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Jeffco Schools Quarterly A Jeffco Schools Publication

October 2012 Vol. 5 No. 3

Biking to better understanding Creighton Middle School students Sydney Hoffa and Jordan Stockdale coax a smile out of Fletcher Miller Special student Kayleigh Callahan as the trio circles the track at Jeffco Stadium. Callahan, a fifth-grader, is riding an adaptive bike on loan from Freedom Concepts for Miller’s bike day. “It’s all about accessibility,” said Miller Assistant Principal Tara Strohm. “Kids need to be able to access all the adventures they have available to them. And bike day gives kids a chance to be on a bicycle and ride when they typically wouldn’t have that chance.” Miller has hosted the annual bike day as an organized event for four years now. And the school’s adaptive PE teacher, Tia Jensen, says it’s about more than feeling the freedom of the bike and the wind in their faces. “It’s a great way for them to take the skills they learn from physical education and physical therapy and use it in the com-

munity,” Jensen said. “And it’s a lifetime skill.” But Callahan’s cohorts would say it’s not just a lifetime skill for the Miller students. “I love coming out and helping,” said Stockdale. Stockdale and Hoffa are just two of 20 Creighton Middle School students who spend a period a day helping at Miller. “These Creighton kids get to see something in themselves that they never would if they didn’t have this opportunity,” said Miller Principal Valerie Pollitt. “It has just sparked a whole different outlook for them and a level of compassion.” Stockdale says she’d like to be a special education teacher. While her friend, Hoffa, says working with Miller students has taught her there really are no boundaries. “I think it’s really important that they (the Miller students) have a chance to do what kids like us get to do,” Hoffa said. “There really are no disabilities. With effort and help, anyone can do anything.”

society at work. This is what the Constitution lays out,” said Jay Shackett who teaches history, politics and U.S. history at Golden. Students who attended the court hearings have been studying government and politics; this was a rare opportunity for them to watch the judicial branch in action. Golden senior Kaylyn Mulkins would like to major in either political science or law. “To have an opportunity for the students at Golden, I think is just wonderful because to watch people’s lives play out in court is interesting and fascinating and the politics is just wonderful — it’s a subject I love,” she said. The Courts in the Community program is designed to give high school students experience in how the judicial system operates in Colorado. The justices will make their ruling on the two cases in a few months.

Our Mission To provide a quality education that prepares all children for a successful future. Jeffco Public Schools is home to nearly 86,000 of Colorado's finest students. Step inside one of our 154 schools and you will see a staff dedicated to building a bright future for every student. Our staff is supported by a committed school board, involved parents and a caring community that combine to provide a quality education that prepares all children for a promising future.

Creighton Middle School students Sydney Hoffa and Jordan Stockdale take a lap around the track with Fletcher Miller Special student Kayleigh Callahan.

Living and learning the law “All rise. The Supreme Court of the state of Colorado is now in session.” With those words, the auditorium of Golden High School became the stage for the seven justices who make up the Colorado Supreme Court. Hundreds of Golden students sat quietly while two cases were argued before the court as a part of Courts in the Community – an educational outreach program sponsored by the Colorado Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals. One of the cases heard involved a citizen’s constitutional rights against unreasonable search and seizure. The other focused on whether a court-appointed guardian can waive a child’s statutory privacy in communications with a psychotherapist. In both cases, students watched as both defense and prosecuting attorneys were questioned by the justices. “What I want students to take away from this is this is your

ABOVE: The State Supreme Court hears two cases before an audience of students and teachers at Golden High School. RIGHT: Colorado Supreme Court Justice Nancy Rice lunches with Golden High School senior Kaylyn Mulkins.

Jeffco Schools Quarterly A free publication for parents and residents of Jefferson County, the Quarterly is published in partnership with Mile High Newspapers. The school district's Communications Services staff provides the articles, photos and graphics in an effort to keep the community informed with news about Jeffco Schools. Citizen comments about the publication are welcome. Mile High Newspapers provides layout, sells advertisements, prints and distributes the publication at no cost to the school district. To contact Communications Services: Jeffco Public Schools 1829 Denver West Drive, #27, Golden, CO 80401 303-982-6808 | 303-982-6816 Fax |

To advertise in the JSQ, please contact Colorado Community Media:

