LEAG program partners with the community. Both City Market and the local libraries have agreed to provide free computer kiosks in their locations to parents of students in the program. Parents can visit a kiosk to view their student’s performance data at any time. This reciprocal partnership allows students and parents the opportunity to understand how the student can achieve. The LEAG program currently uses the “Why Try?” curriculum as a supplement to the program. The “Why Try?” mission is to help people achieve freedom, opportunity, and self-respect through education and interventions that motivate and create positive change http://www.whytry.org/.

The results of LEAG are significant. Over the past three years, the district has seen dramatic increases in attendance, achievement and positive behavior. Latino students in the program have an average graduation rate of 80%, the average graduation rate for all Latino students in the district is 63%. Approximately 50% of students in the program continue to higher education. The LEAG program is currently available in all middle schools and high schools across MCVSD #51. This is a fantastic example of a program working to close the achievement gap, and they have the numbers to prove it.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Mike via e-mail at: michael@mesa.k12.co.us






In the News


Did You Know


What’s new at CRUE?

We are very proud to announce that November’s Institutes were a huge success! The 2-day trainings on Culturally Responsive Classrooms and Creating Culturally Responsive Curriculum were held in the Tivoli at the University of Colorado Denver.

Here's what our attendees had to say:

“Nicely done as always! Thank you!”
“ I can’t wait to share this information with school leadership.”
“ I really enjoyed spending time talking with participants during break times to further the conversation.”
“ Wonderful activities to expand learning and understanding.”

For more information on CRUE Institutes, visit: http://www.cruecenter.org/institutes.html

We are now in the planning stages for our Spring 2008 Institutes. This is your opportunity to tell us the type of information and training you want. Please visit http://www.zoomerang.com/survey.zgi?p=WEB2275CVRG7PA to take a brief survey. We appreciate your feedback!

Would you like to: delve deeper into issues of cultural diversity in the classroom, become a leader in solving problems of inequity in our schools, and take courses for credit at the University of Colorado Denver? If so, the CRUE Certificate Program is for you! We are currently registering students for our first class in a series of three master’s level courses that will earn students a CRUE (Culturally Responsive Urban Educator) Certificate. For those of you that are already students at CU-Denver, these courses may fit into your existing master’s programs.

For more information on the CRUE Certification Program, visit: http://www.cruecenter.org/certification.html


Equity Issues in the News

Please visit our site at: www.cruecenter.org/news.php for Colorado News as well as National News. We add articles on a weekly basis, so it is your one stop shop for equity issues and legislation as it happens! Please know that our articles are collected from a variety of sources and are in no way the views held by the CRUE Center. Our goal is to keep you informed on the latest happenings in our field and give you something to discuss with your teams. This month, be sure to check out The Boulder Daily’s, ”A plan to fix dropout factories” and the LA Times, “Schools can’t be colorblind”.



Are you a middle school teacher? Do you work with a diverse population of students? Would you like to learn strategies to be a more effective teacher?

Effective Teaching Strategies for Middle School Learners in Multicultural, Multilingual Classrooms

Barbara N. Allison and Marsha L. Rehm

As national demographics continue to change, it is imperative that educators learn to positively interact and work with students who do not share the same language, culture, or national origin. According to some research studies, middle school teachers have an extra challenge in working with diverse students as they are also supporting students as they go through dramatic developmental changes. Middle school teachers must become informed and skilled in using curriculum strategies that are responsive to the unique developmental needs of young adolescents from diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds.

To read the full article, please visit:



Did You Know?

→The average student to teacher ratio in Colorado is 17:1, while the national average is 15.7:1 -National Center for Education Statistics

→ In Colorado, the graduation rate for the Class of 2006 was 74.1 percent. This is a 6 percentage point decrease from the Class of 2005 rate of 80.1 percent and an 8.4 percentage point decrease over the Class of 2004 rate of 82.5 percent. -Colorado Department of Education

→ 15.1% of students in Colorado speak a language other than English at home. This is 2 % less than the national average. -U.S. Census Bureau


Around the Watercooler…

We want to hear from you! Share your thoughts about this month’s content as well as equity issues affecting your schools. Do you have any ideas to share with other CRUE members? Best Practices that are working in your classroom, school, or district? Please click here to tell us more: contact.


We would love to hear what you think of the newsletter!
Please send any feedback about this month’s content, features, or layout to: contact@cruecenter.org


Culturally Responsive Urban Education
1380 Lawrence Street, Suite 625
Denver, CO 80204