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Education

  • Students craft holiday gifts at Red Rocks Elementary

    Red Rocks Elementary School kicked off the holiday season over the weekend with its annual Gifts from the Heart event, when students make homemade gifts for their friends and family.

    It’s been a tradition at the school for about 10 years, and the school aims to make the gifts holiday-neutral so all can participate.

    Though there is a small fee for each craft, school secretary Kathleen Hanvey said the event is not meant to be a fund-raiser.

  • School district enacts partial hiring freeze

    Effective immediately, Jeffco Public Schools has instituted a hiring freeze on almost all non-classroom positions, and all new hires will have to be approved by a district cabinet consisting of 11 people.

    According to chief human resources officer Amy Weber, the cabinet last week discussed the hiring freeze, which will exclude grant-funded positions and essential positions such as teachers, para-educators, bus drivers and food service employees.

  • School board discusses teacher pay in wake of ballot failures

    Following the failure of Jeffco schools' ballot initiatives 3A and 3B — which would have resulted in a $535 million bond issue and generated $33 million annually in increased property taxes — the district says its top priority is keeping the teachers it has by improving compensation. 

  • D’Evelyn High marching band hits another high note

    For the sixth year, the D’Evelyn Junior/Senior High School marching band took first place in the 2A state competition.

    But unlike years past, this win felt less certain for the 53-member band as they went into the final round of competition as the third seed.

    “I was pretty pessimistic going into it. I didn’t think we were going to win,” said Brennan Reeves, a senior percussionist.

    Junior mellophone player Selma Shepherd agreed, calling it “a tight competition.”

  • School board approves $20,000 in performance pay for McMinimee

    The Jeffco school board has approved $20,000 in performance-based bonuses for Superintendent Dan McMinimee for his achievements during the 2015-16 year.

    Announced at the school board’s regular meeting Nov. 3, the decision comes after a presentation by McMinimee at a special meeting of the board Oct. 20, during which he gave his thoughts on whether he had adequately achieved goals set a year before.

  • Music to their ears

    Choirs from 14 Jeffco high schools — including Dakota Ridge, Columbine and Chatfield — congregated at Arvada High School on Oct. 20 to perform an informal concert for one another.

    Called the Jeffco Sing-In, the musical event has more than a 20-year history. It provides a chance for the concert choirs to listen to each other in a non-competitive atmosphere. In fact, choirs are asked not to wear school colors or choir outfits. Each choir can perform up to two songs of any genre.

  • Author celebrates birthday with visit to Mortensen Elementary

    David Shannon was greeted by cheers, claps and the echo of hundreds of students at Mortensen Elementary School singing “Happy Birthday.”

    The author — perhaps best known for books like “No, David” and “David Gets in Trouble” — visited the South Jeffco elementary school last Thursday. As the visit happened to fall on his birthday, Mortensen chose to celebrate, and the aroma of a birthday sheet cake wafted through the halls.

  • Peiffer cultivates real-life lessons

    The best way to teach children about sustainability and healthy living is to fully immerse them in the practice of it — at least that’s Peiffer Elementary School’s motto.

    The South Jeffco school began work on its community garden last Friday, and teachers, students and parents gathered at the school during the district’s fall break to help.

  • 5K benefits Columbine’s special-needs program

    David Blair knew he wanted to organize a 5K to give back to the community, but he didn’t know what cause to support.

    After some consideration and discussion with former Columbine High School student Steven Santaniello, Blair, a 17-year-old Columbine senior, decided to give the proceeds from the race to the challenge program at his school.

    The inaugural Walk For All 5K was held at 9 a.m. Sunday. Runners and walkers of all ages began at Columbine High on the sunny October morning and completed a course through Clement Park, finishing at the school.

  • Normandy Elementary teacher wins presidential award

    Carrie Jordan's class photos run the length of Normandy Elementary's gym wall. Every year from 1995 to 2016, 25 or so students surrounded their teacher in each photo. And while the fashion and hairstyles changed over those years, the smiles on their faces did not.

    And, maybe today, those students don't remember the mathematics principles their teacher, "Miss Jordan," taught them. But, if nothing else, they likely do remember how she taught it — with fun games and a positive attitude.