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Education

  • 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.

  • Security team staying busy at schools during 2015

    Reports detailing a surge in threats handled by Jeffco Public Schools’ security and emergency management team led school board members Oct. 15 to approve funds for the department to hire four new staff members.

    The department has seen a 100 percent increase in threat assessments in the past year, said John McDonald, the district’s executive director of safety, security and emergency planning. Also, in the last two years, assessments performed on potentially suicidal students have increased 600 percent.

  • School board names 11 to District Accountability Committee

    The Jeffco school board’s conservative majority seated 11 members of a new District Accountability Committee at an Oct. 15 meeting in what has become the latest battle for the deeply divided board.

    In a process that liberal board members Lesley Dahlkemper and Jill Fellman likened to throwing darts or drawing names from a hat, board members selected committee members without having interviewed them or being provided with resumes or detailed biographical information.

  • 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.

  • School board candidates forum polite

    While the political storm surrounding Jeffco’s school board election continues to rage, a candidate forum Oct. 13 in Conifer was, in contrast, low-key and civil.

    Eleven of the 13 candidates in the Nov. 3 election appeared at the event at West Jefferson Middle School, which was moderated by Evergreen Newspapers editor Doug Bell and co-sponsored by the newspapers and the Conifer Area Council. For the most part, candidates seemed to lean on their usual talking points.

  • 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.