HELP WANTED The Otis superintendent’s urgent need for teachers for her 230 students — half of them living in poverty in this one-stoplight Colorado town on the Eastern Plains — offers a window into how rural schools like hers are grappling with a dearth of teachers. Chalkbeat

TEACHER PAY The Douglas County school district is suspending its pay-for-performance system for a year. Many community members say the reforms caused a flight of quality educators. Douglas County News-Press

RUNNING UNOPPOSED In the face of expensive uncontested elections, Cherry Creek Schools and Littleton Public Schools have both opted to not hold their upcoming previously scheduled board elections. The Villager

The Peetz Plateau Board of Education has also canceled its election. Journal-Advocate

SAFE SPACE A new area in Aurora’s North Middle School is dedicated to helping students with behavioral or emotional issues by promoting mindfulness. Aurora Sentinel

AGRICULTURE EDUCATION The resignation of two Fruita agriculture teachers is sending waves of confusion, worry and grief through a community of hundreds of parents and students. Grand Junction Sentinel

OPT OUT Boulder Valley and St. Vrain Valley school districts are watching to see how the Colorado State Board of Education reconciles federal test participation requirements with state rules that allow parents to opt out without consequences to schools. Daily Camera

MUSIC EDUCATION A new AmeriCorps program called ArtistYear will bring three teachers to work with music educators in the Basalt schools this year. Aspen Daily News

READY TO ROCK A middle school in Aurora got a big surprise Wednesday when students were given some brand new instruments for their music classes. 9News