• Jeffco teachers receive flier discussing possible strike

    An information sheet sent to members of the Jeffco teachers union discusses the possibility of a strike, but a union spokesman said efforts are still focused on collaborating with the school district.

    The flier, which was re-published May 20 on website CompleteColorado.com, answers frequently asked questions about strikes, urges teachers to attend an event Friday called “Rally to Take Back Our Schools,” and states that the Jefferson County Education Association is still committed to bargaining with the district.

  • Decision not to host governor unrelated to politics, schools superintendent says

    Schools Superintendent Dan McMinimee says that rejecting an offer from Gov. John Hickenlooper to sign testing legislation at two Jeffco schools was related to safety, logistics and protocol — not politics.

    Hickenlooper’s staff reached out to both Bear Creek and Lakewood high schools as locations where the governor might sign House Bill 1323, which reduces the number of standardized tests students are required to take. The district said no thanks.

  • Chatfield principal to become superintendent for Englewood district

    The principal at Chatfield High School has been named the finalist for the Englewood School District’s superintendent position.

    Wendy Rubin was chosen from an original pool of 23 applicants for the soon-to-be-vacant superintendent post in Englewood. Englewood’s current superintendent, Brian Ewert, has been tapped as the next superintendent of Littleton Public Schools.

    Rubin has worked for Jeffco Public Schools for the past 14 years, the last four as principal at Chatfield.

  • 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.

  • Judge issues injunction against school district's new-hire pay level

    A Jeffco district judge has issued a preliminary injunction preventing the school district from paying newly hired teachers at a higher rate until a lawsuit against the district by the teachers union goes to trial.

  • Board votes to spend $15 million on new school

    The Jeffco school board voted 3-2 on Thursday to put $15 million saved last year toward building a new school in the northern part of the county.

    While $15 million is a fraction of the district’s $1 billion annual budget, the decision, approved with the votes of the board’s conservative majority, is controversial for several reasons:

  • 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.

  • Dahlkemper won't seek re-election to school board

    Jeffco school board member Lesley Dahlkemper has announced she will not run for a second term this fall, citing home and work responsibilities.

    Dahlkemper, who was elected in 2011 and is one of the board’s two liberal members, said the decision is not related to frequent friction with the board’s conservative majority over everything from facilities and budget to teacher pay and union relations.

  • The devil in the details

    Early negotiations between Jeffco Public Schools and the Jeffco Education Association have highlighted a long-existing source of tension: How much detail should be written into teachers’ contracts?

    Union negotiators argued for detailed contracts in sessions last week, pointing out that in the high-pressure day-to-day schedule of a teacher, prescriptive contract language can provide stability.

  • Teachers union sues over pay-for-performance policy

    Jeffco’s teachers union is suing the school district over its divisive pay-for-performance policy, which is still in its first year.

    The Jefferson County Education Association’s lawsuit, filed April 7 amid contract negotiations with the teachers, asserts that the district’s pay plan was unilaterally implemented without union input, and that it will cause irreparable harm to teachers’ interests. The suit also claims the policy violated an existing contract with the teachers.