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Education

  • Harsh lessons: Classroom work a casualty as politics plague Jeffco school district

    Student protests and teacher sick-outs in Jeffco Public Schools have put the county’s K-12 system at the center of national media coverage and further polarized the already-strife-torn school district.

    Two weeks ago, school board member Julie Williams, one of three conservatives elected last November, proposed a curriculum review committee designed to boost patriotism and downplay civil disorder in Advanced Placement history classes.

  • Kindness is king at EMS

    Evergreen Middle School principal Joelle Broberg wants her school to buck the stereotype that middle-school kids are mean to each other.

    With the help of the school’s PTA and the staff, Broberg has embarked on a campaign to teach students about kindness and anti-bullying. Her mantra is “Many Voices, One School,” and she’s infused it into the message from guest speakers, the school’s choir and events since she became principal in fall 2013.

  • McMinimee addresses local students' concerns about curriculum

    Superintendent Dan McMinimee tried to reassure Conifer students Thursday morning that no action has been taken on the school board’s proposal controversial curriculum review committee.

    “We’re at the very beginning of this process,” McMinimee said. “(The committee) hasn’t even been discussed to the point of implementation.”

    More than 200 Conifer High School students packed the school’s auditorium to ask questions of the superintendent Thursday morning.

  • Teachers union reps issue no-confidence vote against board president

    Just a week after the school board approved his performance-based pay plan, Jeffco teachers recorded a vote of no confidence in school board President Ken Witt.

    According to the teachers union, the vote by 180 representatives of non-administrative educators was unanimous.

    "It is evident that educators in this district have had enough of the secrecy, waste, and disrespect of this board majority and its president,” said a statement from John Ford, president of the Jeffco Education Association.

  • Parents, students admire renovations at King-Murphy

    The fourth-grade classrooms at King-Murphy Elementary School have that fresh-paint, new-carpet smell.

    “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told the students to look at the carpet,” said fourth-grade teacher Samantha Gorenstein, knowing the carpets won’t be clean for long as students settle into the daily — and sometimes messy — routine of the new school year.

  • Incidents prompt board member to enroll daughters in private school

    Graffiti targeting school board member John Newkirk near his youngest daughter's elementary school prompted the family to enroll their girls in a private school for the 2014-15 school year.

    “After much thought and discussion, our family made the decision to move our daughters to an alternate school environment for the 2014-15 year,” Newkirk said. 

    Newkirk declined to name the school his daughters are attending but said it is a “faith-based” school in Littleton.

  • Friendly overtures, friction at school board retreat

    Jeffco’s famously divided school board made conciliatory noises at its annual retreat on Saturday, though some evidence surfaced of the friction that has prevailed since last November’s election. 

    “I promise there will be clear and concise communication,” said Superintendent Daniel McMinimee, who was hired on a 3-2 vote in June. “I’m looking forward to working together. I think this has been a great start.”

  • Change in the air at Wilmot

    Matt Cormier believes that a new principal should change only one thing during his first year.

    So Cormier, who is now at the helm of Wilmot Elementary School, is changing three things.

    At the top of his list is bolstering communication among faculty, parents and the community, including getting acquainted with students and parents, re-instituting birthday cards for students from the principal, and trying to organize such events as a Wilmot night at a Rockies game.

  • Numbers game: Program makes math fun for kids

    Debra Hansen is on a mission to make math fun for kids.

    The international software company CFO-turned-creative math whiz has brought her passion for math to libraries around Jeffco this summer, making a stop at the Evergreen Library on Aug. 5.

    Using songs and games, she helped groups of 5- to 8-year-olds and 8- to 12-year-olds spend an hour being inquisitive and working out problems, but the kids didn’t really know they were working on math because they were having so much fun.

  • LESSON PLANS: Rocky Mountain Academy hires executive director

    With an eye toward a leader who is both a principal and more visible in the community, Rocky Mountain Academy of Evergreen has hired Roberta Harrell as its new executive director.

    Harrell has worked in both public and charter schools, so she understands the challenges RMAE faces, according to Alan Scheik, vice president of the charter school's board. Harrell was hired on a unanimous board vote after a search that netted 27 candidates.