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Education

  • Teachers unions played major role in recall effort

     Local and national teachers unions made major donations to the campaign to recall three conservative members of the Jeffco school board, according to financial records ordered released by a state judge.

    Recall critics have said donations from the National Education Association and the Jefferson County Education Association prove that union interests were a guiding force in the ousting of board members John Newkirk, Ken Witt and Julie Williams in the November election.

  • Jeffco students outperform state on PARCC-developed tests

    While Jeffco students outperformed state results at nearly every level of PARCC-developed English and math tests last spring, most results still fell short of newly implemented expectations, although a Jeffco testing expert cautioned that data may be somewhat skewed. 

  • 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.

  • Jeffco Virtual Academy to drop K-6 classes

    Jeffco Virtual Academy’s elementary-level program will close after the school year ends and be partially absorbed by Arvada-based Two Roads Charter School as a result of low enrollment, school district officials say.

  • Back to school

    “Love what you do and do what you love.”

    — Ray Bradbury

    Retired Clear Creek High teacher Conradt Fredell willingly gave up his hobbies —woodworking, gardening and music — for seven weeks to return to his other love: teaching.

    Although Fredell, 63, retired in 2011, he returned to the school in August to spend nearly half a semester as a long-term substitute, teaching classes he knows and loves: biology, honors biology and Advanced Placement biology.

  • 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.”

  • School board to get sunshine-law training — in secret

    Jeffco’s five new school board members will take about two hours at their next meeting to hear legal advice on “the Colorado Open Meetings Law, the Colorado Open Records Act, conflicts of interest and standards of conduct for local public officials.”

    The sunshine-law training will be held behind closed doors in an executive session.

  • District to hire communications director

    Jeffco Public Schools is in the process of hiring a new communications director, a move schools Superintendent Dan McMinimee delayed for several months during the run-up to the election.

  • New school board set to meet constituents

    Jeffco’s new school board members soon will head out into the community to meet their new constituents, members said at their first full board meeting Nov. 30.

    Ron Mitchell, Ali Lasell, Susan Harmon, Amanda Stevens and Brad Rupert, who were elected Nov. 3, said they would begin coordinating with various groups in each of their districts to set up meetings.

    As the district heads into budget season, board members will host community budget forums, which Stevens said could be a good opportunity to get to know Jeffco residents better.

  • Jeffco’s recall free-for-all spurs call for campaign finance reform

    An ethics watchdog group has called for state campaign finance reform in the wake of the release of contribution figures from the Jeffco school district’s contentious recall election.

    While any change to the Colorado Constitution, which specifies how elections are conducted, would require a statewide vote, Peg Perl, senior counsel for Colorado Ethics Watch, said Colorado legislators can take several steps to bring more transparency to local elections, including: