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Education

  • 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.

  • Candidates for school board seats 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.

  • Teachers union, district debate pay model in court

    The Jeffco teachers union argued Friday in district court that the school district improperly enacted a performance-based pay model that created unfair pay disparities between new and experienced teachers.

    The district countered that the school board was well within its rights to make final decisions about pay, and that the same disparities existed under the former system.

    Attorneys for the Jefferson County Education Association and the school district argued their cases before District Judge Christopher Zenisek, who has not yet made a decision.

  • Jeffco schools could receive less money from state

    Proposed cuts by lawmakers in the K-12 portion of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s 2015-16 state budget could mean that Jeffco Public Schools receives $17.5 million less than anticipated.

    Hickenlooper’s funding plan would have provided the district $37 million in state funds; $17.2 million of that would have gone toward ongoing costs, while $19.8 million would have been earmarked for one-time expenditures.

  • School district negotiations raise Open Meetings Law questions

    The recent move by Jeffco Public Schools and the teachers union to take portions of contract negotiations behind closed doors falls into a murky area of Colorado’s Open Meetings Law.

    The district and the Jefferson County Education Association opened negotiations last month, and both sides agreed early on to break into small study groups and examine several priority topics. The two sides announced last week that meetings of the small groups would not be open to the public.