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Education

  • Candidates for school board seat tout divergent backgrounds

    A former commercial property manager and a veteran teacher will vie for a seat on the Jeffco school board this fall.

    Arvada resident Kim Johnson, who touts her years in the business world and time spent volunteering in the Jeffco district, and Applewood resident Ali Lasell, who points to her 26 years of teaching and curriculum writing mostly at Adams 12 Five Star Schools, will compete for Jill Fellman’s seat in District 3, which includes parts of Lakewood and Arvada.

  • Length of contract is latest sticking point in talks with teachers union

    Negotiations between Jeffco Public Schools and the teachers union have hit a snag over the length of the next contract.

    The Jefferson County Education Association’s bargaining team wants a three-year contract for teachers. The school district wants to limit the contract to 10 months.

    The two sides seemed to be nearing an agreement before the issue came up at a July 15 negotiating session. Negotiators left the meeting without a resolution and with no date for the next session. 

  • Recall of 3 school board members will likely move forward

    Both supporters and critics agree that the group trying to unseat Jeffco’s three conservative school board members will likely have no trouble gathering the signatures needed to trigger a recall election.

    The question is whether the signatures will be collected in time for the Jeffco Elections Division to decide that the recall election should be part of the regular off-year November ballot, thereby saving the district about $500,000 for a special election.

  • ‘Back to the drawing board’

    A group of Chatfield High students watched a year’s worth of work go up in flames when a SpaceX cargo mission to the International Space Station exploded after liftoff on June 7.

    The unmanned Falcon rocket was carrying an experiment developed last school year by the Chatfield students that was designed to produce rocket fuel in space using algae.

    The Chatfield experiment was one of nine from schools across the country that was on its way, along with several tons of supplies, to the astronauts on the space station.

  • Top dogs

    A rescue dog can zero in on a missing person in an area it would take 30 humans to search, tracking the scent from almost a quarter-mile away.

    So it was no surprise when Koert and Maui, two border collies with Search And Rescue Dogs Of Colorado, found two kids hiding in Bemis Library in just five seconds.

    Koert and Maui, along with trainer Marcia McMahon, were at Bemis on July 1 to demonstrate to dozens of first- through fifth-graders why dogs are such good trackers and how people like McMahon train them.

  • School district launches all-inclusive app

    A mobile app recently launched by Jeffco Public Schools offers details on everything from schools’ daily lunch offerings to weather closures to health-based tips, a recent district news release says.

    The application, which is called “Jeffco Public Schools,” can be downloaded for free at Apple iTunes or Google Play by students, parents, district staff and community members.

    Parents will also be able to get emergency notifications for specific schools.

  • Fellman won’t seek re-election to school board

    Jeffco school board member Jill Fellman has decided not to run for re-election this fall, saying she wants to make her family a priority.

  • Parents launch effort to recall conservative school board members

    Three Jeffco parents have filed paperwork seeking to recall the three school board members who make up the body’s conservative majority: John Newkirk, Ken Witt and Julie Williams.

    Indian Hills parent Wendy McCord, Evergreen parent Michael Blanton and Littleton parent Tina Gurdikian filed the petition format Friday afternoon, according to a news release from a recently formed advocacy group, Jeffco United for Action.

  • Schools’ budget approved on split vote

    The Jeffco school district’s 2015-16 budget, which has proved to be the latest dividing line for the fractured school board, was approved last Thursday with the votes of the board’s three conservative members.

    The conservative majority was pleased that the financial plan avoided added expenses, but the board’s two liberal members say the budget shortchanges teachers on pay, and could have met pressing facilities needs responsibly through an alternative financing method.

  • School board adds $2.4 million to budget for teacher raises

    The Jeffco teachers union’s bargaining team on Monday “reluctantly accepted” the school district’s offer for teachers raises, although it fell several million dollars short of what the union requested last week.