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Education

  • Student artwork takes center stage at Ute Meadows

    Standing on a stage decorated with cutouts of stars and a sliver of moon, student Yuna Chang sang, “You can count on me … like 1, 2, 3, I’ll be there” to a group of parents and youngsters.

    Yuna was among a host of students who took the stage during Evening of the Arts at Ute Meadows Elementary School on Friday evening. The Southwestern-themed event showcased an abundant variety of visual and performance arts on the chilly spring evening.

  • District encounters a bumpy road maintaining bus driver staff

    The Jeffco school district faces a classic economic quandary when it comes to maintaining its staff of bus drivers: high demand, low supply.

    Facing pressures from increased demands on drivers’ time, a booming economy that depletes the pool of qualified employees, and a school district that doesn’t offer competitive wages, transportation chief Greg Jackson is working to improve one element of the equation: motivating current drivers to show up for work.

  • Board mulls budget, boost in employee pay

    Employee compensation and budgetary concerns largely dominated the Jeffco school board meeting last Thursday.

    In a meeting that stretched almost to midnight, the board spent much of the time discussing how to address its top priority: increasing educator compensation in order to attract and retain talent within the school district.

  • Ending performance pay would cost $3.5 million

    Ending the controversial policy that links teacher pay to performance evaluations — a hallmark of the conservative school board majority that was recalled last November — would initially cost $3.5 million, the Jeffco school district’s human resources chief said last Thursday.

  • Jeffco school board reviewing Stevenson’s separation agreement

    Jeffco school board members plan to renegotiate the separation agreement of former superintendent Cindy Stevenson to allow her to volunteer at district schools.

  • Sunny outlook prevails for students at online school

    Using puppets that resemble a chicken and a dog, 14-year-old Amber Miller gives weather forecasts through a creative program of Colorado Connections Academy, her online school.

    “Lovely weather we’re having!” said Woofy the dog puppet in a recent broadcast.
    “Indeed, it’s b-b-b-b-beautiful weather for chickens,” added Professor Poultry, the chicken puppet through which Amber speaks.

  • Dakota Ridge students develop enterprise to increase awareness of suicide risk

    Two seniors at Dakota Ridge High School have launched an enterprise designed to increase awareness of classmates who may be at risk of suicide.

    Working with teacher Rachel Caliga in their entrepreneurship class, Andrew Arney and Bobby Lloyd McConnell have developed a business plan called “Operation Upstream,” which includes products designed to prevent suicides.

    “We thought Operation Upstream would be a perfect business,” Arney said.

  • Pay-for-performance for teachers could be rolled back

    Early conversations between the Jeffco school district and its teachers union hint that a controversial pay-for-performance plan for teachers instituted by the ousted conservative school board majority might be partially rolled back.

  • Appeals court upholds decision that teachers’ sick-leave records are public information

    A Jeffco judge’s decision that teachers’ sick-leave records are public information and not confidential personnel information was upheld in a Jan. 14 state Court of Appeals decision.

    Judges Steve Bernard, Robert Hawthorne and Anthony Navarro upheld a 2015 decision against the Jefferson County Education Association, which sought to prevent the Jeffco school district from releasing the names of teachers who were absent from work during “sick-outs” at several schools in late 2014. More than one Jeffco resident had requested the information.

  • Jeffco students outperform state on PARCC-developed tests

    While Jeffco students outperformed state results at nearly every level of PARCC-developed English and math tests last spring, most results still fell short of newly implemented expectations, although a Jeffco testing expert cautioned that data may be somewhat skewed.