• 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Hearing date set for campaign finance complaint

    The state has set a hearing date for a complaint filed by a Colorado Springs-based watchdog organization accusing groups involved in instigating the recall of three Jeffco school members of violating state campaign finance laws.