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Education

  • Numerous changes in 2015-16 lesson plan at Jeffco schools

    As Jeffco students head back to school this week, shifting district- and state-level policies have led to changes that will eventually find their way to the classrooms. 

    Testing

    Jeffco students will spend less time taking standardized tests this school year after Colorado lawmakers voted in the spring to streamline some exams.

  • Police called to teacher welcome event

    Lakewood police officers made an appearance at a Jeffco Public Schools orientation for new teachers Aug. 4 after union representatives passing out fliers were told they were trespassing.

    The relationship between the Jefferson County Education Association and the school district has been strained in recent months over two lawsuits, contract negotiations, and an attempt to recall the district’s three conservative school board members.

  • District, teachers tentatively agree on contract

    Negotiators for Jeffco Public Schools and the teachers union last Thursday evening preliminarily agreed to a 10-month contract after a three-week stalemate over the agreement’s duration.

    Bargaining team members for the Jefferson County Education Association, who had originally said they would hold out for a three-year contract, said they agreed to the shorter pact in the interest of teachers, who return to schools Monday. 

  • School board recall organizers exceed signature-collection goal

    The group trying to recall Jeffco’s three conservative school board members has collected the signatures it needs to move forward with a recall election, a spokeswoman said.

    Jeffco United for Action over the weekend stopped gathering signatures to recall John Newkirk, Ken Witt and Julie Williams, according to spokeswoman Lynea Hansen. The group announced Tuesday afternoon that it had collected more than 110,000 signatures.

  • Building trades program to be revived at Conifer High

    Two Evergreen businessmen have revived a building trades program for high school students that flourished more than a decade ago.

    “We’re going to teach them a trade,” said builder David Graham, who is coordinating the program with Phil Shanley of Evergreen Fine Art. “At the very least, they’re going to learn to do something with their hands.”

    The program will teach students a trade while also meeting a need for skilled labor, Shanley said.

  • 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.

    Fellman, a former teacher who was elected to the board in November 2011, is one of the board’s two liberal members. She has often been at odds with the board’s conservative majority, a fact she referenced on Facebook when announcing her decision Monday. 

  • Jeffco school board approves 2015-16 budget 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.

  • Teachers union ‘reluctantly accepts’ offer on pay 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.

  • Judge rules names of teachers absent during sick-outs can be released

    A Jeffco district judge ruled Friday that the school district should not be prevented from releasing the names of teachers who were absent during “sick-outs” last fall, rejecting the teachers union's claim that sick days should be protected as personnel data. 

  • School board candidate brings teacher’s perspective

    Jeffco parent Amanda Stevens, a former teacher and now a candidate for the school board, says she would bring a dedication to excellence, transparency and cooperation to the deeply divided board.

    The Lakewood resident announced last month that she is running for Lesley Dahlkemper’s soon-to-be-vacant seat in District 4, which includes areas in South Jeffco. Stevens is the lone candidate so far; the election is Nov. 3.