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September 15, 2017

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In this Issue:

  • Superintendent's Corner
  • A Message from Board of Education President Ron Mitchell
  • Arson CSI at Warren Tech North
  • Good News in Jeffco


Superintendent's Corner

Superintendent Dr. Jason GlassDear Jeffco Families,

The 2017 race is on for Jeffco School Board! Earlier this summer, incumbents Ron Mitchell, Brad Rupert, and Susan Harmon announced their intent to run again for the Jeffco Board of Education. Pending the successful certification of petition signatures, the incumbents will be joined on the ballot by Matt Van Gieson and Erica Shields. Information about this November’s election (including upcoming candidate forums) can be found on the district’s website.

The origins of American school boards run deep in our country’s political beginnings. The founding fathers felt strongly that education was an important element for the survival of our new constitutional republic. In Colorado, school boards have a great deal of authority and power over how their local schools are run. Everything from hiring the superintendent, developing district-wide policies, holding staff accountable for strategic goals, and overseeing the district’s budgets comes under the purview of school boards.

The positions also come with no pay (other than reimbursements for actual expenses), but a lot of late nights and volumes of documents to review. It’s a complex job and the problems which come before our Board of Education never have easy answers and almost always involve tough choices with significant trade-offs.

I’ve mentioned before that, over the past few years, Jeffco has become a hyper-partisan political environment. We now have the opportunity to be the nation’s best example of a community which puts the education of its children above the political fray. That needs to start right here and right now with everybody.

The people serving (or running) for our Board of Education are worthy of our appreciation. Let us commit to treating all of them with respect, allowing them to be heard, and to keeping our own dignity through this election process. Let’s all commit to having a fair, nonpartisan, Jeffco school board race in 2017. Let’s work on putting the drama behind us, and working to understand (and get along with) our neighbors. This will be a critical next step for us in building a genuinely great educational organization.

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



A Message from Board of Education President Ron Mitchell

Board of Education President Ron MitchellDear Jeffco Families,

As I write this letter, we are about a month into another school year in Jeffco. My conversations with people around the district indicate that there is excitement, optimism, and a sense of momentum moving us forward. To each of you who have contributed to this excellent beginning to the 2017-18 school year – thank you!

I would also like to thank our new Superintendent, Dr. Jason Glass, for the leadership he has already provided to our district. Dr. Glass has been tireless in his efforts to meet and communicate with staff and our citizens. His work has contributed to the positive climate that exists in our organization right now. It is exciting that we can face the challenges that lie ahead of us with an optimistic attitude.

During our first regular board meeting, the Board received a presentation on the district CMAS results that sparked a number of questions. Although this state test is only one small component of measuring our success, it was gratifying to see the increases in growth and achievement. It is significant to attain these results in a district our size across all grade levels. Of course, data like this also points to some needed focus areas for the future. Nonetheless, this improvement is appropriately attributed to our teachers and instructional support personnel. To all of you – thank you for your hard work and your commitment to provide a quality education for all students.

Finally, I would like to share a couple of messages about the upcoming Board of Education election. First, and perhaps most important, make sure you are registered to vote and then exercise your democratic right to vote. The outcome of this election certainly has the potential to significantly impact Jeffco’s students for the next four years.

Although the outcome of this election will be significant, I believe the process will be equally as important to the future of Jeffco. In the past, partisan politics have at times overshadowed the real issues that all of us should be considering in a school board election. After a heated partisan election, we are left with a very divided community which makes it difficult for us to move forward collectively. I truly believe that the education of children is not a political issue, but rather it is a responsibility that we all share as members of this community. Our collective responsibility as citizens is to educate all children, prepare tomorrow’s leaders, and provide a well-educated citizenry to perpetuate our great democracy.

I hope that in this election we can elevate our discussions above partisan politics and have conversations about doing the things that help students prepare for a bright future. We should always remember that today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders!

Sincerely,
Ron Mitchell, Board of Education President


 

Arson CSI at Warren Tech North

Warren Tech North forensic science students take notes during a small scale burn demonstration in the parking lot of their school.It usually isn’t a good sign when a fire truck parks outside your high school, but at Warren Tech North, it was part of the planning for an elaborate learning experience. Warren Tech forensics and criminology students were getting some real-world experience in arson crime scene investigation. The centerpiece of this learning was a reduced-scale living room, or cell, that would be set on fire. It was then up to the students to determine the source and cause.

“It simulates a full-scale room, and in this case, a twelve foot by twelve foot room, eight foot tall, with similar type of furnishings. So, when we burn this and we trace the temperatures and the room dynamics of how the fire grew and spread, that’s the same thing we’ll see in a full-scale cell,” explained fire protection engineer Mark Campbell.