Jeffco Schools Quarterly

720-409-4765 Photographer: Lorie Hirose, Jeffco Schools

Message from the Superintendent There are many subjects that I am passionate about, but none more so than Jeffco Schools. That’s because I am a product of this great district. From first grade through high school (I am a Lakewood Tiger!), I received an education that inspired, challenged and prepared me for life after graduation. That’s what I want for all of our students – a great start and a strong finish. I believe that in Jeffco we accomplish both of those goals. Great starts begin in kindergarten with the class of 2025. While we can’t predict what the future holds for them, we can give them the essential skills they need to be good people and life-long learners. I’m proud that 80 percent of our third-graders scored advanced or proficient in reading on the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program. We want every one of our students to finish their K-12 education and while we’re not there yet, I’m gratified that Jeffco has the second-best graduation rate of the 50 largest school districts in the country, according to Education Week.


Jeffco Schools Superintendent Cindy Stevenson We are tied for second place with Fairfax County, Virginia — one the wealthiest counties in America. Our 86 percent neighborhood high school graduation rate is accomplished thanks to the efforts of teachers, principals and support staff who don’t give up on kids. Our achievements happen in spite of reduced state funding for K-12 education. Jeffco is receiving $761 less per student than we did in 2009. A recent state forecast is a bit more hopeful for per pupil funding

in the 2013-14 school year, but school districts are being warned to take a conservative approach to their budgets because funding will remain flat. In Jeffco, that means we’re not done with budget reductions. I remain hopeful because in my 11 years as superintendent, I have never seen a challenge that the enormously-talented Jeffco staff can’t overcome. We remain committed to making sure that every child entrusted to our care is given the chance for a great start and a strong finish.

Class ACT: Two Jeffco schools score in the state’s top ten The sound of cheering and squeals of celebration bounced off the walls of the D’Evelyn Jr./Sr. gym. It was the school’s homecoming pep assembly. But the students were not cheering for their football team. They were celebrating their ACT composite test scores. D’Evelyn seniors had an average composite ACT score of 27.4, the second highest in Colorado. Last year, D’Evelyn had the top score in the state. “This is a big point of pride,” said D’Evelyn Principal Terry Elliott. “We believe the students feel a sense of ownership to being in top spots and they take this assessment very seriously.” Juniors in Colorado take the ACT or American College Testing assessment, instead of the TCAP or Transitional Colorado Assess-

ment Program. The state average on ACT is 20.0; 36 is the highest score possible. Evergreen High School ranked seventh in Colorado with an average composite score of 24.8. Evergreen Principal Matt Walsh said his school’s scores have gone up more than two points in the last three years. Walsh said, “Being among the top 10 in the state is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff and students.” Students at Evergreen say they succeed because the staff sets high expectations. “I am fortunate in that my school offers lots of rigorous AP and honors classes,” said Evergreen senior Kelsey Evenzich. “We demand that our teachers give us nothing but their best, and that reflects

across the school.” “It’s the people,” added Walsh. “We genuinely care about each other inside and outside of the classroom.” At D’Evelyn, Elliott says it’s also the commitment families have to education. “People make D’Evelyn special and our rigorous liberal arts program makes us successful,” said Elliott. “Our parents support our program and ensure their students understand the importance of their studies and provide the structure as well as support for the high behavioral expectations of the program.” Those expectations still leave room for high school fun. At the homecoming pep assembly, cheerleaders led students as they celebrated the school’s football,

D’Evelyn celebrates the second-highest composite ACT score in the state at an all-school assembly.

golf, volleyball, tennis, and soccer teams. And then the lights went

off, and the dance team performed with glow sticks.

better. I enjoy seeing all the new kindergarten faces and handing diplomas to the ever so eager graduates. Most of all I enjoy being able to have a voice and advocate for all students in Jeffco.

tion world. Great schools, great teachers, great leaders, great communities, great students all work together to make Jeffco a wonderful, cutting-edge school district. I also enjoy collaborating with my colleagues as we seek to understand community issues and solve problems that are beneficial to both Jeffco citizens and our educational community. I love the continual learning that one does as a board member. I even enjoy the challenges that sometimes present themselves as I drive across our VERY large district. The diversity I see from one end of the county to the other can be a challenge, but is also one of our greatest strengths. I am honored to be a member of the Jefferson County School Board of Education.

