Jeffco Public Schools, Colorado
|Jeffco Public Schools|
|Number of schools:||140|
|Website:||School Home Page|
|Board of Education|
|Board president:||Ken Witt|
- 1 About the district
- 2 Superintendent
- 3 School board
- 4 Budget
- 5 Teacher salaries
- 6 Schools in Jeffco Public Schools
- 7 Academic performance
- 8 Issues
- 9 Contact information
- 10 See also
- 11 External links
- 12 References
The school district is undergoing controversy due to reforms implemented and proposed by the Jeffco Board of Education. John Newkirk, Julie Williams and Ken Witt, who were elected together in 2013 as a conservative slate of reformers, are the governing majority on the board. Following the implementation of a merit pay plan and a board proposal for a committee to review the content of the AP U.S. History curriculum, both students and teachers have begun public protests against the board.
- See also: History censorship claims
About the districtJefferson County. Jefferson County is home to 534,543 residents, according to the United States Census Bureau.
Jefferson County outperformed the rest of Colorado in terms of graduation rate, median household income and poverty rate in 2010. The average household income in Jefferson County was $67,827 compared to $57,685 for the state of Colorado. The poverty rate in Jefferson County was 8.5 percent compared to 12.5 percent for the entire state. The high school graduation rate in Jefferson County was 93.2 percent compared to 89.7 percent statewide.
Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.
The superintendent of Jeffco Public Schools is Dan McMinimee. McMinimee earned his B.A. from Adams State College and his Ed.M. degree from Oregon State University. In his career, he has worked as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, district administrator, athletics director and coach. Prior to joining Jeffco Public Schools, he served as an assistant superintendent with the Douglas County School District. His predecessor was Cindy Stevenson, who served as district superintendent from 2002 to her resignation in 2014.
The Jeffco Public Schools Board of Education consists of five members elected by district to four-year terms. Members do not receive any compensation for their service on the board.
|Jeffco Public Schools Board of Education|
The governing majority of the Jeffco Board of Education is John Newkirk, Julie Williams and Ken Witt, who ran together and won as a conservative slate in the 2013 school board election. Lesley Dahlkemper and Jill Fellman are the minority on the board.
School board elections
- See also: Jeffco Public Schools elections (2013)
Members of the Board of Education are elected on a staggered basis to four-year terms. Three seats on the board were up for election on November 5, 2013 and two seats will be on the ballot on November 3, 2015.
Public participation in board meetings
The Board of Education maintains the following policy regarding public participation in board meetings:
|“|| All regular and special meetings of the Board of Education shall be open to the public, but any person who disturbs good order may be required to leave. Because the Board desires to hear the viewpoints of citizens throughout the district, and also needs to conduct its business in an orderly and efficient manner, it shall schedule one or more periods during regular meetings for brief comments from the public.
The Board president will request that a large number of citizens who sign up to speak on a single topic select speakers and comment for no more than ten (10) minutes. An individual speaker on a single topic will be given three minutes to speak.
Citizens wishing to make formal presentation before the Board must make arrangements in advance with the superintendent to schedule such presentation on the agenda.
At regular meetings, citizens can address the Board on any topic related to the operation of the schools. Only those topics which are on that particular agenda may be addressed at special meetings. Complaints involving the reputation of any person connected with the district will not be heard by the Board while sitting in public session.
The president of the Board is responsible for recognizing all speakers, who shall properly identify themselves with name, address, city or as an employee, for maintaining proper order, and for adherence to time limits.
Members of the public will not be recognized by the president as the Board conducts its official business except when the Board schedules an interim public discussion period on a particular item. The Board shall listen to the public but, at the same time, expects the public to listen and speak only when properly recognized.
Eligibility to Address the Board
The following persons are eligible to address the Board:
Anyone who would like to address the Board must sign the public comment roster (name, address, and topic).
Person(s) addressing the Board on an item on the agenda will be called on during the public comment part one portion of the agenda or when that particular item is discussed. Persons addressing the Board on an item(s) not on the agenda will be given the opportunity to do so under part two of the public comment portion of the agenda.
