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Education

  • Voters recall conservative school board members

    By Gabrielle Porter

    Staff Writer

    Jeffco’s conservative school board majority was overwhelmingly recalled in the Nov. 3 election, and the so-called “clean slate” of candidates backed by the Jefferson County Education Association and the recall organizers swept all five seats on the board.

    As of Nov. 6, unofficial results showed:

    • 64.3 percent voted to recall Julie Williams in District 1. Brad Rupert, the sole successor candidate, received all votes cast to replace her.

  • Columbine Kiwanis Club donates $3,250 to 5 grade schools

    The Columbine Kiwanis Club donated $3,250 last week to the five elementary schools that feed into Ken Caryl Middle School to help pay for sixth-graders to attend the district’s Outdoor Lab Schools.

    The money, split among Normandy Elementary, Leawood Elementary, Columbine Hills Elementary, Governor’s Ranch Elementary and Dutch Creek Elementary, will help students unable to afford the week-long stay at either of the Outdoor Lab locations in Jeffco.

  • Watchdog group files complaints against nonprofits pushing recall

    A Colorado Springs-based watchdog organization has accused groups involved in instigating the recall of three Jeffco school members of violating state campaign finance laws in two lawsuits that will go before Colorado’s Office of Administrative Courts.

  • Threat posted on Facebook unsettles attendees at candidate forum

    A Facebook post calling for the “execution” of the instigators of Jeffco’s school board recall, authored by a former Evergreen resident with alleged ties to white-supremacist groups, caused some alarm Oct. 13 at a candidates forum in Conifer.

    Nate Marshall posted a picture of a “No Recall” yard sign on his public Facebook wall Oct. 13, accompanied by a message that called recall instigators “scum.” The post said they should be “executed” and “forced to pay” for their actions.

  • Dakota Ridge set to begin Theory of Knowledge discussions

    Dakota Ridge High School on Thursday will kick off its Theory of Knowledge Talks, a series of community conversations led by instructors from the school on a range of topics that impact the community.

    Teachers from the school’s International Baccalaureate program will lead two discussions each semester on a range of issues, said Mark Sherman, a teacher in the IB program who is coordinating the talks.

  • Witt seeks ethics investigation of himself

    A recent announcement by Jeffco’s embattled school board president that he is requesting an Independent Ethics Commission investigation into himself to counter allegations of sunshine-law violations likely will lead nowhere since the commission oversees neither the state's Open Meetings Law nor school boards.

    Ken Witt, one of three targets of a recall in the Nov. 3 election, called a news conference Oct. 8 to make the announcement to a room of reporters. 

  • Donors’ identities concealed in school board campaigns

    Groups on both sides of the contentious Jeffco school board recall election have employed funding methods that conceal donors’ identities.

    Since efforts to recall conservative board members John Newkirk, Ken Witt and Julie Williams were launched in late June, Jeffco residents have been inundated with information from both sides.

    On the incumbents’ side, a nonprofit group with conservative ties has funded television ads featuring Williams that toe — but do not cross — lines that would require it to disclose finances.

  • Regan Benson, candidate in District 5

    Yet another challenger has emerged in the school board recall election.

    Longtime district critic Regan Benson is running for the District 5 seat currently held by recall target Ken Witt. Also in the District 5 race are veteran Jeffco educator Ron Mitchell and former school board member Paula Noonan. A total of 13 candidates will appear on ballots that will be sent out this month — nine are vying for the three recall seats, including the targets of the recall, and four are competing for the two seats up for regular election in Districts 3 and 4.

  • School district considers charter application

    A presentation from a group that wants to establish a charter school in north Jeffco raised concerns among some members of the school board at a recent meeting.

  • School board tensions erupt over accountability committee

    The Jeffco school district’s fledgling accountability committee is looking for volunteers, following a heated discussion last Thursday among school board members.

    The transitional District Accountability Committee is planned to be a group of parents, teachers, community members and a school administrator, among others. Once the school board selects the members of the committee, it is expected to work with school-level accountability groups and the board on a variety of issues, including budgets, test scores and discipline.