Board conversation What do you enjoy most about being a board member? LESLEY DALHKEMPER One of the things I enjoy most is visiting schools and talking with students and staff about their successes and challenges. These conversations focus on what matters most – providing our kids with a great education and ensuring teachers and principals have the resources to be successful. Boards play an important role too. Research shows that school board/superintendent teams in high achieving districts care deeply about doing what’s right for children; listen to their communities; and understand the board’s role in supporting initiatives aimed at improved student achievement. The Jeffco board is no exception, and it’s a privilege to represent you!

PAULA NOONAN Absolutely the best aspect of board membership is visiting schools to talk to kids, teachers, and parents. Kids refresh me, teachers educate me, and parents keep me grounded. What can be better than that? LAURA BOGGS What I like most about being a board of education member is seeing the look of excitement in the eyes of our students as they discover new concepts and learn that they can stretch beyond where they thought they could go to learn more. I enjoy watching the adults who inspire our students, who squat to meet the eyes of a five year old and hold their attention as they communicate a new

thought or who look up into the eyes of one who is so grown they may think they know it all and yet our adults inspire them to go beyond and reach new heights. I enjoy being able to see the talents of so many on display every day – in our classrooms, on our fields, in the compositions, art, music and in so many other ways. I enjoy the limitless hope for the future that public education has the ability to inspire. ROBIN JOHNSON What I like best about being a Board of Education member is the students. I enjoy the interaction we get to have with the students. Hearing from them their likes and dislikes about school and what I can do to make their experience

JILL FELLMAN Being a board of education member provides me with opportunities to be part of the education of Jeffco’s children. My favorite part of the job is visiting schools, talking to principals, teachers, classified employees, and students. I enjoy participating in events that allow me to meet and talk with the Jefferson County community. Everywhere I go, I see that people truly care about teaching and learning, and want to keep Jeffco a leader in the educa-

Jefferson County Board of Education

Lesley Dahlkemper President

Paula Noonan First Vice President

Laura Boggs Second Vice President 3

Robin Johnson Treasurer

Jill Fellman Secretary October 2012

Reading tutors aim for leap in literacy Twenty AmeriCorps members with the Colorado Reading Corps are fanning out across Jeffco to boost student achievement in literacy. As part of Colorado Lt. Governor Joe Garcia’s Early Literacy Initiative, Mile High United Way launched a pilot program that trains literacy tutors in research-based strategies; they go into schools to help children get back on track with their reading skills. Each of 12 Jeffco pilot elementary schools – Stott, Warder, Fremont, Peiffer, Columbine Hills,  Dutch Creek,  South Lakewood,  Patterson International, Vanderhoof, Glennon Heights, Green Gables and Peck – has one or two trained tutors working on the building blocks of literacy. Each tutor spends 20 minutes every day with a student, allowing each tutor to work with 15 to 20 students a day. Tutors will reach over 500 kindergarten through thirdgrade students this school year. Tutors work with classroom teachers to give extra practice to students who struggle with various aspects of reading. “We’ve targeted our strategic kids who we know will benefit from the intense, oneon-one literacy work,” said Green Gables Principal Kathy Chandler. “Every student gets 20 minutes a day every day for six weeks or a little more when we hope to

move them back into the regular classroom instruction.” Chandler said her school’s tutor, Jacquie Hampton, holds before and after-school tutoring sessions and said she’s making a difference in student achievement. “This program is huge for us because it will affect many students over the course of the school year to move them up to proficient readers by the end of third grade,” added Chandler. The school’s instructional coach, Leslie Burke-Dominick, trains Hampton. In addition, they work together to test students using the data to progress monitor students every week. “These tutors are really making a difference,” said Burke-Dominick. “Twenty minutes of reading instruction is big in the life of a child. We know 20 minutes of reading instruction every day will show us gains.” The program costs the schools nothing – all costs are paid for by Mile High United Way, The Jefferson Foundation, Target, Serve Colorado, and the governor’s commission on community service.  “Our AmeriCorps members commit to 11 months of service,” said Mile High United Way Vice President Jerene Petersen. “The program for this school year has already started, but we will accept applications for the following school year in December and consider the possibility of accepting part-