Undue interruption or other interference with the orderly conduct of the Board business cannot be allowed. Any person who disturbs good order may be required to leave.
Defamatory or abusive remarks are always out of order. The presiding officer may terminate the speaker's privilege of address if, after being called to order, the speaker persists in improper conduct or remarks.
Any personal approval or disapproval of action taken by the Board during the meeting may be indicated during the public comment period of a regular Board meeting, but it is requested that there be no applause or dissent during the meeting.
All charges, complaints, or challenges are to be presented to the superintendent or Board in writing, signed by the complainant. All charges, if presented to the Board directly, are to be referred to the superintendent for investigation and report.
Challenges of instructional materials used in the district will be handled in accordance with district policy KEC, Public Concerns/Complaints About Instructional Materials.
To place an item on the agenda, written material must be filed with the superintendent. The written material should include the name of the person or persons making the request and the name of the organization or group represented, if any. Also contained in the request will be a statement of action requested by the Board and pertinent background information leading to the request.
The superintendent, upon receipt of a properly executed request, may set a date for inclusion of the requested item on the Board agenda or may respond to the issue in another manner.
If the item is considered, the superintendent will notify the individual or group of the time and place of the meeting at which the item will be considered.
Jeffco Public Schools publishes its annual budget on its website.
|Expenditures by Category|
|School Year||Staff Expenses||Student Services||Operational Expenses||Debt Service||Other||Budget Total|
|Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget||Total||% of Budget|
Teacher salaries at Jeffco Public Schools are categorized based on higher education achievement, professional development and years of service. A teacher with a bachelor's degree can earn higher salaries by pursuing graduate degrees. The salary schedule also accounts for graduate degrees by providing higher starting salaries and greater potential salaries. The following table details the salary schedule negotiated between the district and teachers for 2013-2014:
|Degree level||Minimum salary ($)||Maximum salary ($)|
Teachers in Jeffco Public Schools are represented during contract negotiations by the Jefferson County Education Association (JCEA). The current President of JCEA is John Ford.
Schools in Jeffco Public Schools
The district served 85,508 K-12 students during the 2012-2013 school year. The district experienced a 0.4 percent decrease in enrollment between 2008 and 2012. The following chart details enrollment in the district between 2008 and 2012:
|Year||Enrollment||Year-to-year change (%)|
Jeffco Public Schools operates 140 K-12 schools listed below in alphabetical order:
|Jeffco Public Schools|
|Adams Elementary School|
|Addenbrooke Classical Academy|
|Alameda International High School|
|Allendale Elementary School|
|Arvada High School|
|Arvada K-8 School|
|Arvada West High School|
|Bear Creek High School|
|Beer Creek K-8 School|
|Bell Middle School|
|Belmar Elementary School|
|Bergen Meadow Elementary School|
|Bergen Valley Elementary School|
|Blue Heron Elementary School|
|Bradford Intermediate School|
|Bradford Primary School|
|Campbell Elementary School|
|Carmody Middle School|
|Chatfield High School|
|Coal Creek Canyon K-8 School|
|Colorow Elementary School|
|Columbine High School|
|Columbine Hills Elementary School|
|Compass Montessori Golden|
|Compass Montessori Wheat Ridge|
|Conifer High School|
|Coronado Elementary School|
|Creighton Middle School|
|Dakota Ridge High School|
|Deane Elementary School|
|Deer Creek Middle School|
|Devinny Elementary School|
|Drake Middle School|
|Dunstan Middle School|
|Dutch Creek Elementary School|
|Edgewater Elementary School|
|Eiber Elementary School|
|Elk Creek Elementary School|
|Evergreen High School|
|Evergreen Middle School|
|Everitt Middle School|
|Fairmount Elementary School|
|Falcon Bluffs Middle|
|Fitzmorris Elementary School|
|Foothills Elementary School|
|Foster Elementary School|
|Free Horizon Montessori|
|Glennon Heights Elementary School|
|Golden High School|