As the miniature room began to burn, Warren Tech fire science students were on standby ready to move in and extinguish the flames, while Warren Tech video production students documented the response and investigation.

“Normally, in a traditional high school, you wouldn’t be doing something as hands-on as this because of resources and just availability,” said forensic science teacher Afton Nance. “But here at a technical school, we’re able to have these resources and provide these opportunities so kids can get hands-on experiences.”

“The field of fire investigation actually involves a bunch of different disciplines. So, for example, you need forensic scientist to send somebody over to take a look into the fire behavior and its other principles and law enforcement agencies of course actually collect evidence for us. So the advantage of something like this is that you can kind of bring in the various kinds of disciplines and specialties,” added Cunningham Fire Protection District inspector Rob Sprenkle.

Once the mock crime scene had cooled down, the forensics and criminology students started their examinations, bagging and tagging evidence.

“We’re here to learn specifically about if the man could have been lying about if it was an insurance fire or not. It’s our job to try and figure that out,” explained forensic science student Indigo Earhart. “We’ll be comparing the glass from the picture frame with a microscope, looking at the burn patterns to see where the fire may have started, the different materials that burned, and how that happened.”

“You get to figure out if it was burnt through the fire and if it was broken before the fire, or if it was broken during the fire. And you get to figure out if it comes from a picture frame or the window. So that’s going to be kind of interesting to learn,” added forensic science student Shea Mohnhaupt.

Next, the students headed inside the Warren Tech North classroom building to compare notes about their preliminary findings, but that was only the beginning of a very thorough student investigation layered with questions, including: Was the proper evidence collected? Was it collected incorrectly? Was there contamination of it? Was the chain of custody broken? Was the forensic analysis incorrect?

“We’re teaching them all of the basics now and they’re going to have a really good opportunity in the class to take the things that they physically saw burn, collect it, and evaluate it, and now really paint a big picture of what truly occurred,” said Campbell.

“It’s going to take all year. We’re going to process the glass evidence in a few weeks, and then next semester we’re going to look at the chemical evidence,” added Nance.

Which is also, when a full scale version of their Arson CSI experience will play out. More about that, as this series continues.

See the JPS-TV version of this story here. See the rest of the series here.Jeffco 2020 Content Mastery




 


 

Good News in Jeffco

Lawrence ElementaryThe Lawrence Elementary community has come together over the last two years to work on their dream for a new playground. Lawrence was awarded a Great Outdoors Colorado - GOCO​ grant in the summer of 2016 and has been working with the Jeffco school district, Design Concepts - Landscape Architecture​, Children's Playstructures & Recreation​ (CPRI), and the community over the last year on playground design. The playground was completed on July 30 with a community build through a partnership with CPRI. Our school is super-excited to have a great playground for our students and surrounding community! Thank you to all groups for your support!


Lasley ElementaryOn August 24, at Lasley Elementary, Principal Nolan, “Dora the Explorer,” in collaboration with 6th grade student ambassadors, taught the entire school the importance of respect, responsibility, caring, and safety. They took the entire school on an unforgettable journey featuring choreography, visual presentations, and skits, ending with "Dora the Explorer" and the student ambassadors encountering Lasley Lion! (AP Harry Chiang in full costume!). This event proved to be a uniquely special and interactive opportunity for everyone - students, teachers, staff, and the Lasley community - to understand and take ownership of the Lasley Elementary School’s mission and vision. What a creative start to the year!


ACRES logoWarren Tech ACRES farm instructor Josh Olsen was featured in an article for Westword. Read the full article here.

 


National Merit logoDakota Ridge High School seniors Elaine Orr and James Fan have been named as 2018 National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists. These academically talented students have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $32 million that will be offered next spring.


Wayne Carle logoWayne Carle Middle School completed their preliminary count of contributions to their Gulf Coast Region American Red Cross donation drive on Friday, September 1. Student and staff donations totaled $2,814.15. Combined with principal John White's $1,000 matching donation, the preliminary total as of Friday morning was $3,814.15. Mr. White and his staff would like to offer a huge "Thank You" to the students and families for their generosity.


GMHS studentsGreen Mountain High School Rams cross country athletes, Coach Clint Boston, and NHS officers spent one morning packing up extra shirts from the Ram Run 5K, for the relief efforts in Houston, to be delivered to the Red Cross. Student-athletes were happy to help, and hope this brings some peace to those who are struggling. Way to go RAMS!