Title IX – Sexual Harassment Reporting Notice Jeffco Public Schools is committed to providing a working and learning environment that is free from sexual harassment and it is the policy of the District that sexual harassment will not be tolerated. Students, parents, and staff are encouraged to work together to prevent sexual harassment and to report promptly any conduct that could constitute a violation of this policy. The District is committed to conducting prompt investigations of any allegations of sexual harassment. To that end, any employee who believes that he or she has been subjected to sexual harassment should report the alleged harassment to: Equal Opportunity/ADA Compliance Officer Employee Relations Department 1829 Denver West Drive, Building 27, 4th Floor P.O. Box 4001 Golden Colorado, 80401-0001 (303) 982-6544 Students and parents who believe that a student has been subjected to sexual harassment should report the alleged harassment to the Community Superintendent responsible for the student’s articulation area. Community Superintendents can be contacted at: 1829 Denver West Drive, Building 27, 4th floor P.O. Box 4001 Golden Colorado, 80401-0001 (303) 982-6805 Any person who is determined to have engaged in sexual harassment in violation of District policy shall be subject to disciplinary action, including, but not limited to, warning, reprimand, transfer, discharge, suspension, expulsion or other appropriate remedial action. For additional information, please see District Policies GBAA and JBB.

Colorado Reading Corps volunteer Jacquelyn Hampton works with third-grade reader Joli Bullard at Green Gables Elementary School.

time literacy tutors in addition to full-time tutors.” The Colorado Reading Corps is based on the

successful Minnesota Reading Corps, a proven model that is an integrated component of Minnesota’s solution to childhood illiteracy.

Surprise supplies When instructional coach Lisa Summitt walked into the library at O’Connell Middle School, the tears started flowing. That’s because Office Max surprised her with three big boxes of school supplies. “For the first time in my life, I was speechless,” Summitt said. For six years, Office Max stores across the country have donated more than $1,000 worth of supplies to individual schools as part of their A Day Made Better program. Office Max managers pick the school, and principals nominate the teachers. Office Max store manager Laura Corrales wheeled in the huge boxes of supplies. “This is my favorite part of the job,” she said. “I get goose bumps, teachers cry, they’re just so appreciative.” They’re appreciative because Office Max picks schools with high free and reduced lunch rates. For example, when Office Max workers surprised Molholm second-grade teacher Katie Archer with boxes of supplies, she knew the materials were needed. “Last year I ran out of pencils for the students around mid-year and had to buy lots on my own or with our team budget,” Archer said. “Many of my students did not bring supplies this year. So having those extra pencils, markers, crayons, notebooks, folders, and binders is going to be so helpful.”

O’Connell Principal Marc Nestorick and teacher Lisa Summitt open boxes of school supplies donated by Office Max.

O’Connell’s Summitt agreed. She says she’s grateful for public-private partnerships like this. “We are a Title I school and we do struggle with supplies for our kids so that makes it an even bigger gift,” she said. “It’s huge,” said O’Connell eighthgrader Quang Ho. Ho and his classmates agree Summitt deserves the big surprise. “I think it’s wonderful because she’s done so much hard work for the school,” said O’Connell eighth-grader Marie Barnes. “And for her to be recognized, I think it’s something she’s been deserving for a long time.”

Jeffco Schools Quarterly 4

Middle school art educator wins top spot in state When people find out Pam Farris teaches middle school art, they look sympathetic. “A lot of people say it’s the toughest age,” Farris said. “But really, they’re fun.”Farris has been teaching middle school art for nine years. She’s currently at Deer Creek Middle School. This year, the Colorado Art Educator’s Association named Farris the Middle School Art Educator of the Year. She says middle school is often the last chance students have to discover art. “I talk to a lot of adults and the last time they took an art class was in middle school,” she said. Farris encourages her students to tap into their feelings. “They’ve got a lot of emotion and lot of things they want to say or do. And they can put the emotion into the piece. It’s a balancing act because they’re still kids and they want to be adults. So they have the childlike curiosity about a project

but yet they want to have adult skills,” she said. Vanderhoof Elementary School art teacher Laurie Counterman says Farris is direct, respectful and supportive. “Pam Farris is the type of colleague that encourages art educators to be active and involved in art beyond the art room,” said Counterman. Farris serves as the board president and chair of ArtSource Colorado, an organization that offers art educators across the state professional development, networking opportunities, and summer arts institutes. Farris brings that inspiration back to her students. “I try a lot of different things and if it seems magical and exciting they tend to buy into it and go along with me and hopefully learn something along the way,” Farris said. And she said, just maybe, middle school won’t be their last art class.

Colorado Middle School Art Educator of the Year, Pam Farris, talks with students about their projects.


Monday-Friday Appointments

Medical service for any child age 0-18 years:

DENTAL SERVICES FOR KIDS! Available at all three MCPN School Based Health Centers! Monday through Thursday appointments.

