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Education

  • Group that backed recall ordered to disclose donors

    An administrative judge has decided that one nonprofit group that contributed to efforts to recall three former Jeffco school board members violated state campaign finance law, and must pay a fine and disclose its donors.

  • New school board members get training on sunshine laws

    Jeffco’s new school board heard an overview of Colorado’s Open Meetings Law and Open Records Act during a public meeting last Thursday before moving behind closed doors to ask specific questions.

    The board — whose five members were elected in November — originally was slated for a two-hour executive session to receive training on “the Colorado Open Meetings Law, the Colorado Open Records Act, conflicts of interest and standards of conduct for local public officials.”

  • Hola, Wilmot: School adds Spanish curriculum to its literacy program

    The halls of Wilmot Elementary are filled with children greeting one another — only now some of that chatter is in Spanish.

    That’s because this year, all 330 students get between 40 and 70 minutes of Spanish instruction each week, thanks to Wilmot’s accountability council and PTA joining forces to hire a Spanish teacher.

    Principal Matt Cormier is proud of the program and believes it’s the first of its kind in foothills elementary schools.

  • EMS students campaign for turkeys

    Students at Evergreen Middle School got into the turkey-giving spirit last Friday when they collected turkeys and money for the less fortunate.

    Students — dressed in pajamas for the last day of school before the Thanksgiving holiday — stood outside with signs encouraging fellow students to bring in their final donations.

    The second annual Turkey on Every Table fund-raiser donates items to both the mountain backpack program through Evergreen Christian Outreach and to the Denver Rescue Mission.

  • Student survey at middle school irks parents

    A survey given to Evergreen Middle School students that asked questions about their sexual orientation has ruffled feathers in the community.

    The survey, which has been administered by the school’s counseling office for several years, this year is part of a grant application focusing on school climate, according to Jeffco Public Schools spokeswoman Michelle Balch Lyng. Previous surveys did not contain questions about sexual orientation.

  • New school board members take oath of office

    Jeffco’s newly elected school board members officially took the helm of the district last Thursday and are set to re-examine several of their predecessors’ controversial decisions in coming weeks.

    Ron Mitchell, Ali Lasell, Susan Harmon, Amanda Stevens and Brad Rupert, who were elected Nov. 3, were greeted with waves of applause as they took the oath of office and their seats at the board table.

  • Conservative board members approve $9,500 in bonuses for superintendent

    Jeffco schools Superintendent Dan McMinimee will be paid $9,500 in bonuses after his first year of work, the outgoing school board decided on a 3-2 vote Nov. 5.

    McMinimee’s awards represent 24 percent of possible bonuses in his contract. The bonuses hinged on his meeting goals set by the district and the school board.

  • Board approves ‘certificates of participation’ to finance school construction

    Jeffco’s school board on March 3 unanimously agreed to issue $48 million in certificates of participation to finance building a new school in Arvada and upgrading and expanding another.

    The board has agreed to use the funding method to build a K-8 school in the Candelas development to meet projected enrollment growth, and to build long-planned additions to Sierra Elementary School.

  • Fused-glass art project has many facets at EMS

    Eighth-graders in the Art II class at Evergreen Middle School have broadened their definition of art after a semester-long fused-glass project.

    Some would add risk-taking, culture and learning to work together as some of the lessons learned — in addition to the ornate glass tiles they created. The project consisted of working with glass tiles and metal to create artwork. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

  • School district, teachers union preparing for contract negotiations

    Jeffco Public Schools leaders said Jan. 28 they expect teacher pay and teacher recruitment and retention will be priorities during upcoming contract negotiations with the Jefferson County Education Association.

    The district and teachers union will start contract negotiations Saturday, district human resources director Amy Weber said — less than a year after the last 10-month pact was implemented.

    Negotiations last year on the current union contract encountered several issues, including the contract’s 10-month duration; it expires June 30.