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Education

  • 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:

  • Hola, Wilmot: School adds Spanish curriculum to its literacy program

    The halls of Wilmot Elementary are filled with children greeting one another — only now some of that chatter is in Spanish.

    That’s because this year, all 330 students get between 40 and 70 minutes of Spanish instruction each week, thanks to Wilmot’s accountability council and PTA joining forces to hire a Spanish teacher.

    Principal Matt Cormier is proud of the program and believes it’s the first of its kind in foothills elementary schools.

  • 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.