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September 1, 2017

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In this Issue:

  • Superintendent's Corner
  • Looking Deeper at Early Discipline Methods
  • New Wellness Policy
  • Procedures for Meal Charges, Alternative Meals & Delinquent Debt
  • Good News in Jeffco


Superintendent's Corner

Superintendent Dr. Jason GlassDear Jeffco Families,

In May, I shared my Entry Plan for Jeffco, and on July 3 I officially began as Superintendent. I took advantage of the flexible time most people have in the summer to have conversations all over Jeffco about our community’s strengths, aspirations, and points of pride. I also heard about our concerns, fears, and points of pain.

In looking back over my calendar, I easily had over 400 conversations in these past few weeks about Jeffco and our schools. Phase 1 of my entry plan was all about “building relationships,” and I can confidently say “mission accomplished” relating to that goal.

I also made a great deal of progress on Phase 2 of my entry plan, which was around “Seeking to Understand.” I had to get up to speed quickly on a number of key questions and issues we collectively face as we worked to successfully and smoothly get schools open. There are always some bumps to work through at the beginning of a school year, but I’m proud of how our schools welcomed back students and families, and started the year off on a positive note.

I would often describe these first few weeks as a “drinking from the fire hose” experience – but it was also an immersive approach and I learned a great deal in a short time about Jeffco – getting into nitty-gritty issues such as curricular systems, finance, human resources systems, operations, and community partnerships.

Jeffco is a big district, both in terms of population and square miles, so I won’t go as far as to say that my work around relationship building and understanding context is finished – but it is time for me to start working on our strategic direction and making some key decisions for the organization and our community. I have already started communicating some of those decisions, including rethinking school closures and how our district is responding to the events in Charlottesville.

Continuing toward that end, I’m going to start working at a strategic level on where we need to go as an organization. The Jeffco community should not expect a jarring shift from the Jeffco 2020 Vision – the spirit of that effort is around changing the learning experience of our students to incorporate more opportunities to practice important skills such as collaboration, problem solving, and creativity. This is absolutely the right and most important work – and we need to start acting accordingly in terms of where we place our priorities.

Rather than a new list of initiatives or a dizzying shift in direction, Jeffco should expect our schools to start tightening our focus on some foundational elements of great education systems. Building a professional model of teaching, high expectations for students (and intentional curricular systems aligned to them), approaches to customize and tailor the learning experience for students, and community-wide efforts to get kids to school ready to learn.

These components are elemental in nature when it comes to building genuine quality. They are basic and enduring – and they help us clarify the important stuff from the distractions. We’ll move toward simplifying and tightening our focus on things that will really make a difference in profoundly changing the learning experience of our students.

That’s the right stuff – and where we are headed. I’m looking forward to the next 400 conversations – and then the next 4,000.

Kind regards,
Dr. Jason Glass

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



Looking Deeper at Early Discipline Methods

Students with teacherLast spring, the suspension rates of students in kindergarten through third grade (K-3) were a topic at the state legislature. Jeffco Public Schools decided to take an in-depth look at the issue when a state-level report showed that the schools with both the highest and lowest rates were within our district. Our schools had already been instituting methods such as restorative practices and playground restructure to address discipline issues, but this was the first time staff had analyzed data specifically about district-wide K-3 suspensions. The report was completed over the summer; you can review the entire report here.

The results have prompted three immediate changes:

  • First, a step was added to the standardized checklist for suspensions for grades K-3. Before suspending a K-3 student, school leaders are asked to pause and think through alternatives to suspension, taking into consideration what type of discipline might help address the root cause of the behavior, not simply keep the student out of school.
  • Second, school leaders will receive increased training on discipline practices, including consistent communication with families when disciplinary issues arise, improved record-keeping, engaging students in critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and learning about alternative discipline practices.
  • Lastly, a task force of school-level leaders, district staff, and other invested partners will explore best practices for early discipline and develop recommendations for implementation in our elementary schools.

The deeper dive into K-3 suspension rates is just one example of how Jeffco Public Schools applies data and research to aid in continuously improving services to students.

