Jeffco Public Schools, Colorado

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Transparency grading process
Jefferson County is the largest school district in Colorado. The district enrolled 85,938 students during the 2010-2011 academic year.[1]

Website evaluation

See also: Evaluation of Colorado school district websites


This website was most recently reviewed on 12 Feb 2012.

The good

  • Elected officials to the Board of Education, community superintendent and Superintendent of Schools are listed with appropriate contact information.[2] Administrative salary schedules are posted.[3]
  • Includes link to teachers' pay scale.[4] Contacts for vendor information (including tutoring services) are posted.[5][6] Gives links to negotiated agreements with educational associations.[7]
  • Provides Board of Education meeting schedule, minutes and agendas. Audio recordings are available. Minutes and agendas can be archived back to 2004.[8]
  • "Finance & Budget" webpage includes a money-tracking chart.[9] Website features a financial transparency page where site visitors can search for government revenues and student-derived funds.[10]
  • Budgets since 2009-2010 academic year are available.[11]
  • Provides information on making an academic records request.[12]
  • Most recent annual budget (2011-2012) includes graduation and dropout rates (p.307), ACT scores (p.306) and CSAP scores (p.298-305).[13]
  • Audits are available in the form of Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports. These reports are available from 2005. [14]
  • Background check policies are posted.[15]

The bad

  • While major contract awards are posted in meeting agendas[16], vendor contracts are not posted in a comprehensive or searchable format.

District structure

Superintendent

Dr. Cindy Stevenson has served as Superintendent of Schools since 2002. In 2010, Dr. Stevenson was named Colorado Superintendent of the Year and was within the top four to receive the national superintendent award.[17] According to her most recent two-year contract, which expired on June 30, 2011, Stevenson earns $205,000 annually, not including a $10,000 retention bonus she receives each year.[18].

In June 2010, she rejected incentives and bonuses totaling $35,000. "It's important in leadership that you model and look at the state of your organization and do the right thing," said Stevenson.[19]

Read more: Metro school leaders skip raises in tough economy - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/ci_15305607#ixzz1U11aVOCE Read The Denver Post's Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse

Articulation areas

The school district is divided into 17 articulation areas. Each features one high school and its corresponding elementary and middle schools. One of four community superintendents oversees each articulation area. Community superintendents, as of July 2011:

Dan Cohan oversees Chatfield, Conifer, Columbine, Dakota Ridge and Evergreen. Tony Giurado oversees Arvada West, Pomona, Ralston Valley and Standley Lake. Peg Kastberg oversees Alameda, Bear Creek, Green Mountain and Lakewood. Jose Martinez oversees Arvada, Golden, Jefferson and Wheat Ridge.[20]

A community superintendent's minimum salary, as of the 2011-2012 academic year, is $97,821; the maximum salary is $146,259.[21]

Strategic Planning and Advisory Council

This advisory group is composed of Cabinet members, Board of Education members, parent representatives from articulation areas, citizen and parent leaders from stakeholder organizations and representatives from the Jefferson County Administrators Association (JCAA), Jefferson County Education Association (JCEA) and the Colorado Springs Education Association (CSEA)[22] Members advise district leaders on current issues like the budget.[23]

Board of Education

Board members are elected every two years to alternating four-year terms. They are selected at-large, but represent a specific district. Members are unpaid.[24]

Board of Education members, as of July 2011:

Member Title District Term Expires
Robin Johnson Treasurer District 1 2013
Laura Boggs 2nd Vice President District 2 2013
Jjill Fellman Secretary District 3 2015
Lesley Dahlkemper President District 4 2015
Paula Noonan 1st Vice President District 5 2013

Budget

Jefferson County Public Schools publishes its annual budget on its website.[25]

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
2013-2014 $362,541,400 62.2% $153,936,300 26.4% $66,095,500 11.3% $0 0% $0 0% $582,573,200
Averages: $362,541,400 62% $153,936,300 26% $66,095,500 11% $0 0% $0 0% $582,573,200

Unions

Teachers in Jefferson County are represented by the Jefferson County Teachers Union. They represent teachers, librarians, speech clinicians, physical therapists and occupational therapists in collective bargaining sessions.

Officers

The JCTA is lead by a board of directors and four officers. The current officers are:

width: 300px text-align: left align="center" style="background:#f0f0f0;"|Name'
School Office
Brent McKim -- President
Royce Whitman Crums Lane Elementary Vice President
Paula D. Miller Gheens Secretary
Andrew Bailey Fairdale High School Treasurer

Academic performance

CSAP

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.[26] The program is administered to students in grades three to ten. 2008-2011

Next year, the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program will replace CSAP in order to meet new academic standards. CSAP results for all district schools from third to tenth grade can be found on the Education News Colorado website.[27]

3rd Grade CSAP Scores, 2008-2011

Below is a chart of each elementary school's proficiency score based on third-grade students' performance on the statewide Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP).[28] To see results, click "show."

[29]

Three-year performance trends

Jefferson district performance for years 2009-10, 2008-09, and 2007-08:[30]

Performance Indicators Rating  % Earned
Academic Achievement Meets 75.0%
Academic Growth Meets 72.2%
Academic Growth Gaps Approaching 56.7%
College and Workforce
Readiness
Meets 66.7%
Total 68.4%

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 and CSAPA (Reading, Writing, Math and Science), and Lectura and Escritura.
  • Academic Growth: The Growth Indicator measures academic progress using the Colorado Growth Model. This Indicator reflects 1) normative growth: how the academic progress of the students in this district compared to that of other students statewide with a similar CSAP score history in that subject area, and 2) 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 and students needing to catch up. It disaggregates the Growth Indicator into student subgroups, and reflects their normative and adequate growth. The subgroups include students eligible for Free/Reduced Lunch, minority students, students with disabilities (IEP status), English Language Learners, and students needing to catch up.
  • College 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.

Teachers Salaries

57.9% of Jefferson County teachers have a Masters Degree or higher whereas 41.8% have at least a Bachelors Degree. This is above the Colorado average of 52.2% with a Masters and 47.5% with a Bachelors.[31]

Pay scales, varying according to certification, can be found on the district's website.[32]

Recent News

Funding cuts

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper proposed cuts to K-12 education totaling $332 million, which would have lowered per-pupil funding by approximately $500. Final funding cuts for the 2011-12 academic year came to $228 million, cutting per-pupil funding by only $344.[33]Total per-pupil funding reached an all-time high of $7,070 in 2009-2010. Current funding is just under 2003-2004 levels, at $5,738.[34]

Jefferson County managed better than average, seeing cuts at only $335 per pupil. Total program funding has decreased by $28.9 million to approximately $509,995,711.[35]

Jefferson County has seen a $40,000 funding decrease during 2011 and expects another $40,000 in cuts during 2012.[36][37]

County parents and administrators sue state over K-12 funding

Jefferson County has been named one of twenty-one plaintiffs in an education funding case. In Lobato v. Colorado, parents and faculty argue that the state school finance system is underfunded. Earlier this year, a Boulder--based non-profit called Children's Voices published a study, which revealed that the state's K-12 program was underfunded by $3.58 billion.[38]

References

External links