|Governor's Ranch Elementary School|
|Green Gables Elementary School|
|Green Mountain Elementary School|
|Green Mountain High School|
|Hackberry Hill Elementary School|
|Hutchinson Elementary School|
|Jefferson Academy Elementary School|
|Jefferson Academy Secondary School|
|Jefferson High School|
|Ken Caryl Middle School|
|Kendallvue Elementary School|
|Kendrick Lakes Elementary School|
|Kullerstrand Elementary School|
|Kyffin Elementary School|
|Lakewood High School|
|Lasley Elementary School|
|Lawrence Elementary School|
|Leawood Elementary School|
|Little Elementary School|
|Lukas Elementary School|
|Lumberg Elementary School|
|Mandalay Middle School|
|Maple Grove Elementary School|
|Marshdale Elementary School|
|Meiklejohn Elementary School|
|Mitchell Elementary School|
|Molholm Elementary School|
|Montessori Peaks Academy|
|Moore Middle School|
|Mortenson Elementary School|
|Mountain Phoenix Community School|
|Mt. Carbon Elementary School|
|New America School|
|Normandy Elementary School|
|North Arvada Middle School|
|O'Connell Middle School|
|Oberon Middle School|
|Parmalee Elementary School|
|Parr Elementary School|
|Patterson Elementary School|
|Peck Elementary School|
|Peiffer Elementary School|
|Pennington Elementary School|
|Pleasant View Elementary School|
|Pomona High School|
|Powderhorn Elementary School|
|Prospect Valley Elementary School|
|Ralston Elementary School|
|Ralston Valley High School|
|Red Rocks Elementary School|
|Rocky Mountain Academy|
|Rocky Mountain Deaf School|
|Rooney Ranch Elementary School|
|Ryan Elementary School|
|Secrest Elementary School|
|Semper Elementary School|
|Shaffer Elementary School|
|Shelton Elementary School|
|Sheridan Green Elementary School|
|Sierra Elementary School|
|Slater Elementary School|
|South Lakewood Elementary School|
|Standley Lake High School|
|Stein Elementary School|
|Stevens Elementary School|
|Stober Elementary School|
|Stony Creek Elementary School|
|Stott Elementary School|
|Summit Ridge Middle School|
|Swanson Elementary School|
|Thomson Elementary School|
|Two Roads Charter School|
|Ute Meadows Elementary School|
|Van Arsdale Elementary School|
|Vanderhoof Elementary School|
|Vivian Elementary School|
|Warder Elementary School|
|Wayne Carle Middle School|
|Weber Elementary School|
|Welchester Elementary School|
|West Jefferson Elementary School|
|West Jefferson Middle School|
|West Woods Elementary School|
|Westgate Elementary School|
|Westridge Elementary School|
|Wheat Ridge High School|
|Wheat Ridge K-8 School|
|Wilmore-Davis Elementary School|
|Wilmot Elementary School|
|Witt Elementary School|
|Woodrow Wilson Academy|
Colorado Student Assessment Program
The Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) is Colorado’s standards-based assessment designed to provide a picture of student performance to schools, districts, educators, parents and the community. The primary purpose of the assessment program is to determine the level at which Colorado students meet the Colorado Model Content Standards in the content areas assessed. The CSAP is collaboratively developed by the Colorado Department of Education, the Colorado teaching community and CTB/McGraw-Hill. The data is used to keep abreast of individual student, school and district progress toward attaining higher student achievement levels. The fact that CSAP is based on the Colorado Model Content Standards ensures that all districts are held to the same standards expected for students regardless of whether they live in urban, suburban or rural areas.
Three-year performance trends
The following table details the performance of Jeffco Public Schools students for years 2012-2013, 2011-2012 and 2010-2011:
|District CSAP scores|
|Performance Indicators||Rating||% Earned|
|Academic Growth Gaps||Approaching||58.3|
|Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness||Meets||67.2|
What do the performance indicators measure?
- Academic Achievement: The Achievement Indicator reflects how a district's students are doing at meeting the state's proficiency goal: the percentage of students proficient or advanced on Colorado's standardized assessments. This indicator includes results from CSAP, CSAPA (Reading, Writing, Math and Science), Lectura and Escritura.
- Academic Growth: The Growth Indicator measures academic progress using the Colorado Growth Model. This indicator reflects:
- Normative growth: How the academic progress of the students in this district compared to that of other students statewide with a similar CSAP score.
