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Education

  • Superintendent: Options exist for addressing facilities needs

    If Jeffco Public Schools’ proposed facilities master plan isn’t approved next month, the district will have to consider other solutions to the issue of its aging buildings and the capital needs associated with repairing and replacing those facilities.

    According to Superintendent Dan McMinimee, year-round school, a split-shift schedule and a bond issue focused on deferred maintenance all are possibilities.

  • Peiffer Elementary students rev up their reading skills

    Students at Peiffer Elementary School have logged thousands of hours in reading time while participating in Race to Read, a program sponsored by Bandimere Speedway in Morrison.

    “The kids are so excited about it,” said Peiffer first-grade teacher Tanya Rodgers. “They can read anything they want.”

    The six-week program that Tami Bandimere-Shrader, granddaughter of the speedway founder, began 20 years ago has been around the track many times while expanding among area schools.

  • Student artwork takes center stage at Ute Meadows

    Standing on a stage decorated with cutouts of stars and a sliver of moon, student Yuna Chang sang, “You can count on me … like 1, 2, 3, I’ll be there” to a group of parents and youngsters.

    Yuna was among a host of students who took the stage during Evening of the Arts at Ute Meadows Elementary School on Friday evening. The Southwestern-themed event showcased an abundant variety of visual and performance arts on the chilly spring evening.

  • Board mulls grade shuffling, elementary school mergers

    A facilities master plan unveiled at last Thursday’s meeting of the Jeffco school board would require a bond issue to address capital needs among the district’s aging schools. 

    In a presentation of the plan, Superintendent Dan McMinimee and facilities staff recommended reconfiguring grades at a number of elementary and middle schools, adjusting matriculation boundaries, and making significant renovations at schools across the district — all in a bid to address aging facilities within current budget limitations.

  • District encounters a bumpy road maintaining bus driver staff

    The Jeffco school district faces a classic economic quandary when it comes to maintaining its staff of bus drivers: high demand, low supply.

    Facing pressures from increased demands on drivers’ time, a booming economy that depletes the pool of qualified employees, and a school district that doesn’t offer competitive wages, transportation chief Greg Jackson is working to improve one element of the equation: motivating current drivers to show up for work.

  • Board mulls budget, boost in employee pay

    Employee compensation and budgetary concerns largely dominated the Jeffco school board meeting last Thursday.

    In a meeting that stretched almost to midnight, the board spent much of the time discussing how to address its top priority: increasing educator compensation in order to attract and retain talent within the school district.

  • Ending performance pay would cost $3.5 million

    Ending the controversial policy that links teacher pay to performance evaluations — a hallmark of the conservative school board majority that was recalled last November — would initially cost $3.5 million, the Jeffco school district’s human resources chief said last Thursday.

  • Jeffco school board reviewing Stevenson’s separation agreement

    Jeffco school board members plan to renegotiate the separation agreement of former superintendent Cindy Stevenson to allow her to volunteer at district schools.

  • Sunny outlook prevails for students at online school

    Using puppets that resemble a chicken and a dog, 14-year-old Amber Miller gives weather forecasts through a creative program of Colorado Connections Academy, her online school.

    “Lovely weather we’re having!” said Woofy the dog puppet in a recent broadcast.
    “Indeed, it’s b-b-b-b-beautiful weather for chickens,” added Professor Poultry, the chicken puppet through which Amber speaks.

  • Dakota Ridge students develop enterprise to increase awareness of suicide risk

    Two seniors at Dakota Ridge High School have launched an enterprise designed to increase awareness of classmates who may be at risk of suicide.

    Working with teacher Rachel Caliga in their entrepreneurship class, Andrew Arney and Bobby Lloyd McConnell have developed a business plan called “Operation Upstream,” which includes products designed to prevent suicides.

    “We thought Operation Upstream would be a perfect business,” Arney said.