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Education

  • School board reverses previous decision on financing for new school

    The Jeffco school board directed district staff to start paperwork to issue certificates of participation to fund the building of a new school and finish a later phase of an existing school, both in the northern part of the district.

    In a unanimous vote last Thursday, the board decided to start the process to issue COPs to build a K-8 school in Arvada’s Candelas neighborhood. The board voted 4-1 to do the same for long-planned additions to Sierra Elementary School in Arvada.

  • Students at Blue Heron Elementary flock to holiday drive benefiting homeless

    As holiday parties were in full swing at Blue Heron Elementary School last Thursday, youngsters were taking time to pack essential items for homeless students.

    The entire school participated in the effort organized by sixth-grade teacher Kim Fognani, in which more than 8,000 products were collected in recent weeks.

    Gathered around tables in the school library and gym, students placed bottles of shampoo, body wash, hairbrushes, lotions and other items in plastic containers.

  • Jeffco Virtual Academy to drop K-6 classes

     Jeffco Virtual Academy’s elementary-level program will close after the school year ends and be partially absorbed by Arvada-based Two Roads Charter School as a result of low enrollment, school district officials say.

  • Spreading Christmas cheer

    For students in Chatfield High School’s special-education classes, it’s become a holiday tradition to cheer up our nation’s soldiers.

    The students once again gathered in the Chatfield High atrium on Friday to stuff 250 stockings with toiletries, homemade cards and other items to be sent to Fort Carson in Colorado Springs. From there, the stockings will go to GIs at home and overseas who won’t be able to spend the holidays with family, said special-education teacher Sharon McManus.

  • Group that backed recall ordered to disclose donors

    An administrative judge has decided that one nonprofit group that contributed to efforts to recall three former Jeffco school board members violated state campaign finance law, and must pay a fine and disclose its donors.

  • Jeffco’s recall free-for-all spurs call for campaign finance reform

    An ethics watchdog group has called for state campaign finance reform in the wake of the release of contribution figures from the Jeffco school district’s contentious recall election.

    While any change to the Colorado Constitution, which specifies how elections are conducted, would require a statewide vote, Peg Perl, senior counsel for Colorado Ethics Watch, said Colorado legislators can take several steps to bring more transparency to local elections, including:

  • School board to get sunshine-law training — in secret

    Jeffco’s five new school board members will take about two hours at their next meeting to hear legal advice on “the Colorado Open Meetings Law, the Colorado Open Records Act, conflicts of interest and standards of conduct for local public officials.”

    The sunshine-law training will be held behind closed doors in an executive session.

  • New school board set to meet constituents

    Jeffco’s new school board members soon will head out into the community to meet their new constituents, members said at their first full board meeting Nov. 30.

    Ron Mitchell, Ali Lasell, Susan Harmon, Amanda Stevens and Brad Rupert, who were elected Nov. 3, said they would begin coordinating with various groups in each of their districts to set up meetings.

    As the district heads into budget season, board members will host community budget forums, which Stevens said could be a good opportunity to get to know Jeffco residents better.

  • District to hire communications director

    Jeffco Public Schools is in the process of hiring a new communications director, a move schools Superintendent Dan McMinimee delayed for several months during the run-up to the election.

  • Falcon Bluffs teacher inspires students’ quest for fitness

    Allyn Atadero has got the kids at Falcon Bluffs Middle School moving.

    Atadero, a physical education teacher at the South Jeffco school, was named the Colorado middle school P.E. teacher of the year by SHAPE Colorado. He was nominated by Jeffco Public Schools in part for his SPARK FITStep program, in which students use pedometers to track physical activity in gym class.