- Adequate growth: Whether this level of growth was sufficient for the typical (median) student in this district to reach an achievement level of proficient or advanced on the CSAP within three years or by 10th grade, whichever comes first.
- Academic Growth Gaps: The Gaps Indicator measures the academic progress of historically disadvantaged student subgroups. It disaggregates the Growth Indicator into student subgroups, and reflects their normative and adequate growth. The subgroups include students eligible for free or reduced lunch, minority students, students with disabilities (IEP status), English Language Learners and students needing to catch up.
- Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness: The Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Indicator measures the preparedness of students for college or jobs upon completing high school. This indicator reflects student graduation rates, dropout rates and average Colorado ACT composite scores.
History censorship claims
Proposed curriculum review
Julie Williams, a member of the Jeffco Board of Education's curriculum committee, proposed the creation of a nine-member "Board Committee for Curriculum Review" in a special meeting of the board on September 18, 2014. Her proposal describes the purpose of the committee as the following:
|“||The charge to the committee is to review curricular choices for conformity to JeffCo academic standards, accuracy and omissions, and to inform the board of any objectionable materials. The committee shall regularly review texts and curriculum according to priorities that it establishes, however, at any time, the Board may add items to the list for review. The committee shall report all comments (majority and minority) to the board in writing on a weekly basis as items are reviewed. Board members may move for discussion or action on items reported when matters warrant public discussion or action. The committee’s initial projects will be a review of the AP US History curriculum and elementary health curriculum.
Review criteria shall include the following: instructional materials should present the most current factual information accurately and objectively. Theories should be distinguished from fact. Materials should promote citizenship, patriotism, essentials and benefits of the free enterprise system, respect for authority and respect for individual rights. Materials should not encourage or condone civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law. Instructional materials should present positive aspects of the United States and its heritage. Content pertaining to political and social movements in history should present balanced and factual treatment of the positions.
Williams also suggested that each board member be allowed to nominate three candidates for the committee, and that the board as a whole then vote on which nine people to appoint. In that same meeting, board member John Newkirk submitted a revised draft of the proposal reducing the number of nominees to two candidates per member, removing the elementary health curriculum as an initial project and eliminating the second paragraph of the original proposal. This limited the committee's initial projects to only a review of the Advanced Placement U.S. History curriculum.
The board tabled the initial proposals, which were later criticized as a plan to censor the history education received by students. In response to protests by students and teachers in the district, Board President Ken Witt criticized what he considers an effort "to use kids as pawns" and added that, "I'm disappointed in the actors in this — the union message coming down through the teachers to get kids to deliberately get out and protest something they don't have any facts about whatsoever." Jefferson County Education Association President John Ford insisted that it was "insulting" for Witt to claim that students were being misled by their teachers on this debate. Ford also added that the board committee would be redundant due to the existence of the resource review committee, which includes both residents and educators who are appointed by the district's chief academic officer.
Williams, Newkirk and Witt ran together as a slate in the 2013 school board election. Together, they form the governing majority of the five-member Jeffco Board of Education. In an interview with The Denver Post, fellow board member Lesley Dahlkemper labeled Williams' proposal "deeply troubling" and suggested that, "It's unclear to me what problem this resolution is attempting to solve — other than pushing through a political agenda."
The AP U.S. History curriculum was revised for the 2014-2015 school year by the College Board, which develops and administers the exam. The College Board issued a statement criticizing the Jeffco Board of Education for its "blatant disregard for the facts" and insisted that, "the most vocal critics have prioritized their own agenda above the best interests of teachers, students and their families." In a separate statement following the outbreak of student and teacher protests against the proposed curriculum review committee, the College Board said in support, "These students recognize that the social order can — and sometimes must — be disrupted in the pursuit of liberty and justice." Stanley Kurtz, a writer with the National Review Online, published an opinion piece denouncing the new AP U.S. History curriculum as "a radically revisionist approach to American history" and claiming that the curriculum makes American history about "our capacity for self-delusion, our endless attempts to justify raw power grabs with pretty fairy-tales about democracy."
