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Summit Jeffco

Summit Jeffco Overview

Partnering with families to help our students thrive

Summit Jeffco is a half-day experience that created an opportunity for families and the community to learn from district and school staff and other experts about topics impacting students, including how families can support their student’s educational journey and Jeffco's focus as a district.

The first-ever Summit Jeffco event took place on Saturday, September 23 from 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at Green Mountain High School.

The Summit Jeffco event:

  • Builds a culture of trust and belonging through positive collaboration between families, school leaders, staff and members of the community.
  • Engages community members on the district’s ongoing academic and operational initiatives from our strategic plan and how they impact our school communities.

Summit Jeffco Highlights

Keynote presentation by Jessica Hawks, PhD

About Jessica Hawks, PhD

Jessica Hawks, PhD is a clinical child and adolescent psychologist, an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and the Clinical Director of the Pediatric Mental Health Institute (PMHI) at Children’s Hospital Colorado. In her Clinical Director role, she oversees PMHI clinical programming offered across the continuum of care including the emergency department, outpatient clinics, partial hospitalization programs, and inpatient psychiatric units. 

Dr. Hawks provides mental health services to children and families presenting with a wide spectrum of mental health concerns and regularly provides clinical consultation to professionals across the hospital system. She has particular clinical expertise in working with youth with chronic irritability and their parents.

Dr. Hawks' clinical leadership and research efforts focus on innovative clinical program development and dissemination efforts aimed at bringing a transdiagnostic approach to pediatric mental health treatment services. She provides training and supervision to a variety of mental health trainees and professionals and is routinely invited to interviews for state and national media outlets, as well as provide community lectures, on pediatric mental health. 

Sessions offered during the event focused on three topics

  • How Schools Work: Understand important district operations with an emphasis on food and nutrition services, finance and budgeting, information technology and how this benefits your student and their school.
  • High School Experience: Learn how to set your student up for success today and beyond high school - navigate the high school experience and work toward postsecondary pathways.
  • Student Engagement: Strengthen student engagement - cultivate your student’s love for learning (focus on math and literacy curriculum), health, safety and well-being.

Session Descriptions

Learn more about the individual sessions that were offered at the first Summit Jeffco event.

Session Title




Session Description


High School Reimagined: Portrait of a Jeffco Graduate

Room C111

Wesley Paxton, Community Superintendent and John Thanos, Chatfield High School Principal  

Learn about the latest job trends and skills employers are looking for. We'll also explore the exciting world of work students will step into after graduation.

Discover what Jeffco high school principals have been focusing on as they develop learner goals preparing students with the skills needed to thrive in high school and beyond. Don't miss out!

Suicide Prevention Training for Families 

Room HUB (F132)

Debbie Gopstein, Suicide Prevention Specialist

With education and tools, each of us can make a difference during a mental-health crisis.

During this 90 minute session, you will learn signs, risks and how to ACT to support your Jeffco student or peers in crisis. 

You will receive a certificate for completing this session.

Jeffco K-8 Mathematics: Experiencing a Culture of Instructional Excellence through Problem-Based Learning

Room C112

Beth Grabois, Director of Mathematics and Science
and Alison Tanner, Secondary Mathematics Coordinator 

Calling all math enthusiasts and curious minds! Join us for a deeper look into Jeffco’s mathematics program and experience some of the research-based practices that will guide your student’s math journey each year.

Let's explore the exciting math adventure together so we can better support our students at home! 

Nurturing Student Well-Being: Support for a Healthy School Experience

Room C107

Terry Walderman, Executive Director, Student Services and Dr. Margaret Huffman, Director, Health Services

Jeffco Public Schools prioritizes the well-being of our students. We've joined Hazel Health to offer telehealth services for both physical and mental health needs. With easy access from home and a parent/guardian, students at district-managed schools can connect with healthcare professionals.

In this session, you will discover how this extra support benefits your family during the 2023-24 school year. Together, we will partner with families ensuring a brighter, healthier future for our students! 

Smart Spending for Bright School Futures

Room C108

Brian Sammons, Budget Director

Join us for an educational session all about school budgets. We'll dive into the important choices between wants and needs, and you'll get to know how both the district and our schools make important budget decisions.

Learn how you can work with your principal around planning for your school’s budget.

#BetterTogether: Partnering In Your Student's Education

Room C116

Jim KcKenney, Director of Family and Community Partnerships 

Join us for a fun chat with the Division of Family and Community Partnerships and find out all the amazing ways you can team up with your student's school to support your child’s educational journey.

From exciting activities to helpful tips, we've got the scoop on creating a school experience that's full of smiles and success. Let's team up and make magic happen!

Become More Tech Savvy: Embracing Educational Technology, AI and ChatGPT

Room C123

Becky Shorey, Manager of Educational Technology, Students Technology Services 

Get ready to embark on a fun adventure through the world of Educational Technology (Ed Tech). Join us for an engaging presentation where we'll reveal the secrets behind the tools that teachers use and why they're important.

You'll learn how Ed Tech resources help students prepare for the world beyond school. We'll also dive into how our district is keeping up with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and ChatGPT. 

Guardians of the Digital Galaxy: Safe Navigation Through Social Media and the Internet

Room C129

Hilary Young, Executive Director Infrastructure Services
and Lisa Summitt, Security Analyst

This session is designed to strengthen parenting in the modern digital era, with a special emphasis on empowering parents to guide their student’s online exploration with confidence.

Attendees will learn about the latest online trends, develop open lines of communication with their student, implement strong safety practices and nurture a sense of responsible digital behavior to create a safer and more enjoyable online environment for the whole family. 

A Roadmap to Navigate the High School Years

Room C122

Marna Messer, Director, Choice Programming
and Sonya Sallak, Counselor Coordinator

Discover tips to guide your student through the transition to high school and better understand what the high school experience entails.

This informative session will help you to identify the right people to connect with, uncover the keys to high school success and empower you with the tools needed in supporting your student to thrive. 

Learning Opportunities: Preparing Students for the Next Big Chapter!

Room C121

Marna Messer - Director, Choice Programming and Sonya Sallak - Counselor Coordinator 

In this session, discover how Jeffco’s high schools set the stage for your student’s success. Learn about exciting opportunities that prepare them for college, careers and beyond.

Find out about programs offered from middle to high school and even free college options like ASCENT and TREP.  

Unlocking the Magic of Words: From Reading Rockstars to Learning Legends!

Room C110

Martha Shehan, Director of Elementary Literacy and Robyn Ramsey, Secondary Literacy Coordinator 

Get ready to discover how we help students become lifelong readers in our schools. We'll chat about getting elementary students set for reading adventures, how we teach reading step-by-step in elementary school, and reading skills students learn as they grow.

You’ll learn how we support students at school and provide you several fun ideas for making reading time at home enjoyable. Let's team up to help our young bookworms shine! 

Serving Bright Futures: Delicious Nutrition with Jeffco

Room C117

Erika Edwards, Director of Operations, Food & Nutrition Services

Join us for a session about something yummy – school meals! Our team works hard to ensure meals are healthy, nutritious and delicious for our students.

Get ready to munch on some interesting meal service facts, sample some potential new food items and learn more about the best-in-class Jeffco Food and Nutrition Services program.  

Safety First: Creating Safe School Environments for Our Students

Room C120

Jeffrey Pierson, Executive Director of School Safety

Discover the latest safety measures, important protocols and helpful tips that keep students secure, including school and student safety plans. Hear more about our top-notch district safety training that positively impacts students.

This session will reinforce that it takes all of us to ensure a school culture that prioritizes safety for all students so they can continue to thrive.


Photos from the event

Thank you to our sponsors

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