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Education

  • Sunny outlook prevails for students at online school

    Using puppets that resemble a chicken and a dog, 14-year-old Amber Miller gives weather forecasts through a creative program of Colorado Connections Academy, her online school.

    “Lovely weather we’re having!” said Woofy the dog puppet in a recent broadcast.
    “Indeed, it’s b-b-b-b-beautiful weather for chickens,” added Professor Poultry, the chicken puppet through which Amber speaks.

  • Dakota Ridge students develop enterprise to increase awareness of suicide risk

    Two seniors at Dakota Ridge High School have launched an enterprise designed to increase awareness of classmates who may be at risk of suicide.

    Working with teacher Rachel Caliga in their entrepreneurship class, Andrew Arney and Bobby Lloyd McConnell have developed a business plan called “Operation Upstream,” which includes products designed to prevent suicides.

    “We thought Operation Upstream would be a perfect business,” Arney said.

  • Pay-for-performance for teachers could be rolled back

    Early conversations between the Jeffco school district and its teachers union hint that a controversial pay-for-performance plan for teachers instituted by the ousted conservative school board majority might be partially rolled back.

  • Mountain area residents offer ideas at school board forum

     Mountain area residents at a Jeffco Public Schools community forum had plenty of ideas for how the district should spend its money, with various attendees suggesting more incentives for teachers in hard-to-fill fields or hard-to-staff schools, bulking up the district’s security team, or providing more funding for the arts.

  • 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 district, teachers union preparing for contract negotiations

    Jeffco Public Schools leaders said Jan. 28 they expect teacher pay and teacher recruitment and retention will be priorities during upcoming contract negotiations with the Jefferson County Education Association.

    The district and teachers union will start contract negotiations Saturday, district human resources director Amy Weber said — less than a year after the last 10-month pact was implemented.

    Negotiations last year on the current union contract encountered several issues, including the contract’s 10-month duration; it expires June 30.

  • 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.