In a meeting on October 2, 2014, the board voted 3-2 to revise the district's procedures for handling curriculum reviews using a compromise proposal developed by Superintendent Dan McMinimee. Williams, Newkirk and Witt voted in favor of the proposal and both Dahlkemper and Fellman voted against it. The approved proposal did not specifically refer to the AP U.S. History course or order a review of its curriculum. According to The Denver Post, the plan "would reorganize existing curriculum review groups in the district to involve more student, teacher and community voices." Reporter John Aguilar noted that Dahlkemper and Fellman did not seem opposed to McMinimee's compromise itself, but that they still voted against it on the basis that they did not have sufficient time to review the proposal.
Superintendent Dan McMinimee
Superintendent Dan McMinimee, who was appointed by the board in 2014, has argued that the board would be best served by using existing mechanisms to review the curriculum instead of creating the proposed committee. Prior to his appointment, McMinimee served as an assistant superintendent with the Douglas County School District (DCSD) in Colorado. The board voted 3-2 in favor of his appointment, with Williams, Newkirk and Witt in favor and Dahlkemper and Fellman opposed.
McMinimee's background with the DCSD, whose conservative school board implemented school choice and eliminated collective bargaining, proved controversial when he was hired. Jeffco StudentsFirst President Sheila Atwell, who supports the conservative governing majority on the Jeffco Board of Education, acknowledged that McMinimee's affiliation with DCSD would make it more difficult to get support for his appointment from the entirety of the board.
At the time of his appointment, some community members voiced concerns that the new superintendent would bring reforms in the vein of DCSD to Jeffco Public Schools. John Newkirk defended McMinimee from these claims and insisted that, "The fact he was at Douglas County for years and then for years after this new board (was elected in Douglas County) demonstrates he can work with a wide variety of constituents."
Student and teacher protests, merit pay implementation
Prior to Julie Williams' curriculum committee review proposal, district teachers were considering staging a "sickout" in protest of the district's teacher evaluation and merit pay systems. Negotiations between the school board and the Jefferson County Education Association over teacher salaries grew contentious earlier in 2014 after the board disregarded a review of the plan by a third party. The review criticized the teacher evaluation system and recommended that the district still give raises to teachers who are rated "partially effective," which the board did not do. The implemented plan grants a 4.2 percent raise to teachers who are rated "most effective" and a 2.4 percent raise to teachers who are rated "effective." Only two percent of district teachers did not receive a raise under this system.
On September 19, 2014, district teachers held a sickout that forced the closure of two high schools. A "sickout" is a form of protest that involves teachers calling in sick the night before a school day in order to make it more difficult for administrators to find substitute instructors. On September 22, 2014, Evergreen High School students protested Williams' proposal by staging a walkout from their classes. The next day, hundreds of district students from at least five different high schools staged similar walkouts. Jack Shefrin, one of the students involved in organizing the protest, insisted that the protests were entirely the work of students. An article by The Denver Post noted that several students attending the protests had been told by their teachers that they would not be punished for leaving their classes.
A second teacher sickout that occurred on September 29, 2014, also resulted in the closure of two schools, Golden High School and Jefferson High School. In response, Superintendent Dan McMinimee announced that he was considering disciplinary action for the teachers involved. McMinimee indicated that teachers were violating district policy and their collective bargaining agreement by not giving sufficient notice for their personal days. Although the exact form the discipline would take was not certain, he suggested that the teachers involved may lose a day's worth of pay.
Michelle Malkin, a conservative columnist with the National Review Online, published an article on September 26, 2014, claiming that union officials angry about the implementation of pay-for-performance were using the censorship controversy as a way to raise a student and community backlash against the school board. Malkin labeled the censorship issue a "red herring" that union officials have grasped for the purpose of "misleading kids, spreading falsehoods in the classroom, and instigating walkouts."
Resignation of Superintendent Cindy Stevenson
Superintendent Cindy Stevenson announced plans to resign from the district shortly after the 2013 school board election. Stevenson left the district to work with the Colorado Association of School Executives after spending 12 years as superintendent. During a board meeting on February 8, 2013, the outgoing superintendent noted that the current board wanted changes in district leadership and she felt a lack of respect from the new board members, who were John Newkirk, Julie Williams and Ken Witt.
