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Colorado District's AI Task Force Recommends Cautious Exploration

In a presentation to the Greeley-Evans District 6 Board of Education, an artificial intelligence task force recommended against an outright ban, believing that AI training and resource development are on the horizon.

Image of a woman's hand activating an AI button
(TNS) — An artificial intelligence task force recommends Greeley-Evans District 6 staff and students take a "cautious exploration" approach to AI, the new frontier in technology.

District employees in cybersecurity, information technology and legal counsel assembled a task force to give the first school board presentation on artificial intelligence, also known as AI, Monday evening at the Greeley-Evans District 6 Board of Education meeting.

The team talked about concerns, benefits and responses the district should consider as a new form of AI, generative AI, evolves and develops.

Generative AI generates new outputs based on data they have been trained on and is designed to recognize patterns and make predictions, according to Tony Czech, director of information technology. This AI then creates new content in the form of images, text, audio and more.

Many districts are responding to AI with an outright ban due to concerns, according to Nathan Fall, legal counsel at Greeley-Evans School District 6. Concerns include the creation of misleading or inaccurate information, students plagiarizing work and cheating and privacy fears.

However, the task force believes banning AI limits learning opportunities and will become increasingly challenging to do as AI becomes the new norm in technology. Instead, the team encourages the district to cautiously explore AI.

Superintendent Deirdre Pilch said teachers are testing out AI in the classroom setting. She cited an example of a teacher using generative AI to provide additional feedback on student papers. About 90 percent of schools around the country are in this stage, Fall said.

Fall recommended the district's employees consider policy approaches in this AI response, such as getting permission from teachers or administration and establishing guiding principles. He also anticipates AI training and resource development will be in the works as the technology develops.

Additionally, Fall plans to track future legislation as there are no state or federal laws governing the use of AI in the K-12 context, and he expects this to change.

The task force finds an outright ban is not the best method due to the "powerful tool" generative AI can become in K-12 education. Positives include completing administrative tasks such as admissions, attendance and grading in a timely and efficient manner. It can also create feedback on writing assignments, create lesson plans and generate new ideas in the classroom.

AI can also be beneficial in a personalized learning environment for students — a main goal in the district — by analyzing learning history and tailoring lessons.


Stacie Datteri, assistant superintendent of elementary/K-8 leadership and academic achievement, and Deagan Andrews, director of curriculum and personalized learning, gave an update Monday on Innovation 2030.

Innovation 2030, part of the district's strategic plan, has a mission to engage every student in a well-rounded, personalized and excellent education, preparing students to be college and career-ready, according to Datteri.

The update focused on one of four priority areas of Innovation 2030, student learning and achievement. This priority aims to engage all students in challenging and personalized education, preparing students to be career and college-ready.

The first goal for student learning and achievement is to provide a personalized learning experience so students graduate on time and are career and college-ready. There are three outcomes for this goal:

  • To annually improve scores for third graders in math and English language arts assessments.

  • To increase on-time graduation rates.

  • To ensure personalized learning includes career or college pathways and academic courses of study to meet individual goals.

Working toward the 2030 goals requires the continued implementation of a platform that allows students to be actively involved in personalized learning plans, according to Andrews.

During the 2022-23 school year, 2,000 students were involved in personalized learning plans. The district implemented a platform, which includes a dashboard, profiles, portfolios and goal-setting, at all high schools and five elementary schools.

For the 2023-24 school year, Andrews said the next step is to implement a dashboard, pathway explorer and goal-setting among middle school students.

The platform's profile page helps District 6 create a "place where every student feels seen" because the profile allows students to share who they are, what they are interested in, their hobbies and passions and post-secondary goals.

The pathway finder portion is a "place to connect their interests, passions and dreams to their path," Andrews said. Middle school students complete a survey to identify aptitude, ability and interest. This helps narrow their focus to three potential pathways and allows them to explore all their options for high school.

In high school, students can use their dashboard to track how many and which credits are needed to ensure they are on track to graduate, creating a "place where every student knows where they are in relation to their path and graduation."

Andrews said goal-setting is also a powerful tool available because it is a "place where every student actively tracks goals aligned to their dreams" by allowing students to set annual academic goals and interest goals for the school year, as well as post-secondary goals.

This personalized learning platform will have full implementation in grades 2-12 by the beginning of Fall 2024, according to Andrews. By 2026, 90 percent of students will graduate on time, Datteri said.

Additional outcomes anticipate that 75 percent of students will be at approaching or higher on state assessments in English language arts with most students meeting or exceeding state expectations by 2027. Similarly, by 2030, around 70 percent of students will be at approaching or higher on state assessments in math with most students meeting or exceeding state expectations.


An opportunity for District 6 students to earn concurrent enrollment at the University of Northern Colorado is credited with helping students become college-ready and graduate on time.

Pilch reported that 550 students from District 6 high schools earned 1,864 credits in concurrent enrollment from UNC last year.

Concurrent enrollment is improving remediation rates as well, Pilch said. In 2020, 42.9 percent of district students needed remediation in college. In 2021, the number of deceased to 23.4 percent.

At Monday's board meeting, directors proclaimed Oct. 9-15 as UNC Week in honor of the strong partnership between Distirct 6 and the University of Northern Colorado. Pilch also awarded UNC as the recipient of the superintendent's honor roll.

Peter Lien, associate vice president for enrollment management at UNC, accepted the proclamation and spoke about the "mutually beneficial partnership" to create accessibility to higher education.

"We carry a shared responsibility of being a part of District 6 and we take that seriously at the University of Northern Colorado," Lien said. "We're thrilled to be able to continue this relationship."

As a testament to a relationship, Lien shared that there was a 22 percent increase in students enrolling at UNC from Weld County this fall.

The fall 2023 class also saw a 3 percent increase in first-time students — the first time that's happened since 2016. Additionally, from 2021-2023, UNC saw a 60 percent increase in students enrolling from D6 alone.

"It's a blessing to this community in so many ways," board member Natalie Mash said about concurrent enrollment.

Pilch also added her gratitude for the partnership between the institutes in the fight to combat a teacher shortage. At least two-thirds of educators in the district come from UNC, she said.

Board of Education meetings are held on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at the District 6 Administration Building, 1025 9th Ave. in Greeley.

©2023 the Greeley Tribune (Greeley, Colo.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.