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Education

  • Reading Corps gets young students back on literacy track

    By Laura Herrington Watson
    For the Courier
    Early on a Friday morning, Columbine Hills Elementary School third-graders Alanah and Angel are hard at work reading with their own personal tutors.

  • Jeffco teachers honored for heroic efforts

    The Jefferson Foundation recognized the exceptional work of four outstanding teachers in Jeffco Public Schools on Saturday in a ceremony at Southwest Plaza Mall.

    About 50 people turned out for the 10th annual My Teacher My Hero awards presentation, which was conceived as a way to recognize public school teachers as everyday heroes. Honorees are selected from nominations submitted by their principals and represent high school, middle school and elementary school teachers.

  • 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.