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Education

  • Five bottle bombs found in South Jeffco over two days

    Five bottle bombs were found in South Jeffco on Jan. 2 and 3, the Sheriff’s Office reported.

    Four of the bombs, also referred to as “overpressure devices,” were discovered Friday at Easton Park off West Coal Mine Avenue, near Dakota Ridge High School, by Jeffco parks employees. All four of the bombs at Easton had been detonated.

    The fifth bomb was discovered in the parking lot between The Edge Ice Arena and The Ridge Recreation Center on Thursday, Jan. 2. That bomb was inert, said sheriff’s spokesman Mark Techmeyer.

  • Choice enrollment for Jeffco parents begins in January

    Jeffco parents who wish to enroll a child in a district school other than their neighborhood school can take advantage of the choice enrollment process next month.

    The first period of enrollment begins Jan. 8 and closes Jan. 24. A second enrollment period is offered from Feb. 19 to Aug. 30.

    “The second period is offered for parents who missed the first round or maybe just moved into the county,” said Melissa Reeves, spokeswoman for Jeffco Public Schools.

  • Kerr to chair state Senate’s Education Committee

    Jeffco will retain its voice on the state Senate’s Education Committee, but now that voice will be at the panel’s helm. 

    State Sen. Andy Kerr, D-District 22, has been named chairman of the Senate Education Committee for the 2014 legislative session. Kerr served as a member of the committee during the 2013 legislative session. 

    Kerr takes over for former state senator Evie Hudak, who resigned Nov. 27 in the face of a potential recall election over her support of new gun regulations.

  • Group prays for new board members

    A small group gathered last Friday to pray for the three newest members of the Jeffco Board of Education. 

    Newly elected board members Julie Williams and Ken Witt received prayer from the eight people who attended. John Newkirk appeared briefly to thank everyone who showed up but left because of a scheduling conflict.

    “We appreciate the faith community reaching out to us and inviting us here tonight,” Witt said. “We support our faith-based community, and we are a part of it.”

  • More public comment planned at beginning of school board meetings

    Jeffco Public Schools’ new board is putting its stamp on how meetings are run.

    During the Dec. 11 meeting, the board voted unanimously to change the public-comment portion of meetings and the structure of the consent agenda, which contains routine district matters that are approved by the board in one vote.

  • Goals, union relations discussed at school board retreat

    New policies, goals and the search for a new superintendent were discussed during the Jeffco Board of Education’s twice-yearly retreat last Saturday.

    Also discussed, in the wake of a conservative majority being elected to the board in November, were the district’s relationships with its unions.

    Representatives from the Jefferson County Education Association, the Jeffco Classified School Employees Association and Jefferson County Administrators Association were invited to speak to the board during the morning portion of the retreat. 

  • New school board majority votes to hire law firm

    In a decision that brought boos from the audience, the Jeffco school board’s new majority voted Thursday night to hire an attorney to represent the board — not the school district — with little time for discussion and many unanswered questions.

    Board members Lesley Dahlkemper and Jill Fellman said after the meeting that they dissented not because they oppose the board having its own attorney, but because they objected to the way the motion was introduced and voted on.

  • Mane event: a show of solidarity

     It wasn’t charity. It was a sign of solidarity.

    Throughout the halls of Dakota Ridge High School last week, sign after sign delivered the message: Everyone is affected by cancer. It’s a fact students and faculty at Dakota Ridge know all too well.  

  • Online sign-up now required to speak at school board meetings

    Parents and community members who wish to speak during the public-comment portion of Jeffco school board meetings now must sign up online.

    The change comes after the board’s Nov. 21 meeting, when newly elected board members Ken Witt, Julie Williams and John Newkirk announced their desire for the board and its meetings to be more accessible to parents.

    It’s the latest in a series of changes, as meeting times have been moved from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and meeting locations have been moved to different high schools to increase community engagement.

  • New school board members take seats

    Jeffco’s three newly elected school board members wasted no time getting comfortable in their positions at last Thursday’s meeting.

    After Julie Williams, John Newkirk and Ken Witt were sworn in, the new board elected officers, addressed the community and tried to put at ease parents and teachers, who raised concerns during public comment.

    How we got here