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Education

  • Stevenson defends proposed tax increase at community chat

    Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Cindy Stevenson told an audience of parents and school administrators Aug. 22 that revenue from the district’s proposed property-tax increase would not fund an increase in teacher retirement packages.

    "The public employees pay 8 percent (to the Public Employees’ Retirement Association),” Stevenson said. “The district contribution goes up according to state law. The district contributes 15.65 percent, or about $5 million a year. It's true that is going up. That is in the budget.”

  • STEM class cultivates science and engineering

    The word "stem" usually conjures images of a flower or plant, but in Jeffco schools the STEM program — Science, Technology, Engineering and Math — has been blossoming for the past several years.

    At Deer Creek Middle School, the eighth-grade STEM class is designed to propel students into the next century. STEM students participate in future-city competitions and solar-car competitions, among others.

  • Normandy Elementary kids create haven for butterflies, birds

    A hummingbird feeding center, a butterfly rest stop, a wind sculpture and an improved rock garden are part of a year-long beautification project at Normandy Elementary School.

    On May 29, groups of kindergartners were busy working on handmade steppingstones decorated with pieces of broken pottery and glass. The stones will be used to form a solid surface around a magnificent 25-foot wind sculpture by artist Lyman Whitaker of Utah.

  • Rachel's Challenge kids raise $48,000 for charities

    Shaffer Elementary students on Friday celebrated the conclusion of a year-long educational program called Rachel's Challenge, which stresses kindness, compassion, doing good deeds and sharing abundance with those who are less fortunate.

    Rachel's Challenge is also a nonprofit organization created in memory of Rachel Scott, who was the first to die in the Columbine High School shootings on April 20, 1999.

  • Contest ignites young imaginations

    Seven Westridge Elementary students who built a drivable vehicle out of scrap lumber, bicycle sprockets, 16 AA batteries, wheels and an electric hand drill are raising money to compete at the Destination ImagiNation Global Finals from May 23-26 in Knoxville, Tenn.

    Team NO Limits! won third place April 14 out of 14 teams at the state Destination ImagiNation Tournament at the Auraria campus in Denver, entitling the group to compete at the finals, along with 55 out of a total of 1,000 Colorado teams.

  • Jeffco schools official appointed to CU Board of Regents

    Gov. John Hickelooper on Nov. 18 appointed a high-level Jeffco Public Schools employee to the University of Colorado Board of Regents.
    Office of Diversity and Inclusion director Irene Griego, a former community superintendent, was tapped to fill a vacancy on the CU board created by Monisha Merchant’s departure. Griego will remain in the office until at least next year’s general election in November, when a successor for the final two years of the six-year term will be selected in Congressional District 7.

  • ‘You get kids out here, and they just shine’

    Kendallvue Elementary student Faith Wilkerson picked up a mountain lion skin, staring with wide eyes and paying particular attention to the remnant’s slack jaw and curiously smooth coat.

    “Whoa. This is so soft,” the sixth-grader said at the start of her second day at the Jeffco School District’s Windy Peak Outdoor Lab School. “The other ones I felt weren’t as soft.”

  • Jeffco schools identify $900 million in needed upgrades and repairs

    Leaky roofs, boilers on the fritz and classrooms lacking smart boards amount to more than $900 million in repair and improvement needs throughout Jeffco Public Schools, a recently completed year-and-a-half long assessment shows.

    Though the study identified about $575 million in repairs or replacements currently needed in the district’s buildings, a five-year maintenance forecast found an additional $342 million in anticipated needs.

  • Grant to help expand Mortensen Elementary's autism spectrum program

    Mortensen Elementary School teachers Dottie Jennings and Sarah Handy consider themselves, among other things, instructors in a foreign language.

    But they don’t teach French, German or Spanish.

    They provide instruction to children in the school’s autism spectrum disorder program, one of three in Jeffco Public Schools and one of only eight in Colorado.

  • Dakota Ridge has a MOD Squad

    A small group of Dakota Ridge High School upperclassmen are working together under the title of “Men of Dakota,” modeled after a similar program at the University of North Carolina and James Owen’s “Cowboy Ethics.” The eight students represent a variety of school clubs, activities, athletics and personalities who joined together this year with four staff members to create the MOD Squad (Men of Dakota Squad).
     
    The students
    Keith Wall
    William Boogert
    Daniel Levy
    Mason Cechini