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Education

  • 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.

  • School board hires McMinimee as superintendent

    The Jeffco school board on May 27 hired Daniel McMinimee to be the district’s new superintendent, despite doubts voiced by community members who packed the meeting room.

    McMinimee’s hiring came on a 3-2 vote, with board members Ken Witt, John Newkirk and Julie Williams voting yes, while Jill Fellman and Lesley Dahlkemper voted no.

    Before being hired, McMinimee was the assistant superintendent of secondary education for Douglas County Schools. His Jeffco contract will be finalized at the June 5 Board of Education meeting.

  • The business of compassion

    The winners of Columbine High School’s Big Idea Project learned that giving back to the community is its own reward. 

    The project tasks students in Columbine’s business class to create a business model to help the community in some way, with the winning group receiving a scholarship. 

    The project, started by Columbine teacher Bryan Halsey in 2011, has spread to Green Mountain High School in Jeffco, Rangeview High in Aurora and Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Denver. 

  • Superintendent finalist faces tough questions in first appearance

    Jeffco superintendent finalist Daniel McMinimee was greeted by a skeptical crowd with challenging questions at an informal meeting last Thursday evening.

    Nearly 75 community members packed the Wheat Ridge High School library to hear about McMinimee’s plans for leading the county's school district.

  • Teachers OK initial agreement with district

    Members of the teachers union have overwhelmingly approved a contract agreement reached May 8 with the school district’s bargaining team, but teachers voted on a version of the pact that did not include a later addition from the district.

    Just hours after bargaining teams reached the original agreement, the district added the stipulation that non-probationary teachers rated as not effective or partially effective would not be eligible for raises.

  • Students take anti-obesity campaign to county commissioners

    A group of Columbine High students saw government in action when they took proposals for fighting childhood obesity to the county commissioners.

    The presentations were part of a class project by the school’s freshman government section. Five groups of four students each, selected from about 120 students total, pitched their action plans May 13 for battling childhood obesity and inactivity.

    The groups suggested everything from social media to outdoor concerts to scavenger hunts as ways of getting kids outside and active.