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Education

  • Student-based budgeting lets principals get a jump on hiring

    Several months into Jeffco Public Schools’ implementation of student-based budgeting, area principals are saying the new policy gives them the ability to react quickly to their schools’ hiring needs.

    Until this year, school funding was directed by the district office and based on schools’ enrollments — students were counted in October, and then money was disbursed. Under the new model, enrollment is still a major factor, but principals decide what programs get cut, kept or expanded based on student and community needs.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • School board recall organizers reach signature-collection goal

    The group trying to recall Jeffco’s three conservative school board members has collected the signatures it needs to move forward with a recall election, a spokeswoman said.

    Jeffco United for Action over the weekend stopped gathering signatures to recall John Newkirk, Ken Witt and Julie Williams, according to spokeswoman Lynea Hansen. The group announced Tuesday afternoon that it had collected more than 110,000 signatures.

  • Candidates for school board seat tout divergent backgrounds

    A former commercial property manager and a veteran teacher will vie for a seat on the Jeffco school board this fall.

    Arvada resident Kim Johnson, who touts her years in the business world and time spent volunteering in the Jeffco district, and Applewood resident Ali Lasell, who points to her 26 years of teaching and curriculum writing mostly at Adams 12 Five Star Schools, will compete for Jill Fellman’s seat in District 3, which includes parts of Lakewood and Arvada.

  • School district launches all-inclusive app

    A mobile app recently launched by Jeffco Public Schools offers details on everything from schools’ daily lunch offerings to weather closures to health-based tips, a recent district news release says.

    The application, which is called “Jeffco Public Schools,” can be downloaded for free at Apple iTunes or Google Play by students, parents, district staff and community members.

    Parents will also be able to get emergency notifications for specific schools.

  • ACC lands federal grant for health information technology program

    Arapahoe Community College has been awarded a multimillion-dollar federal grant to expand the college’s health information technology program.

    The four-year, $2.39 million grant comes from the Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training program. ACC was one of 71 schools across the country to receive funds from the program this year.

  • Spokeswoman for Jeffco Schools resigns

     Jeffco Public Schools chief communications officer Lisa Pinto has submitted a letter of resignation and will be stepping down from her position effective June 19, according to the district’s superintendent.

    Pinto wrote in her May 28 resignation that she is leaving the district for another job.

  • Columbine team has the biggest, best idea

    A big idea from a group of Columbine High School students has turned out to be a big winner.

    Columbine’s team placed first last weekend in the inaugural statewide Big Idea competition with its project Denver Push, which focused on accessibility for the disabled. Kale Reader, 17, Dan DeGraaf, 17, Ty Duffy, 18, and Megan Lacy, 17, each won a $1,500 college scholarship.