Jeffco 2020 Vision - Communication

 

 


 

New Wellness Policy

Wellness imageIn June 2017, the Jeffco Board of Education adopted a new federally-required Local Wellness Policy. This policy impacts health and wellness for over 86,000 students in Jeffco Public Schools, with specific improvements to nutrition standards related to marketing, and foods offered (not sold) to students. The standards were developed after robust community input from staff, parents, and students. In summary, the new standards include:

  • Holiday Celebrations: Offer at least half "healthier" food options (using the district definition of healthier or your own customized by your school).
  • Rewards: Do not offer food as a reward for behavior or academic performance, unless approved as a need by school leadership.
  • Birthdays: Starting the 2018-19 school year, birthday recognition/celebrations should not include shared food (e.g. food brought in by families for students to share).

Click here to learn more about the Wellness Policy Guidelines.
Jeffco 2020 Vision - Self Direction & Personal Responsibility

 

 

 



Procedures for Meal Charges, Alternative Meals & Delinquent Debt

Food Service iconUnited States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) has determined children and their families must be informed about how children who pay full-price (paid rate) or reduced-price for a reimbursable meal are impacted by having insufficient funds on hand or in their account to purchase a meal. There is no Federal regulation that requires school districts to serve a meal to a child who does not have sufficient funds to purchase one; however, Jeffco has developed a practice to address this issue, as we feel it is important to ensure we feed all kids, every day, in an equitable manner. Meal charge privileges are at the discretion of the district and evaluated on an annual basis.

The attached policies are to be utilized when handling unpaid meal account balances, the collections of delinquent meal payments, and uncollectable delinquent debt or bad debt.


 

Good News in Jeffco

Everitt Middle School was awarded a $100,000 grant from the National Foundation for Governor's Fitness Council. P.E. teacher Brad Hull took the lead in pursuing this grant. Jack Maher was also instrumental in helping put together the grant proposal video (below). Everitt serves a student population that consists of approximately 70% free/reduced lunch-qualified students and has a 50% minority population. Many of their students do not have regular access to the recreation center across the street from the school. This grant and fitness center will provide another opportunity for students to be at Everitt after school, staying fit. Everitt will be putting together a state-of-the-art fitness center in their small gym that will give students access to weight machines, free weights, and cardio equipment. Everitt is one of only three schools in Colorado that will receive this national grant. Each year, the National Foundation awards 12 grants to schools in four states. This year was Colorado’s turn for schools to apply. Additionally, Everitt received a $30,000 national grant they will use to purchase 30 mountain bikes for students to access to ride at school. See the video here.


LawrenceLawrence Elementary has partnered with GOCO, the City of Arvada, and the Lawrence community, and has raised enough money to build a new playground. They hosted a community build in July and held the grand opening on August 15.


Warren Tech studentsWarren Tech's student film production, "Reading! and Other Super Powers" aired on Rocky Mountain PBS in July. The production is the result of a partnership between the Film Office, the "Creede Repertory Theatre," and Warren Tech, that provided students opportunity to get hands-on experience and earn their first television credit.

The student team consisting of JT Salazar, Angelica Hayes, Patrice Williams, and Michael Wilson worked with the Creede Repertory staff to film the original commissioned musical, "Reading! and Other Superpowers." The musical was commissioned as part of the Creede Repertory Young Audience Outreach Tour (YAOT).

"Filming the show was a blast," said Jon White, director of the Warren Tech video production program. "The students have never had the opportunity to do something so practical, engaging, and meaningful than what they did in Creede."

"I am so proud of the work CRT does to bring these experiences to children throughout the Southwest and I am delighted that we were able to work with the professional and courteous students from Warren Tech. "Reading! and Other Superpowers" will now be able to reach so many more young people," said John DiAntonio, interim executive director of the Creede Repertory Theatre.

Film commissioner Donald Zuckerman and deputy commissioner Marirel Rodriquez-McGill worked with Wilson on the editing process and provided critiques on the final edits in February.

"This unique collaboration is not only an investment in Colorado's young filmmakers, but in the future of our state's film industry too," said Donald Zuckerman, Colorado's film commissioner. "By providing access to industry professionals and opportunities for hands on experience, students can grow their skills at an early age and discover first-hand how they can translate their passion for film into a meaningful career in Colorado's booming film industry."

The partnership is an extension of the Film Office's focus on education programs, and is one of the first designed specifically for the high school student level. Warren Tech was chosen for the opportunity given its mission on career-focused learning and its strong film training program. "Reading! and Other Superpowers" is the first student filmed and edited show to air on Rocky Mountain PBS during PBS Kids programming.