Services offered: • Cleanings • Sealants • Restorations • Extractions • And more!

Insurances accepted: • Medicaid • CHP+ • Delta Dental • Sliding scale discounts for uninsured or underinsured kids!

For more information about dental services call 303-489-8091

The Kids & Teen Clinics

STEIN ELEMENTARY 80 South Teller Street Lakewood, CO 80226


(Any students or any community children) • Comprehensive pediatric health care • Well child exams and immunizations • Teen Health • Treatment of common childhood illnesses • Management of chronic illnesses • Comprehensive asthma management • Pre-school, day care, and sports physicals • ADHD/ADD evaluation and management

Mental Health Services

(for students at Stein, AHS & JHS only) • Individual • Group • Family Therapy JEFFERSON HIGH SCHOOL 2305 Pierce Edgewater, CO 80214

ALAMEDA HIGH SCHOOL 1255 S. Wadsworth Blvd. Lakewood, CO 80232



“Providing Excellent Health Related Services Focusing on the Underserved.”


October 2012

with Olympic BMX bike racer David Herman

Olympic BMX bike racer David Herman calls Wheat Ridge home. The former Farmer is a 2006 graduate of Wheat Ridge High School and holds fond memories growing up in the community. The 24-year-old was first introduced to BMX riding after his older brother let him tag along on a trip to an Arvada race track when he was eight. Herman recently showed off his daring riding skills in the 2012 London Summer Olympics. We caught up with the cycling athlete to see what course he plans to conquer next. When did you first start competing in BMX? I first started racing BMX when I was eight years old. At the time I was a third-grader at Prospect Val-

ley Elementary. How did it feel competing in the Olympics for your first time? It was an amazing experience and a dream come true. With BMX racing being such a new sport in the Olympics, it makes it special to be a pioneer of the sport at the Olympic level. It’s such an honor to put on the USA jersey and not only represent the USA and American BMX racing, but also represent my family, friends, and those BMXers who came before me and didn’t have a chance to try and compete in the Olympics. Now that you’ve competed in the Olympics, what’s the next step in your career? With that goal achieved, I would like to pursue other

things in life. I plan to go back and finish school. I would like to get a degree in physical therapy and my dream job would be to work with athletes who have dreams of competing in the Olympics. In the meantime, I will continue to race BMX and hopefully in four years I can make another run at the Olympics. What was it like balancing your academics and your BMX racing in school? It was tough at the time to balance academics and BMX racing for me. With BMX not being an Olympic sport at the time, many of my teachers didn’t know what exactly it was that I was doing. Luckily my mom did a good job explaining to my teachers why I was missing school. Who made the biggest impact on you in Jeffco Schools? BMX racing took up so much of my time that I

wasn’t involved in many school activities, so I didn’t have any school coaches. Those who impacted me in Jeffco were often times the teachers who believed in me, as well as my friends. My favorite teacher was my eighth-grade language arts teacher Mrs. Wilson. She believed in me and led our class to believe we could be somebody special and that had a huge impact on me when I went to high school. Looking back, what helped you to never give up your dream? Just knowing that goals and dreams are attainable. You see people everyday living out their dreams so why not me, why not you? Goal setting and a strong belief in yourself can take you a long way and I figured that out over the last four years. With a combination of those three things, anything is possible for anyone.

BMX bike rider David Herman jumped to new heights when he competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Two Jeffco schools hit the Target Many Jeffco schools are seeking community partnerships to fund student projects, classrooms, music and teacher supports as school budgets shrink. Eiber Elementary School and Arvada K-8 are two Jeffco schools that have

been working to find funding for their schools and the work paid off. Both schools found out that they will receive $25,000 grants through the Give with Target program. “We are thinking about developing a parent and

student resource center,” said Eiber Principal Stacy Bedell. Eiber is a Title 1 school, meaning the student body has a high poverty rate. The center would help students and parents find homework help and include community resources for

family and home needs. Arvada K-8 Principal Susan Chapla said the options and choices the grant money has opened up at her school are incredible. “We put together a group that helped us survey staff and vote on where we could use the money,” said Chapla. “We will use most of the grant towards K-8 bullying prevention programs.” Chapla said she listened to student feedback from last year’s Make Your Voice Heard student survey that asks students how they feel about their school and its environment. “We know bullying can happen here and we want our kids to feel safe,” adds Chapla. “We want to start a conversation with our staff, students and families about what bullying is and give them the tools to handle it.” The school’s K-8 music department will benefit from the funds as well. The school plans on adding one more school choir, buying additional music selections

