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Education

  • A good time with rhyme

    S.T. Coleridge once said that poetry consists of “the best words in the best order.”

    The fourth- and fifth-graders in Donna Sutherland’s gifted-and-talented class at Parmalee Elementary School proved his point Friday during a coffeehouse where they read their own poems to classmates.

    There were no berets or bongo drums a la the 1960s coffeehouses, but there was some finger-snapping as children showed their appreciation for classmates’ work. Definitely no coffee, but the children ate cookies and drank lemonade.

  • Class sizes, teacher pay top parents’ priorities

    Keeping class sizes low and increasing pay for teachers and staff were the top two priorities of about 100 mountain area parents, teachers, administrators and community members as they considered what should be included in the Jeffco Public Schools 2014-15 budget.

    Also high on the list were early literacy programs, elementary math instruction, infrastructure in schools to operate necessary technology, and elective classes.

  • Stevenson gets $204,194 in separation agreement

    Former Jeffco schools Superintendent Cindy Stevenson received $204,194 in her separation agreement with the district after her last day Feb. 21.

    On Nov. 7, two days after the new conservative majority was elected to the school board, Stevenson announce she would retire effective June 30. On Feb. 8, she said she wasn’t trusted by the new board majority and asked the board to approve an earlier exit.

  • School board doesn’t appoint interim superintendent

    Jeffco Public Schools’ core leadership team will continue to act as superintendent for the rest of the school year as the Board of Education moves forward with its search for a successor to Cindy Stevenson.

    After discussion at the board’s meeting last Thursday, no change was made to the previous week’s decision not to appoint an individual to serve as interim superintendent. 

    On Feb. 18, the board voted 3-2 not to make a temporary appointment, with the agreement that the board would discuss the topic again Feb. 27.

  • Choice enrollment for Jeffco students begins in January

    Jeffco parents who wish to enroll a child in a district school other than their neighborhood school can take advantage of the choice enrollment process next month.

    The first period of enrollment begins Jan. 8 and closes Jan. 24. A second enrollment period is offered from Feb. 19 to Aug. 30.

    “The second period is offered for parents who missed the first round or maybe just moved into the county,” said Melissa Reeves, spokeswoman for Jeffco Public Schools.

  • Online sign-up required to speak at school board meetings

    Parents and community members who wish to speak during the public-comment portion of Jeffco school board meetings now must sign up online.

    The change comes after the board’s Nov. 21 meeting, when newly elected board members Ken Witt, Julie Williams and John Newkirk announced their desire for the board and its meetings to be more accessible to parents.

    It’s the latest in a series of changes, as meeting times have been moved from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and meeting locations have been moved to different high schools to increase community engagement.

  • New school board members take seats

    Jeffco’s three newly elected school board members wasted no time getting comfortable in their positions at last Thursday’s meeting.

    After Julie Williams, John Newkirk and Ken Witt were sworn in, the new board elected officers, addressed the community and tried to put at ease parents and teachers, who raised concerns during public comment.

    How we got here

    Williams, Newkirk and Witt captured three seats on the Jeffco Board of Education in the Nov. 5 election, dramatically changing the political orientation of the board.

  • The bloom is off

    The Jeffco school board voted unanimously last Thursday night to scrap plans to test and implement the inBloom system for storing student information.

    “It was such a great sense of relief to hear that our voice was heard and that our concerns were recognized,” said Jeffco parent Rachael Stickland.

    The district's controversial plan to test the system was a prominent issue in the campaign for the Nov. 5 school board election, in which three conservative candidates won seats on the five-member board.

  • Stevenson to retire as superintendent of Jeffco Schools

    After more than a decade as head of Jeffco Public Schools, Superintendent Cindy Stevenson announced her plans to retire at last Thursday night’s school board meeting, two days after a slate of conservatives won election to the board.

    “Working with Jeffco as superintendent has been the best 12 years of my life,” Stevenson said at the board meeting. “I’m taking this opportunity to thank the people here tonight and our community that have given me incredible support.”

    Stevenson’s last day will be June 30, 2014.

  • Conservatives take control of Jeffco school board

    Three conservative candidates were victorious over a slate of three progressives in the race for open seats on the Jeffco school board, dramatically changing the board’s political orientation.

    Fallout from the results in the Nov. 5 mail-in election was swift: The existing school board voted to scrap plans for the controversial inBloom data-storage system. Meanwhile, district Superintendent Cindy Stevenson announced her retirement effective in June 2014.

    In final, unofficial results, with about 174,373 ballots counted: