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October 30, 2017

Jeffco Generations: Superintendent Dr. Jason Glass Releases New Vision for Our Schools

Superintendent Dr. Jason GlassKeeping the main thing the main thing: learning.

On October 11, to coincide with my 100th day on the job as Superintendent with Jeffco Public Schools, we released a new vision document for the community. Jeffco Generations: A Learning-Centered Vision for our Community’s Schools lays out a proposed direction.

By intention, Jeffco Generations builds on the work already underway in the district with the Jeffco 2020 Vision. That work focused on changing the student learning experience, specifically on embedding a set of key skills within education including critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and personal responsibility. That vision had an accompanying strategic plan which ran from 2015-17. As we come to the end of that period, it begs us to consider where we go from here.

Focusing on the student learning experience is the right work, and we mean to go deeper into profoundly and positively having an impact on how our kids are learning. Content mastery (facts) still matter. But skills such as analysis, influence, entrepreneurialism, collaboration, and adaptability matter more. Going even beyond these, we must consider what talents, passions, and dreams our students have – and how we can design an educational experience for them which launches them into successful lives and careers.

Jeffco Generations was written after literally hundreds of conversations with the community and an intensive effort to understand the context and current performance of the district. Going forward over the next couple of months, I hope to engage the community in thinking and talking about the ideas in the document – vetting if they are indeed the right fit for Jeffco. I imagine there will be concepts which hit the mark, ones that need more clarification, and still others that need to be added.

Looking further ahead, we will then need to create a comprehensive strategic plan for this work that clearly identifies what we are trying to do, how we are trying to do it, how we will know if we are on track, and what we are going to do if we aren’t. That effort will involve assigning accountable teams for the work, aligning budgets to carry out specific actions, tracking performance metrics over time, and creating a system of internal and external accountability for results.

By design, Jeffco Generations contains no silver-bullet approaches, no quick-fixes, and no politically-loaded education reforms. Instead, it asks us to get the work down to the student level and consider how we can dramatically improve.

Jeffco Generations also asks us to consider adding a new organizational value for Jeffco: An Entrepreneurial Spirit. Our schools and our students operate in a hyper-competitive and lightning-fast world. For our schools to survive and for our students to prosper, we must adapt to this new reality. We will intentionally be encouraging and empowering our schools to take some calculated risks, to innovate, and to consider new ways of better serving our students.

I encourage you to take the time to learn more about this work, and engage in one of the many opportunities to talk about this effort over the next few months. You can add comments or thoughts on my blog at www.advancejeffco.blog and expect a personal response from me.

Also, we are coming up on the scariest time of year. That’s right, folks – I mean election season! As many of you know, three of five seats for the Jeffco Public Schools board of education are up for election this year. In District 1, incumbent Brad Rupert is running for re-election against challenger Matt Van Gieson. In District 2, incumbent Susan Harmon is running for re-election against challenger Erica Shields. Board President Ron Mitchell is running unopposed for District 5.

As a public servant, I’m prohibited from encouraging any vote for or against any issue or person on the ballot. I have had the chance to meet with all the candidates and also to attend events during the campaign to hear their perspectives and ideas. I encourage you to get out and meet the candidates and make an informed choice this November. Ballots are already in the mail so be sure and exercise your right to vote!

On behalf of all of us with Jeffco Public Schools, thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve your family. We have the greatest jobs in the world – working with your kids!

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



2012 Bond Project Wraps Up

Deer Creek MS bleachersIn 2012, voters approved a $99 million bond for school capital projects. You may remember the “warm, safe and dry” campaign! On June 30 of this year, the final 2012 bond projects wrapped up – with a grand total of 369 projects making improvements at 165 district sites completed on time and within budget.

The Capital Assets Advisory Committee (CAAC), consisting of community members, construction industry and business experts, and staff reviewed the final report in October. The committee learned not only that the project was completed on time and on budget, but also that a bond premium of over $17 million allowed Facilities & Construction Management to expand the scope of their work. The good economy and greater demand for the bonds drove up the value, making the total amount over $117 million.

“It’s exciting to see these bond dollars went farther than we anticipated thanks to the strong economy,” said Tim Reed, executive director of facilities & construction management. “We were able to increase the amount of work and make some much needed improvements to our schools.”

The work occurred across the district, as well as at charter schools and at our Outdoor Lab schools. While they may not all be improvements that are easily seen, they certainly improve the conditions for learning of students. All areas of the district benefited from improvements, for example:

  • Drake Middle School: windows, exterior work, and bleachers
  • North Arvada Middle School: bleachers, windows, doors, HVAC and roof replacement
  • West Jefferson Middle School: exterior restoration, HVAC renovations, bleachers, and partial roof replacement
  • Devinny Elementary: roof, door hardware, and HVAC partial renovation
  • Deer Creek Middle School: bleachers, AC, partial roof, and sidewalks

With the average age of Jeffco Public Schools facilities at 45 years, there are $800 million of capital needs in our 157 schools. Making every dollar stretch as far as possible was a priority.


 

Good News in Jeffco

GMHS cross countryThe University of Colorado’s Physician Assistant Program, including Elle Killingsworth (a Green Mountain alum and distinguished GM cross country and track athlete) met with Green Mountain High School's cross country girls squad. The future physician assistants discussed healthy eating, pre-race eating, healthy choices, and body image. The athletes had a great time learning and sharing what they need to know to live healthy and enhance performance.


CHS gymnastics

On Saturday, September 23, Columbine High School gymnasts volunteered their time for a community service project at the West Metro Fire Districts Family Fire Muster. They helped children and families in the community be a "Firefighter for a Day." They helped kids enjoy activities like the junior firefighter challenge, teddy bear clinic, bike rodeo, and inflatable slides. It was a fun day and the gymnasts represented themselves and Columbine High School in the most positive way!


Roar4ReliefAt Lakewood High School, a team of five students initiated a drive to collect items for Hurricane Harvey survivors in Houston, Texas. Over 18,000 items were collected and were shipped to the Interfaith of the Woodlands, which is a non-profit, non-denominational organization distributing flood relief supplies. In addition to collecting items at school, items were collected at Hutchinson Elementary and Fletcher Miller. These Lakewood students met with staff from the Home2Suites by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, the Hyatt Hotel in Belmar, Candlewood Suites Denver West, the Baymont Inn & Suites in Golden, and the Sheraton Denver West Hotel. The Kona Shaved Ice Food truck also donated 20% of their homecoming profits for shipping, and the SES Lighting Company in Golden helped with all packing & shipping of supplies, with assistance from UPS.

Thanks to the efforts of our students, families, and community, here are the quantities that will be shipped include:

  • 60 boxes
  • 1,348 pounds
  • 1,264 kits made

Check out the group's Facebook page for more photos and information. Thank you to everyone who donated and worked to make this happen.


LHS students

Lakewood High School students (and twin sisters), Camilla and Kira Emsbo were featured in an ESPN article that not only highlighted their athletic abilities, but also their academic and volunteering achievements. You can read the full article here.


CHS logoChatfield High School SPED teacher Clark Stukey received the outstanding teacher of the year award from the Council for Learning Disabilities. Stukey will head to Baltimore, MD later this month to receive his award during the organization's annual conference. Congratulations!


Outdoor Lab logo

Both Outdoor Lab campuses - Mt. Evans and Windy Peak - were featured in a Denver Post article about their new greenhouses that will be incorporated into the curriculum. Read the full article here.


DRHS logoDakota Ridge High School's girls and boys basketball teams were featured in an article for the National Federation of High School Associations that highlighted the teams' efforts to promote respect and sportsmanship. You can read the full article here.


Pomona logo

Pomona High School graduate Brandon Micale has has been named a 2017 National Football Foundation (NFF) Chapter Scholar-Athlete. Brandon was selected from more than 1.1 million high school football players across the county. Brandon is currently a freshman at the University of San Diego.

“The NFF Chapter Scholar-Athlete Awards showcase first-class high school football players from across the country,” said NFF President/CEO Steve Hatchell. “This year’s honorees have set the standard for accomplishment on the field, in the classroom, and in the community. We are truly proud to honor their success in December.”


Coronado ESCoronado Elementary celebrated a massive fundraising accomplishment - over $23,000 at this year’s Boosterthon Fun Run! One of the program goals was a “Principal Challenge” of securing pledges from at least 48 states, and they did it, earning themselves an opportunity to dunk Principal Amanda Pierorazio and Assistant Principal Steve Soich in a dunk tank this past Monday. Brr...Despite a chill in the air, students had a blast and administrators endured multiple trips into the tank.


Warder ES

Warder Elementary participated in Warder's annual Walk to School Day. The event was sponsored by the Warder PTA and coordinated by the Warder PTA President Jessica Roeder. The event was supported by the Arvada Police Department who provided a police escort to ensure the safety of the students as they safely traveled from Robby Ferrufino Park in Arvada to Warder Elementary school, nearly a mile away. The Arvada Fire Department also assisted the walk with a fire engine that was a huge hit with the students from Warder.

Warner Hettick, a founding member of the Warder Dads Society and father of two children at Warder said, "It's really great to see so much support from the community. The presence of the Arvada Police and Fire Departments was great to ensure the safe passage of all the students and family members, plus it's a great opportunity for our kids to see our community heros in such a positive environment.”

Principal Matthew Hilbert led the event that ended at Warder Elementary School. Breakfast was provided to all the over 100 participants, with the generous support of local businesses who provided all of the food. The Warder PTA would like to thank the Arvada McDonald's on 80th and Wadsworth, as well as Bread Winner Cafe and Catering in Old Town Arvada for donating breakfast for everyone.


Shelton ESShelton Elementary celebrated National Walk to School Day in style! Over 200 students joined three "walking school buses" at several locations throughout the surrounding neighborhood. One walking group even got an official police escort! When students arrived at school, they were greeted by Golden police officers, Principal Karen Brown, Councilwoman Saoirse Charis-Graves, and Shelton's very own "Health Heroes" (the student-led wellness team). Everyone enjoyed fresh fruit, music, and giveaways courtesy of Safe Routes to Schools. Thanks to everyone for another successful Walk to School Day!


Girl ScoutsGirls Scouts from Campbell Elementary and Peck Elementary held a school supply drive for Texas schools affected by Hurricane Harvey. The girls packed the donated supplies into 20 boxes which filled the entire bed of a pickup truck! The supplies will be delivered later this month to families who lost their homes due to flooding from the hurricane.






Mt. Carbon marquee

Mount Carbon Elementary has a new marquee! The school is thankful to the entire community for supporting their fundraising efforts and making the new marquee possible. The community's fundraising efforts helped pay for the highly anticipated marquee.


Allendale ESAllendale Elementary teachers lead an evening event for families focused on understanding their child's progress in reading. After 30 minutes for dinner in the classroom, the students went to the gym and cafeteria for some enrichment while the families dove into their child's reading data and learned an activity they will use at home to support what their child is learning at school. The RISE model of parent engagement comes from our Title I department and feedback from families was positive.


Mitchell ESMitchell Elementary School celebrated ROCKTOBER October 2 with a Physical Activity Challenge and Bingo! Yoga and dance, a bike rodeo, walk/bike to school day, a conga line, and field day - all in one week! And Mitchell continues to promote physical activity throughout the year with recess coaches, music Mondays, Imagination Playground, and disc golf. Way to keep movin', Mitchell!


Lakewood HSLakewood High School's orchestra performed their fall concert, featuring the concert, symphonic, and chamber orchestras and percussion groups, symphonic band, and the wind ensemble. The school recently received the Think 360 Award for Outstanding Arts School from Think 360 Arts! Congrats, Tigers!


Montessori PeaksOn October 6, Montessori Peaks Academy celebrated 20 years of providing a welcoming and safe educational environment that exemplifies differentiated learning by honoring the whole child. Principal Shannon Aasheim proudly accepted a proclamation from the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners granting August 31, Dr. Maria Montessori's birthday, as Montessori Peaks Academy Day. The proclamation was presented to her by Commissioner Donald Rosier just after the students completed their annual Dewey's Dash Jog-A-Thon fundraiser. Congrats to everyone at Montessori Peaks!


Fairmount studentsFairmount Elementary has a problem! Their neighborhood does not have sidewalks, yet many students would like to walk or bike to school. Together with their PTA, they are applying for an infrastructure grant through the Safe Routes to School Program to fund a sidewalk. This grant opportunity has given fifth-graders an authentic problem-based learning task to create a sidewalk proposal. Students are working with traffic engineers to survey the neighborhood for a viable sidewalk path. The students analyzed existing terrain and imagined possibilities. With this information, the students will design a model of their vision sidewalk and determine what it will cost to fund this project. The students are excited to have their unique perspective represented in the proposal and are looking forward to eventually having a sidewalk!


GMHS studentThere are some students who set the bar. They work harder, show more passion and lead by example in the classroom, on the field, and within the community. Wendy’s High School Heisman has recognized My-Yen Nguyen from Green Mountain High School and her dedication to never cutting corners by naming her a School Winner.

“These students are known by their teachers and friends for their commitment to excellence. We are excited and honored that a program like Wendy’s High School Heisman is also recognizing their hard work,” said GMHS Head Cross Country Coach Clint Boston.


BCHS studentBear Creek High School senior Audrey Moreau met with former Governor Bill Owens to discuss his work on TABOR and Referendum C. Through the National History Day program at Bear Creek, Audrey is composing a paper on acts of political courage by elected officials. This paper will be submitted to the JFK Profile in Courage Essay Contest where she is eligible to win a $10,000 scholarship and trip to the JFK library in Boston. Audrey's argument is based on Owens' amendments to TABOR that set money aside for schools and state infrastructure during the great recession from 2002-08.


Jeffco award winnersBryan Wickoren, Tia Jensen, and Jim Thyfault were recently recognized by SHAPE Colorado for their outstanding contributions to the fields of health, physical education, recreation, dance, and athletics. Bryan is a two-time recipient of the Adapted P.E. Teacher-of-the-Year and serves as the Jeffco Adapted P.E. resource teacher. Tia, who recently retired after more than thirty years of amazing service at Fletcher Miller was honored with the Joy of Effort Award. Jeffco Executive Director of Athletics Jim Thyfault was honored for his contributions to athletics and activities.

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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.


Board of Education Meetings

  • Thursday, November 2, 5:00 p.m., Special Meeting
  • Thursday, November 2, at 6:00 p.m., Regular Meeting
  • Thursday, November 16, at 5:00 p.m., Special 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.


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