Stevenson's speech drew cheers from supporters in the audience and boos for board members. Williams countered that Stevenson had not attempted to work with the board, citing her intention to leave the district shortly after the election. The board worked with district officials to handle day-to-day affairs through the remainder of the school year rather than appointing an interim superintendent. They later appointed Dan McMinimee as the new superintendent.
- Jeffco Public Schools
- Jefferson County, Colorado
- Colorado Department of Education
- Colorado Association of School Boards
- Jefferson County Education Association
- Colorado Department of Education, "Pupil Membership for 2012-2013," accessed January 16, 2014
- The Denver Post, "Jeffco school board curriculum committee idea latest divisive issue," September 25, 2014
- United States Census Bureau, "Quick Facts: Jefferson County," accessed October 28, 2013
- Colorado Secretary of State, "Voter Registration Numbers," accessed October 28, 2013
- United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
- Jeffco Public Schools, "Superintendent," accessed September 19, 2014
- Jeffco Public Schools, "Board of Education Members," accessed January 17, 2014
- Jeffco Public Schools, "Active Policies," accessed January 17, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Jeffco Public Schools, "Finance & Budget," accessed November 26, 2013
- Jeffco Public Schools, "Licensed Salary Schedules," accessed January 17, 2014
- Jefferson County Education Association, "President and Executive Committee," accessed October 1, 2014
- Jeffco Public Schools, "School Profiles," accessed January 16, 2014
- Colorado Department of Education, "About CSAP" accessed July 15, 2013
- Colorado Department of Education, "District Performance Framework 2013," accessed January 16, 2014
- Jeffco Public Schools, "Board Committee for Curriculum Review," accessed October 1, 2014
- Jeffco Public Schools, "Board Committee for Curriculum Review (Newkirk thoughts on Williams’ Draft)," accessed October 1, 2014
- The Denver Post, "JeffCo school board: Conservatives land three open seats," November 6, 2013
- The Los Angeles Times, "Colorado students walk out to protest proposed curriculum changes," September 24, 2014
- The Denver Post, "College Board: We support the "actions," protests of Jeffco students," September 26, 2014
- National Review Online, "Why the College Board Demoted the Founders," September 9, 2014
- 9News, "Questions remain after Jeffco curriculum review vote," October 3, 2014
- The Denver Post, "Jeffco school board OKs compromise plan in curriculum review showdown," October 2, 2014
- Chalkbeat Colorado, "Jeffco superintendent vows “appropriate action” after second sickout closes two high schools," September 29, 2014
- Chalkbeat Colorado, "In split vote, Jeffco board hires new superintendent," May 27, 2014
- 9News, "Douglas County Schools votes for school choice voucher program," March 15, 2011
- The Denver Post, "Douglas County Teachers Union Sues District," February 15, 2013
- Chalkbeat Colorado, "The sense and sensibility of Jeffco superintendent finalist Dan McMinimee," May 15, 2014
- Chalkbeat Colorado, "Jeffco community says superintendent finalist proves their fears of “Dougco agenda”," May 10, 2014
- The Denver Post, "Jefferson County Public Schools faces crisis over school board changes," September 28, 2014
- National Review Online, "‘A’ Is for Agitation in Jefferson County, Colorado," September 26, 2014
- The Denver Post, "Evergreen students protest proposed history change," September 22, 2014
- The Denver Post, "Jeffco students protest proposed "censorship" of history curriculum," September 22, 2014
- The New York Times, "In Colorado, a Student Counterprotest to an Anti-Protest Curriculum," September 23, 2014
- The Denver Post, "Jeffco students walk out of 5 high schools in school board protest," September 23, 2014
- The Denver Post, "Jeffco schools superintendent threatens to discipline absent teachers," September 29, 2014
- 9News, "Jefferson County Schools Superintendent: 'I will be gone by the end of the month'," February 9, 2014
- The Denver Post, "Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Cindy Stevenson will leave post early," February 8, 2014