Eiber Elementary Principal Stacy Bedell poses with students outside the school. Jeffco Schools Quarterly


and purchasing instruments. “We have kids who want to play certain instruments and we don’t have them and our families can’t afford to buy them,” said Chapla. Even some of the school’s teachers will benefit with workload relief. “We would like to pay substitutes to give our full-time teachers

extra time to focus on student data and instruction to meet their students’ needs,” said Chapla. “Time, it always comes down to time and there’s never enough time.” “We are so incredibly grateful to Target for all of the opportunities this money gives us,” said Chapla.

School Interest Nights Many Jeffco schools are hosting information meetings for prospective students and their families. Meetings are held to help families learn about school programs, meet staff and tour facilities. Most interest nights are held from late October through February. The dates for information sessions are listed on the district website at: interest_nights.html

North Arvada Middle School turns the big 5-0 Voices blended together in song. Former North Arvada Middle School (NAMS) students from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, along with current choir students, joined together to sing the Knights fight song. Five decades of student voices in celebration. NAMS music teacher Melissa Mills directed the choir. It was personal, because she is a NAMS alum. “This is home for me,” she said. “Teaching here is home for me, since I went to school here.” “This is an example of our tradition of excellence in Jeffco schools,” Jeffco Superintendent Dr. Cindy Stevenson told the community gathered to celebrate their school’s anniversary. Former NAMS science teacher Chett Cromwell reminisced with the crowd. He helped open NAMS in 1962. “This school

Jeffco Public Schools – Choice Enrollment begins in January

NAMS alum and music teacher, Melissa Mills, catches up with former students.

was built because the other schools around in Edgewater, Wheat Ridge and Arvada were crowded to the teeth,” he said. “A lot has changed over the years, but these are the same seats in the auditorium that we

started out with.” Community members got a peek down memory lane in the school’s library, where five decades of yearbooks were on display. Former students got to sign an anniversary banner. But

perhaps the most meaningful moments had former students and staff hugging and reconnecting.Mills said it best, as former students gathered around her. “This is my school,” she said.

Families, who wish to enroll their student in a school other than their neighborhood school, will have a chance to do that beginning in January 2013. Jeffco offers choice enrollment which gives students the chance to attend any school in the district that has space available. Families wishing to take advantage of choice enrollment must complete a choice enrollment application which is available at any school or from the district website at:

www.jeffcopublicschools. org/enrollment/index.html. Applications for first round choice enrollment will be accepted in January for the 2013-14 school year. For more information, go to the district website at www.jeffcopublicschools. org/pros_parent_student/ index.html. A separate application must be completed and submitted for each child. Students who open-enroll may have their athletic eligibility impacted.


educational future ACT Prep Review Check out DeVry University’s ACT prep review and have your parents stay for a Financial Aid Information Session. The review session will help prepare students to take the ACT. Math and Science sessions will be taught by DeVry professors using official ACT review materials. Each student will receive an ACT review booklet. Lunch will be provided. Space is limited to the first 30 students, so please reserve your place early. Register online at:

Saturday, December 1, 2012 | ACT Review 8a-5p | Parent Info Session 8a-9a Westminster Campus 1870 W. 122nd Avenue | Westminster

To register, call 303.280.7592 or email Program availability varies by location. ©2012 DeVry Educational Development Corp. All rights reserved.


October 2012

Building Bright Futures for students in Jefferson County Mission: To provide a quality education that prepares all children for a successful future.

Student achievement shows results ›  Jeffco students consistently outperform the state average on the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) and the new Transitional Colorado Assessment Program (TCAP).

Jeffco’s graduation rate is tied for second in the country of the nation’s 50 largest school districts, according to Education Week. #1 Montgomery County, MD #2 Fairfax County, VA #2 Jefferson County, CO

Leading the way in choice, reform and transparency

Families choose Jeffco

Goals: All students graduate prepared for continued learning in the world of work in the 21st century. All employees are accountable for a ›   Jeffco students outperform the high-performing organization. state average in reading, writing, math and science in all grades.

