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An Entrepreneurial Spirit: A Message from Superintendent Dr. Glass

An Entrepreneurial Spirit: A Message from Superintendent Dr. Glass
Posted on 02/02/2018

Superintendent Dr. Jason GlassJeffco Public Schools’ vision document, Jeffco Generations, was released in October and contained a new suggested organizational value for our school system: an entrepreneurial spirit. Simply put, like our kids and the rest of the world, Jeffco Public Schools must have the courage to adapt, innovate, take calculated risks, and evolve.

Commerce, communication, and competition are pervasive, instantaneous, and relentless in their pace and demands and it is into this lightning-fast global economy our students will find themselves sooner than later. The future of our students, and the very existence of school organizations such as Jeffco Public Schools, is going to depend on our ability to adapt and meet the challenges of our ever-changing world. But what would an “entrepreneurial spirit” look like in Jeffco Public Schools? Well, I’m pleased to report that Jeffco has embraced this idea and we have some exciting and important changes underway.

One idea was a proposed school of art and design. While the initial proposal was met with some resistance, and no small amount of fear, I am pleased to report that we worked with our art, music, and theater teachers to both explore how we might better support our existing programs and create a school of art and design that would add value to our system of schools in Jeffco. Much work remains to be done regarding fully exploring this idea and bringing it into reality, but I’m excited about what the future holds for this concept and how we can build something that adds to our current excellent music, art, and theater options in Jeffco.

Another example of this entrepreneurial spirit is the exploration of several new school concepts across Jeffco. Our schools already offer an impressive array of choices for students in our neighborhood, option, and charter schools. But, going forward, I expect the growth of specialized and customized school options to only continue to expand.

For example, we’re looking at expanding Expeditionary Learning options, STEM schools, arts integration schools, and career academies in more locations across Jeffco. Also, we are considering a Jeffco School of Business, a homeschool support center, and expanded early childhood education options in the district. The list of concepts and ideas is truly inspiring.

In addition to the excitement of what may be on the horizon, we’re also working to lift up and highlight the incredible and innovative choice options which already exist. For example, Wheat Ridge High School has very impressive apprenticeship and Gifted & Talented programs. And, last week at the Board meeting, we heard about the fantastic variety of career programs that are up and running at Green Mountain High School. These examples, along with the district’s robust Montessori charter options and quality core knowledge options, form an incredible and exciting landscape of choices for families.

We’ve also started something we call the Innovation Acceleration Fund as a way to provide micro-grants to our employees, where they can get start-up funds for ideas and innovations in their work. The big idea is to supercharge the entrepreneurial spirit in Jeffco. Part of the fun in doing innovative work is that we aren’t always sure where these efforts will take us. But when we put them on top of a solid foundation of quality offerings and the tradition of excellence for which Jeffco is known, it creates a catalyst for future possibilities and growth.

Hang on, Jeffco – this is going to be fun!

Jeffco students, parents, families, staff, and community members may engage with Dr. Glass via Facebook, Twitter @COJasonGlass, and through his blog, advancejeffco.blog.

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