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Education

  • Pay raises urged for principals, assistant principals

    Jeffco Public Schools should pay higher salaries to its principals and assistant principals, teachers who hold relevant master’s degrees, and staff in hard-to-fill positions, the district’s human resources chief said at a March 5 school board meeting.

    As the district moves into its budget season and gears up for contract negotiations with the teachers union, chief human resources officer Amy Weber recommended that board members consider instituting the pay changes to make the district more competitive.

  • Union seeks to protect names of teachers absent during sick-out

    A lawsuit filed by Jeffco’s teachers union in an attempt to protect the names of teachers who missed school during a “sick-out” last fall has shifted the district’s simmering discord to the judicial arena.

    An injunction issued last week prevents the district from any further release of the names of teachers who were absent last Sept. 19 — at least until a district court hearing scheduled for May 15.

  • String theory

    Note to school principals: If you want teachers to come up with creative and cost-efficient ideas, send them to Hawaii.

    Mary Bowlen, music teacher at Littleton’s Montessori Peaks Academy, was vacationing with her husband’s family on Oahu several years ago when she picked up a family friend’s ukulele.

    “I sat down, I played, and before I knew it, I was like, ‘I want one,’ ” she said.

  • Bill would allow concealed carry of guns at public schools

    A state representative who was a student at Columbine High School during the 1999 shootings wants holders of concealed-carry permits to be able to carry their guns in public schools.

    Last week state Rep. Patrick Neville, R-Castle Rock, introduced House Bill 1168, which would remove public schools from the list of places that concealed-carry holders cannot bring guns.

  • Alternatives to building new schools considered

    If Jeffco school board members don’t want to spend money on new buildings and renovations, there are alternatives to deal with crowded schools like Rooney Ranch Elementary — but district COO Steve Bell isn’t crazy about them.

    Alternative solutions to anticipated crowding at schools like Rooney Ranch could include installing temporary classrooms in the short term, and taking more drastic measures over the long term.

  • Alternatives to building new schools considered

    If Jeffco school board members don’t want to spend money on new buildings and renovations, there are alternatives to deal with crowded schools like Rooney Ranch Elementary — but district COO Steve Bell isn’t crazy about them.

    Alternative solutions to anticipated crowding at schools like Rooney Ranch could include installing temporary classrooms in the short term, and taking more drastic measures over the long term.

  • Jeffco develops Outdoor Lab master plan

    Jeffco Public Schools is developing a master plan for maintaining its outdoor lab schools on Mount Evans and in Bailey.

    Shannon Hancock, executive director of the Outdoor Lab Foundation, said the plan will address site needs, as well as educational impacts and programming goals.

    “This is a really exciting process,” she said.

  • School board dismisses federal mediator

    The Jeffco school board has dismissed its outside mediator for upcoming union negotiations because of his organization’s policy banning recording or streaming.

    The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, which is free to the district, will not allow its mediators to be recorded or streamed.

  • Jeffco school board votes to seek testing waiver

    The Jeffco school board voted to request a waiver that would let the district opt out of some state standardized testing, in a move that some board members said is premature.

    The Jeffco vote came Jan. 15, just a week after the State Board of Education approved a measure that allows districts to request waivers from exams developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.

  • Petition signed by 6,500 seeks resignation of school board majority

    A petition signed by 6,554 Jeffco residents calling for school board President Ken Witt and board members John Newkirk and Julie Williams to resign caused a stir at the board’s meeting on Thursday evening.

    Jeffco parent and petition organizer Molly Snyder told board members she is not affiliated with the teachers union, the Jefferson County Education Association.