• Jeffco school board votes to seek testing waiver

    The Jeffco school board voted to request a waiver that would let the district opt out of some state standardized testing, in a move that some board members said is premature.

    The Jeffco vote came Jan. 15, just a week after the State Board of Education approved a measure that allows districts to request waivers from exams developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.

  • School maintenance funding in limbo

    The fate of some voter-approved funds for facility maintenance in Jeffco Public Schools remains unclear after the school board voted 3-2 to table a discussion about their use on Jan. 15.

    The $17 million in question represents part of the proceeds from the bond issue approved by district voters in November 2012 for maintenance and renovation of schools. Even though the ballot specified $99 million in bonds, higher yields meant the bonds sold at a premium and generated additional funds.

  • Charter schools seeing enrollment growth

    Jeffco’s charter schools saw significantly greater enrollment growth than district-managed schools in the last year, and advocates say that greater availability of choice, high academic expectations and options for home-schoolers are responsible.

  • Petition signed by 6,500 seeks resignation of school board majority

    A petition signed by 6,554 Jeffco residents calling for school board President Ken Witt and board members John Newkirk and Julie Williams to resign caused a stir at the board’s meeting on Thursday evening.

    Jeffco parent and petition organizer Molly Snyder told board members she is not affiliated with the teachers union, the Jefferson County Education Association. 

  • 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.