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Education

  • Jeffco students’ TCAP scores improve

    Jeffco Public Schools continue to outperform the state in reading, math and science based on last year’s TCAP scores, which were released by the Colorado Department of Education last Thursday.

    “In math, we saw great gains with our Jeffco eighth- and ninth-graders, who gained three to four points in proficiency last year,” Jeffco chief academic officer Syna Morgan said in a news release. “Jeffco continued to outpace the state on the Colorado ACT scores … from 21.2 in 2013 to 21.5 in 2014.”

  • Program helps sixth-graders with New Beginnings

    From breaking in a new locker to making new friends, the first day of middle school can be intimidating. 

    Falcon Bluffs Middle School is hoping to counter some of that anxiety with the New Beginnings program for Jeffco students entering sixth grade.

    The program is headed by drama teacher Anthony Bruno and physical education teacher Allyn Atadero. Its aim is to introduce students to middle school life before the year begins, including the dreaded challenge of opening the new locker, their biggest fear, according to Atadero. 

  • Jeffco public schools hire new chief academic offer

    Syna Morgan has been hired as Jeffco Public Schools’ chief academic officer.

    The 24-year education veteran served as Douglas County Schools’ chief system performance officer since 2010. Before that, she was a director with the Colorado Department of Education.

  • New superintendent determined to find common ground

    Hired by a divided school board and suddenly at the helm of a district riven by political strife, Jeffco Schools Superintendent Dan McMinimee says he's determined to build bridges and develop relationships.

    The Douglas County administrator took over the Jeffco school district July 1, and his first order of business was getting to know district staff — and letting them get to know him.

  • District boosts funding for curriculum, student achievement

    Thanks to increased state funding, Jeffco Public Schools will spend more on curriculum, student achievement and ever-changing technology trends during the 2014-15 school year.

    The school board approved next year’s budget at last month’s final meeting before summer break on a 3-2 vote. The more than $1 billion spending plan is up from last year’s $952 million budget.

  • Jeffco School Board approves 2014-15 budget

    The Jeffco school board voted 3-2 last Thursday to approve the district’s 2014-15 budget — a $1 billion spending plan that increases teachers’ salaries and funding for charter schools.

    Teachers, who have not had a pay increase in four years, will benefit from the $4.8 million earmarked for salary increases, which will equate to an average 2.5 percent raise per teacher.

  • 11th-hour change to charter-school funding prevents unanimous vote

    A disagreement over charter-school funding prevented the Jeffco school board from giving unanimous approval to the 2014-15 budget at last Thursday’s meeting.

    Board members John Newkirk, Julie Williams and Ken Witt approved the spending plan for next school year, while members Jill Fellman and Lesley Dahlkemper voted no. 

    Fellman and Dahlkemper opposed the board majority’s addition of $1.85 million to $3.7 million earmarked to equalize funding for the district’s 14 charter schools.

  • Jeffco board approves lower pay for new superintendent

    After heated debate and public comment, the Jeffco Board of Education approved a contract for its new superintendent at last Thursday’s regular business meeting, lowering the base salary $60,000 from the salary advertised for the position.

    If Daniel McMinimee signs the three-year contract, he will be paid an annual base salary of $220,000, reimbursed $20,000 for retirement benefits and be eligible for up to $40,000 in performance-based pay. 

  • School board rejects tentative contract with teachers

    The Jeffco school board last Thursday rejected a tentative teachers contract with the Jefferson County Education Association, much to the dismay of association leaders.

    Board members Ken Witt, John Newkirk and Julie Williams voted against the agreement because, while it would have granted pay raises to teachers rated “effective” or “highly effective,” it would have also provided raises to teachers rated as “partially effective.” Teachers rated “ineffective” would not have gotten raises. 

  • Wadsworth demonstrators decry school board majority

    Hundreds of Jeffco teachers, parents and students lined Wadsworth Boulevard last Friday to protest recent actions by the school board majority.

    “I’m sorry to see everything in Jeffco falling apart under this new board,” Mary Parker said as she stood at West Bowles Avenue and South Wadsworth.