• Negotiations hit snag on teacher pay

    The Jeffco teachers union and the school district hit a rough patch in contract negotiations last Thursday when the sides failed to agree on a plan for how much the district should pay teachers hired for the fall, according to a pool report.

    Negotiators for the Jefferson County Education Association and Jeffco Public Schools met for an extra session to discuss the topic after a district judge issued an injunction against the school district a week earlier that prevented it from moving forward with recently approved entry-level salaries.

  • Jeffco teachers receive flier discussing possible strike

    An information sheet sent to members of the Jeffco teachers union discusses the possibility of a strike, but a union spokesman said efforts are still focused on collaborating with the school district.

    The flier, which was re-published May 20 on website CompleteColorado.com, answers frequently asked questions about strikes, urges teachers to attend an event Friday called “Rally to Take Back Our Schools,” and states that the Jefferson County Education Association is still committed to bargaining with the district.

  • Bergen Meadow preschool honors teacher who died of cancer

    The Bergen Meadow preschool community said a final goodbye and an emotional hello to one of its teachers who died in May 2014 of cancer.

    “She was one of the most caring, devoted teachers I’ve ever known,” preschool director Marianne Temple told about 50 people assembled outside the school on May 13 to dedicate the Terri Hessner Memorial Garden and Playground. “She had an amazing impact on students.”

  • Union, district spar over release of names of teachers absent during sick-outs

    Jeffco’s teachers union argued Friday in district court that the school district should be prevented from releasing the names of teachers who were absent during “sick-outs” last fall, claiming that would violate teachers’ privacy and could hurt teachers who were actually sick.

    Attorneys for Jeffco Public Schools countered that records of sick leave don’t meet the definition of personnel records and that the Colorado Open Records Act requires release of the information.

  • Judge issues injunction against school district's new-hire pay level

    A Jeffco district judge has issued a preliminary injunction preventing the school district from paying newly hired teachers at a higher rate until a lawsuit against the district by the teachers union goes to trial.

  • Dahlkemper won't seek re-election to school board

    Jeffco school board member Lesley Dahlkemper has announced she will not run for a second term this fall, citing home and work responsibilities.

    Dahlkemper, who was elected in 2011 and is one of the board’s two liberal members, said the decision is not related to frequent friction with the board's conservative majority over everything from facilities and budget to teacher pay and union relations.

  • King-Murphy librarian won’t be returning next year

    A retirement assembly on Friday to honor King-Murphy Elementary School librarian Marilyn Pearson was filled with laughs and tears.

    Students, teachers and some parents gathered in the gymnasium to wish Pearson, who has been at the school for 16 years, a fond farewell.

    “We have gathered to celebrate for a very special reason,” principal Heidi Lupinacci told the group. “Mrs. Pearson is retiring.”

    Just as everyone in the room applauded, a thunderstorm unleashed a downpour of rain, which appeared to add to the applause.

  • The devil in the details

    Early negotiations between Jeffco Public Schools and the Jeffco Education Association have highlighted a long-existing source of tension: How much detail should be written into teachers’ contracts?

    Union negotiators argued for detailed contracts in sessions last week, pointing out that in the high-pressure day-to-day schedule of a teacher, prescriptive contract language can provide stability. 

  • Evergreen students display their tech skills at event

    The Evergreen Schools Tech Extravaganza on April 23 was similar to a school science fair — only with students displaying their technology prowess as they explored a variety of topics from geology to understanding grief.

    More than 100 students from the Bergens and Wilmot elementary schools, Evergreen Middle and Evergreen High set up laptops on tables in the EHS library and two classrooms. Students and parents strolled through to hear about the students’ work. They used a variety of programs to explain their research and display their results.

  • Evergreen Middle School observes Day Without Hate

    While Evergreen High School was celebrating Diversity Day on Friday, Evergreen Middle School was celebrating the national Day Without Hate, a program the school has embraced for five years.

    “Not all schools have embraced Day Without Hate as much as EMS,” said Julie Maus, the leadership liaison to the EMS PTA. “We’ve been trying to make it more intrinsic in the school to promote diversity. We want it to become part of the school culture.”