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Education

  • School board discusses process for hiring superintendent

    The Jeffco school board envisions a lengthy and deliberate process to replace retiring Superintendent Cindy Stevenson.

    At last Thursday’s study session, the board discussed the process for selecting a new leader for Colorado’s second largest school district. It will take six weeks just to find the professional search firm that will identify top candidates for the job.

    Stevenson announced her retirement in November, shortly after three new members were elected to the board; her last day will be June 30.

    The process

  • Marshdale pupils stock MRC pantry

    Principal Christian Kingsbury said that while Marshdale Elementary has held many food drives, nothing has compared to the 2013 edition.

    “All of the food would’ve overflowed one of our classrooms,” the principal said. “We had to deliver two different loads. Everyone is saying this is the biggest turnout (of items) we’ve ever had.”

    The school teamed with the Mountain Resource Center’s food bank, and the donations started stacking high Dec. 2, and the donation collection ended Dec. 17.

  • 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.

  • K-M kids turn into a bunch of animals for performances

    A bunch of cute animals visited the kindergarten classrooms at King-Murphy Elementary on Thursday.

    The animals were costumed kids, ready to delight their families with play performances based on classic children’s books and traditional songs. Paulyne Fisher’s class performed “The Mitten” by Jan Brett, and Beth Schwecke’s class performed “The Gingerbread Man” by Catherine McCafferty. The plays have been long-standing traditions in both classrooms.

    Fisher said the plays have an academic twist.

  • New school board majority votes to hire law firm

    In a decision that brought boos from the audience, the Jeffco school board’s new majority voted Thursday night to hire an attorney to represent the board — not the school district — with little time for discussion and many unanswered questions.

    Board members Lesley Dahlkemper and Jill Fellman said after the meeting that they dissented not because they oppose the board having its own attorney, but because they objected to the way the motion was introduced and voted on.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.