"Rocky Mountain PBS is proud to share the outstanding work of Colorado's independent producers. This program was not only produced by young people, but also serves to enhance the lives of other Colorado youth through its message," said Mark Montour-Larson, E.P. Multimedia Marketing for Rocky Mountain PBS.


National MeritLakewood High School's Anna Granquist​ received a National Merit University of New Mexico Scholarship, and plans on a future career in physics.

 


District RNsDistrict registered nurses engaged in deep learning around best practices in student care at Green Mountain High School on August 11. We are proud of how these professionals thoughtfully care for our students so they can fully access the great learning opportunities created by our teachers!


Governor John Hickenlooper will visit Everitt Middle School on October 5 for the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for their $100,000 Don't Quit Fitness Center.


Images from the first day of school around the district.
Arvada HSBear Creek HSDrake MSDutch Creek ESKendrick Lakes ESLukas ESMandalay MSMitchell ESMt. Carbon ESSemper ESShaffer ESStevens

News You Can Use


 Sixth Grade Transition Info

Click here to visit our Sixth Grade Transition webpage, where families and the community can learn more about Jeffco's upcoming transition of sixth grade to middle school. 

 Jeffco Gifted Centers Offer Challenge and Support Your Advanced Learner
GT Logo

With an emphasis on meeting the individual needs of gifted and talented students, Jeffco Public Schools’ GT Centers offer experiences that foster meaningful growth for gifted learners. Sixteen neighborhood schools house GT Centers throughout the district at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. Teachers certified in gifted and talented education offer differentiated instruction to students with a variety of programming options including acceleration, enrichment, and social-emotional support. Families can learn more by attending our GT Center Information Nights at four Jeffco locations on Wednesday, September 13. To be considered in our first wave for GT Center placement for the 2018-19 school year, apply online by Friday, October 13 for a testing appointment on Saturday, November 4. Find more information and the application here.


Check Out the Latest from JPS-TV

JPS-TV Logo

Emmy®-nominated JPS-TV is the official YouTube channel for Jeffco Public Schools. It features stories about great Jeffco kids, teachers, and staff who are building bright futures! Be sure to check out the latest from JPS-TV here. 

Keep Up with Jeffco Athletics

JPS-TV Sports Logo

To get the latest on Jeffco’s high school athletics, be sure to check out the CHSAANow.com/jeffco website, JPS-TV Sports, the Jeffco Athletics Facebook page, and scores and photos via @JeffcoAthletics on Twitter.


Happening in Jeffco


Outdoor Lab Foundation Mount Evans Greenhouse Classroom Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Outdoor Lab Logo

The Outdoor Lab Foundation is on the cusp of completing a two-year long construction project of greenhouse classrooms at the Mount Evans and Windy Peak Outdoor Lab campuses, which will provide a ‘Seed-to-Table’ program that will be touching more than 6,800 Jeffco students each year. The Hard Hat Ribbon Cutting ceremony for the Mount Evans greenhouse will be held Saturday, September 16 at 12:30 p.m. This event will coincide with the Annual Outdoor Lab Open House where all members of the community are welcome to attend.

Click here to learn more about Outdoor Lab, the greenhouses project, and the upcoming Outdoor Lab After Dark Fundraising event.

Jeffco Marching Band Festival

When:  Tuesday, September 19, 5:00-9:00 p.m.

Where: Jeffco Stadium, 6th & Kipling

Jeffco High School Men's Choir Festival

​When: ​Thursday, September 21, 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

​Where:​ Ralston Valley High School


Important Dates


  • September 4 - Labor Day, District Closed
  • September 22 - K-8 Early Release, No School for Jefferson Area


Board of Education Meetings


  • Thursday, September 7, 5:00 p.m., Special Meeting
  • Thursday, September 7, at 6:00 p.m., Regular Meeting

Meetings are held at the Jeffco Ed Center Board Room, 1829 Denver West Drive #27, Golden.
Meeting schedules and agendas are posted on BoardDocs.


Learn more about what is happening in Jeffco Public Schools through our social media networks:

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Our Mission:

To provide a quality education that prepares all children for a successful future.

Our Values:

Integrity, Valuing People, Team Work, Exemplary Performance

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