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Education

  • 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.

  • EMS students campaign for turkeys

    Students at Evergreen Middle School got into the turkey-giving spirit last Friday when they collected turkeys and money for the less fortunate.

    Students — dressed in pajamas for the last day of school before the Thanksgiving holiday — stood outside with signs encouraging fellow students to bring in their final donations.

    The second annual Turkey on Every Table fund-raiser donates items to both the mountain backpack program through Evergreen Christian Outreach and to the Denver Rescue Mission.

  • Hearing date set for campaign finance complaint

    The state has set a hearing date for a complaint filed by a Colorado Springs-based watchdog organization accusing groups involved in instigating the recall of three Jeffco school members of violating state campaign finance laws.

  • Student performance on PARCC test falls short of expectations

    More than half of the Colorado third- through 11th-graders who took the controversial PARCC exams last spring did not meet expectations in math and English language arts, according to data released by the Colorado Department of Education.

    Last fall, thousands of Colorado high-schoolers made headlines by refusing to take the Colorado Measures of Academic Success exams, which were developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, a multi-state group that uses Common Core standards.

  • Voters recall conservative members of school board

    Jeffco’s conservative school board majority was overwhelmingly recalled in the Nov. 3 election, and the so-called “clean slate” of candidates backed by the Jefferson County Education Association and the recall organizers swept all five seats on the board.

    As of Nov. 6, unofficial results showed:

    • 64.3 percent voted to recall Julie Williams in District 1. Brad Rupert, the sole successor candidate, received all votes cast to replace her.

  • Outgoing school board majority approves charter school

    The outgoing conservative majority on Jeffco’s school board approved an application from a group that wants to establish a charter school in north Jeffco, despite concerns raised by staff and the district accountability committee.

  • Conservative board members approve $9,500 in bonuses for superintendent

    Jeffco schools Superintendent Dan McMinimee will be paid $9,500 in bonuses after his first year of work, the outgoing school board decided on a 3-2 vote Nov. 5.

    McMinimee’s awards represent 24 percent of possible bonuses in his contract. The bonuses hinged on his meeting goals set by the district and the school board.