• Appeals court upholds decision that teachers’ sick-leave records are public information

    A Jeffco judge’s decision that teachers’ sick-leave records are public information and not confidential personnel information was upheld in a Jan. 14 state Court of Appeals decision.

    Judges Steve Bernard, Robert Hawthorne and Anthony Navarro upheld a 2015 decision against the Jefferson County Education Association, which sought to prevent the Jeffco school district from releasing the names of teachers who were absent from work during “sick-outs” at several schools in late 2014. More than one Jeffco resident had requested the information.

  • School board reverses previous decision on financing for new school

    The Jeffco school board directed district staff to start paperwork to issue certificates of participation to fund the building of a new school and finish a later phase of an existing school, both in the northern part of the district.

    In a unanimous vote last Thursday, the board decided to start the process to issue COPs to build a K-8 school in Arvada’s Candelas neighborhood. The board voted 4-1 to do the same for long-planned additions to Sierra Elementary School in Arvada.

  • Jeffco school district set to hire new communications director

    The Jeffco school board is set to vote Thursday on a new chief communications officer for the district, a position that has been vacant since June.

    The board will vote whether to hire candidate Diana Wilson, a Lakewood resident whose background includes nearly eight years as a spokeswoman for the Westminster Fire Department and a stint serving on Lakewood’s City Council.

  • Former CHS teacher hopes to open charter school

    A former Conifer High teacher is hoping to establish a Conifer-area charter school for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.

    Conifer resident Ashley Sportel said she plans to submit an application for Impact Academy — which she said would use some variation of the “expeditionary” learning model — to the Jeffco school district this year, with an eye toward opening in 2017.

  • Jeffco students outperform state on PARCC-developed tests

    While Jeffco students outperformed state results at nearly every level of PARCC-developed English and math tests last spring, most results still fell short of newly implemented expectations, although a Jeffco testing expert cautioned that data may be somewhat skewed. 

  • Group that backed recall ordered to disclose donors

    An administrative judge has decided that one nonprofit group that contributed to efforts to recall three former Jeffco school board members violated state campaign finance law, and must pay a fine and disclose its donors.

  • Jeffco Virtual Academy to drop K-6 classes

     Jeffco Virtual Academy’s elementary-level program will close after the school year ends and be partially absorbed by Arvada-based Two Roads Charter School as a result of low enrollment, school district officials say.

  • Students at Blue Heron Elementary flock to holiday drive benefiting homeless

    As holiday parties were in full swing at Blue Heron Elementary School last Thursday, youngsters were taking time to pack essential items for homeless students.

    The entire school participated in the effort organized by sixth-grade teacher Kim Fognani, in which more than 8,000 products were collected in recent weeks.

    Gathered around tables in the school library and gym, students placed bottles of shampoo, body wash, hairbrushes, lotions and other items in plastic containers.

  • New school board members get training on sunshine laws

    Jeffco’s new school board heard an overview of Colorado’s Open Meetings Law and Open Records Act during a public meeting last Thursday before moving behind closed doors to ask specific questions.

    The board — whose five members were elected in November — originally was slated for a two-hour executive session to receive training on “the Colorado Open Meetings Law, the Colorado Open Records Act, conflicts of interest and standards of conduct for local public officials.”

  • Spreading Christmas cheer

    For students in Chatfield High School’s special-education classes, it’s become a holiday tradition to cheer up our nation’s soldiers.

    The students once again gathered in the Chatfield High atrium on Friday to stuff 250 stockings with toiletries, homemade cards and other items to be sent to Fort Carson in Colorado Springs. From there, the stockings will go to GIs at home and overseas who won’t be able to spend the holidays with family, said special-education teacher Sharon McManus.