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Education

  • 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.

  • School district, teachers open talks

    Negotiators for the Jeffco school district and the teachers union waded into collective bargaining last week, and while pledges of cooperation remain in the air, some friction around compensation has already made an early appearance.

    The union’s entire contract is on the table this year, and the district and the union spent most of their first two sessions laying out each side’s specific interests and defining logistics for how bargaining sessions would be structured. Negotiations could run through May.

  • School district contracts with online therapy provider

    Physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech language pathologists are hard to find in Colorado and even harder to recruit with a cash-strapped budget.

    To address shortages, Jeffco Public Schools will begin outsourcing some of those services starting this month.

    San Francisco-based PresenceLearning will begin providing physical, occupational and speech language therapy to Jeffco kids via teleconferencing under a $267,300 contract approved by the school board in December.

  • Open enrollment begins in Jeffco schools

    Jeffco parents who want to enroll their children in district schools other than their neighborhood school in 2015-16 can begin the enrollment process Wednesday, Jan. 7, according to a district press release.

    Accepted placement depends on classrooms’ available space.

    The district’s first round of choice enrollment will run from Jan. 7 to Jan. 30. A second round — based on a first-come, first-served basis - will run from Feb. 13 to Aug. 31.

    Out-of-district students may also enroll in any Jeffco school that has the space.

  • Chatfield class explores final frontier

    South Jeffco is home to companies such as Lockheed Martin and Oakman Aerospace that are playing big roles in the future of space exploration. Chatfield High School’s senior engineering class is aiming to add the school’s name to that list.

    The class — one of nine in the country chosen to participate in a national design challenge sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Science In Space — is working on a way to produce fuel in space with algae.

  • School board urged to refine details of performance-based pay

    The details of Jeffco Public Schools’ recently approved performance-based pay structure for teachers need to be hammered out, and soon, human resources director Amy Weber told school board members last Thursday.

  • Error on flier leaves school district parents riled

    Two parents want the Jeffco school district to vet sponsors of district officials’ speaking engagements after an announcement for an Evergreen Tea Party meeting originally listed a white-supremacist group as a co-sponsor.

    The flier for the Evergreen Tea Party’s Education Night on Nov. 10 originally listed the American Freedom Party as a co-sponsor. The flier was later corrected to list Americans For Prosperity, and an explanation of the error is on the Tea Party’s website.

  • Education forum features board member, superintendent

    Student achievement and Jeffco’s top schools were the two main themes at the Public Education in Jefferson County forum in Marshdale on Nov. 10.

    The Evergreen Tea Party teamed with 13 other Jeffco-based Tea Party and GOP groups to sponsor the education forum. More than 80 people braved the slippery roads to attend the meeting at The Barn at Evergreen Memorial Park.

    “We wanted to meet to show our support for the board and the direction this board is taking in Jefferson County,” said Ed Sutton, president of the Evergreen Tea Party.

  • Board approves one charter school, rejects another

    The Jeffco school board voted 3-2 to approve the charter application for Golden View Classical Academy at last Thursday’s board meeting.

    Board members John Newkirk, Ken Witt and Julie Williams voted in favor of the new charter, while Jill Fellman and Lesley Dahlkemper voted against.

    Elected last November, the three-member board majority ran on a platform to increase school choices for Jeffco parents. Golden View Classical Academy is the first charter school approved by the board majority.

  • Board to finalize charter applications, superintendent goals

    The Jeffco Board of Education will vote on two charter school applications at its meeting Thursday in Golden.

    The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Jeffco Education Center, 1829 Denver West Drive, Building 27 in Golden. The board will meet for a study session in the boardroom at 5:30 p.m.

    The school board is expected to vote on the applications from the Alexandria School of Innovation and Golden View Classical Academy.