Nic KubesChatfield High School junior Nic Kubes will be drumming for the headline band, the Austin Young Band, at the Hurricane Harvey Benefit at The Soiled Dove on Tuesday, September 19, and at another fundraiser on Saturday, September 23. You can learn more about the events and purchase tickets here and here. Nic plays in the Jazz 1 and Wind Ensemble in concert band at Chatfield. Although a junior, Nic has been working hard to take extra classes at Chatfield and Jeffco Virtual Academy, as well as online summer courses from BYU so that he can graduate this spring. He plans to attend the LA College of Music next fall, if he's not on tour with a famous band. Way to go, Nic!

News You Can Use


More Good News on Jeffco CMAS Results

The Board of Education heard two presentations related to Colorado Measures of Academic Success on September 7 (items 2.10 and 8.01). Jeffco students made gains in achievement and set new highs in growth. Learn more about Jeffco CMAS results and read comments from school leaders in these stories:


Many Voices/One Goal: A Conversation with Superintendent Dr. Glass

Jeffco Public Schools new superintendent Dr. Jason Glass wishes to talk with and engage our bilingual and multilingual students and families.
Interpreters will be present.

Dr. Glass would like to hear from you about:
What should we keep doing?
What should we stop doing?
What should we start doing?

Monday, September 18, 8:30 - 10:00 a.m., Arvada K-8, Auditorium 5751 Balsam St., Arvada, 80002

Monday, October 2, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m., Jefferson Jr./Sr. High School Auditorium, 2305 Pierce St., Edgewater, 80214

Tuesday, October 10, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m., Alameda International Jr./Sr. High School Auditorium, 1255 S. Wadsworth Blvd., Lakewood, 80232

Students and Families Welcome!

En Español | Русский язык | Additional Languages

Jeffco University

We want YOU at JeffcoU! Join us for five sessions during the 2017-18 school year to learn about education in Jeffco. Sessions are Wednesdays from 5:30-8:30 p.m., and dinner will be provided. Get more information and apply here by October 16.

 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.

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.

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

Energy Day: Education in the Rockies

For free family fun, attend the Energy Day in the Rockies Event hosted by the Consumer Energy Alliance on Saturday, September 23, 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., East High School, 1600 City Park Esplanade, Denver, 80206

For more information, visit www.energydayfestival.org.

Out of State College Fair in Jeffco

Thursday, September 28, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
College Fairs of Greater Denver will be hosting an Out of State College Fair in Jeffco at Lakewood High School. There will be 230+ colleges attending. Financial Aid Presentation for Student and Parents from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

  • Free event open to the public
  • Additional parking at Jeffco Stadium - free shuttles will be provided
  • Students should register in advance at www.gotocollegefairs.com
  • For more information and a list of colleges attending the fair go to www.collegefairsdenver.org


Outdoor Lab After Dark
Outdoor Lab

Join us Saturday, September 30 at the Studios at Overland Crossing off of Santa Fe and Evans! See the official event flyer for all the event details. Click here to purchase tickets.

After Dark has made Outdoor Lab, a vital program for Jefferson County students, thrive over the past several years. In the past, After Dark has helped support projects like the new greenhouse classrooms that are being unveiled at both sites for use this fall semester.

Scientific Spelling Stomp at Dinosaur Ridge:
An All-Ages Competitive Spelling Bee

Dinosaur Ridge, home to the world’s number one dinosaur track site and keenly focused on scientific education, will hold its inaugural Scientific Spelling Stomp: An All-Ages Competitive Spelling Bee on October 1. A food and drink reception begins at 6:00 p.m. with the spelling bee starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver. Guests for the evening include Steve Spangler from 9News and Sylvie Lamontagne, sophomore at Lakewood High School. Sylvie was the two-time Colorado spelling bee champ and took fourth place at the 2016 Scripps National Spelling Bee. Adults and students are encouraged to participate! Learn more about the Dinosaur Ridge Scientific Spelling Bee, team registration, and costs here, or call Sara Miller at 303-697-3466 x107.

Walk-to-School Day October 4

October is Pedestrian Month in Colorado and marks the 21st Walk-to-School Day celebration! Over the years it continues to be a great opportunity to galvanize visibility for walking and bicycling to school.

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) encourages schools across Colorado to organize Walk to School Day, Week, or Month events to get children, parents, teachers, and community leaders to walk or bike to school together to promote being active and making streets more friendly for walking and bicycling. This is also a great opportunity to provide parents with a chance to experience the excitement and safety of their children walking and biking to school, thus promoting the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) mission. Let’s get going! Click here to register.


Important Dates


  • September 22 - K-8 Early Release, No School for Jefferson Area


Board of Education Meetings


  • ThursdaySeptember 21, 5:00 p.m., Special Meeting
  • Thursday, October 5, 5:00 p.m., Special Meeting
  • Thursday, October 5, 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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