• School board candidates face off in first public forum

    Nine of the 12 people vying for the five seats on the Jeffco school board faced off Aug. 31 at the first public forum of the election cycle, hosted by Colorado Christian University in Lakewood.

    Board members John Newkirk, Ken Witt and Julie Williams, the targets of a recall effort, all attended, each emphasizing talking points about accomplishments since their election to the board in 2013.

  • Jeffco official verifies signatures on school board recall petitions

    Jeffco’s elections manager has verified that the group seeking a recall of the school board’s three conservative members has collected more than enough signatures on petitions to force an election.

    The elections office finished verifying signatures on petitions to recall board members John Newkirk, Ken Witt and Julie Williams on Tuesday, according to elections manager Carrie Kellogg.

  • School district staffers: Facilities needs are ‘urgent’

    The facility needs at Jeffco Public Schools are urgent, and a plan to open a new school in the northern part of the district won’t keep pace with anticipated growth in that area, district COO Steve Bell told school board members at an Aug. 27 meeting.

  • District, teachers approve 10-month contract

    The Jeffco school board last Thursday evening unanimously approved a 10-month contract with the district’s teachers union.

    Conservative board members John Newkirk, Ken Witt and Julie Williams praised the new agreement’s prioritization of school-level control. Witt said the contract embodies so many fundamental changes that its 10-month length is justified, despite sentiment among teachers that the brief term of the pact disrespects their contributions. 

  • Schools ready for changes in 2015-16 lesson plans changes

    As Jeffco students head back to school this week, shifting district- and state-level policies have led to changes that will eventually find their way to the classrooms.


    Jeffco students will spend less time taking standardized tests this school year after Colorado lawmakers voted in the spring to streamline some exams.

    House Bill 1323 reduces testing time for Colorado Measures of Academic Success exams, which were developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC.

  • District, teachers tentatively agree on contract

    Negotiators for Jeffco Public Schools and the teachers union Thursday evening preliminarily agreed to a 10-month contract after a three-week stalemate over the agreement’s duration.

    Bargaining team members for the Jefferson County Education Association, who had originally said they would hold out for a three-year contract, said they agreed to the shorter pact in the interest of teachers, who return to schools Monday. 

  • Police called to teacher welcome event

    Lakewood police officers made an appearance at a Jeffco Public Schools orientation for new teachers Aug. 4 after union representatives passing out fliers were told they were trespassing.

    The relationship between the Jefferson County Education Association and the school district has been strained in recent months over two lawsuits, contract negotiations, and an attempt to recall the district’s three conservative school board members.

  • Group supporting recall files complaint

    A Jeffco-based advocacy group that supports the effort to recall the school board’s conservative majority has filed a complaint alleging charitable fraud against an opposing group over a website domain name.

  • Jeffco students outperform Colorado average on tests

    Four grades of Jeffco Public Schools students outperformed the state average on social studies and science exams this spring but showed a drop in performance from last year in several categories.

    The Colorado Department of Education on July 16 released test performance and participation figures for several categories of Colorado Measures of Academic Success testing from the past school year: fourth- and seventh-grade social studies, and fifth- and eighth-grade science.


  • Candidates for school board seat tout divergent backgrounds

    A former commercial property manager and a veteran teacher will vie for a seat on the Jeffco school board this fall.

    Arvada resident Kim Johnson, who touts her years in the business world and time spent volunteering in the Jeffco district, and Applewood resident Ali Lasell, who points to her 26 years of teaching and curriculum writing mostly at Adams 12 Five Star Schools, will compete for Jill Fellman’s seat in District 3, which includes parts of Lakewood and Arvada.