•    Excellent neighborhood schools •   Multiple charter (14) and option schools (10) •   According to the 2011-12 October count: › 70.4% enroll in their neighborhood school ›  18.4% choice-enroll in another neighborhood school ›  11.2% choice-enroll in a charter, option or special school


Return on investment As the largest school district in Colorado, Jeffco Schools has a tradition of excellence spanning more than 50 years. Our students are high-achieving, our teachers are highly-qualified and our commitment to the community is deeply rooted and unwavering.

Jeffco Schools Quarterly

›   80% of Jeffco’s third-graders are reading at proficient or advanced levels.  

Reform Jeffco believes great teachers can get even better at improving student learning and we are at the forefront of an innovative project in 20 schools to reform teacher compensation.

Transparency •   The Independence Institute has this to say about Jeffco’s searchable online database, “Jeffco has established itself as a national leader in public education financial transparency…” •   Jeffco’s transparency website recently won a Sunny Award from the Sunshine Review which honors the most transparent websites in the nation.    

Jeffco’s 2010-11 graduation numbers: › Total graduation rate (including charters, options and programs for students at-risk): 79.1% › Neighborhood graduation rate: 86%



Tax money spent wisely for academic excellence The Center for American Progress, awarded Jeffco a “green” rating indicating the highest return on investment. The study “measures the academic achievement a school district produces relative to its educational spending, while controlling for factors outside a district’s control, such as cost of living and students in poverty.”

Cost to educate each of Jeffco’s 85,793 students: approximately $41 a day. According to information from the Colorado Department of Education, of the 20 largest school districts in Colorado: ›  Jeffco is below the average in spending on administrative and support costs. › Jeffco is above the average in spending on instruction and schools.

October 2012

Bill Hanzlik to be honored at Jefferson Foundation Crystal Ball Bill Hanzlik is best known for his storied basketball career — as a college hoops star at Notre Dame and later as a player and coach of the Denver Nuggets, followed by induction into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. However, Hanzlik’s commitment to Colorado’s youth is the reason that he will be recognized

with the Crystal Globe for Distinguished Service Award at the 27th Annual Jefferson Foundation Crystal Ball. The Gold Crown Foundation was established by Hanzlik and Colorado business leader Ray Baker in 1986 to provide basketball camps and programs for kids at a time when school budget cuts were eliminat-

ing athletics. Since then, Gold Crown has grown to offer sports and enrichment activities to more than 20,000 youth year-round. Programming is based out of the Gold Crown Fieldhouse, Computer Clubhouse and All-Star Park in Lakewood. These facilities are considered world-class sites for youth sports and enrichment programs, and

Honoring our Veterans

Saturday, Oct. 20 at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities. Tickets are $125 each, or $200 per couple. Young Jeffco alumni (Jeffco Public Schools graduates under age 30) and Jeffco Public Schools employees can take advantage of special ticket prices; call for details. To purchase tickets, contact Pam Heiny at 303-982-2210. All proceeds benefit The Jefferson Foundation, an independent 501c3 nonprofit organization that develops new resources to support Jeffco Public Schools in preparing all students for a successful future. Complimentary beverage sponsors are Barefoot Wines and Coors Brewing Company. Major corporate sponsors are: FirstBank, Kaiser Permanente Colorado, DaVita, Billings Investments, Caplan and Earnest, Target, Wells Fargo, Freeman Insurance West, and Rothgerber, Johnson and Lyons, LLP. For more

Bill Hanzlik

information about the Crystal Ball, including making a donation to the silent auction or to sponsor a table, or buying tickets, please visit The Jefferson Foundation on the web at For more information contact: Katie Tiernan 303-9822261. This article submitted by The Jefferson Foundation.

m S a r e


Jeffco Schools Quarterly

erans have made. Because Veterans Day falls on a Sunday this year, school celebrations will be held at various times on Friday, November 9 or Monday, November 12.


Every year schools around Jeffco honor the nation’s veterans. Students serve coffee and treats, sing patriotic songs and hold programs to celebrate the sacrifice our vet-

both were built through corporate, business and community member collaborations. “Bill really and truly believes that the only question worth asking when you’re talking about youth programming is ‘What’s best for the kid?’” said Katie Tiernan, executive director of The Jefferson Foundation. “He stands up to be counted whenever Jeffco Public Schools needs community support, and kids across the Denver area have richer experiences because of Bill’s vision.” The Jefferson Foundation’s 27th Crystal Ball fundraiser “Masquerade” will include a silent auction, dancing, live entertainment, games and activities, hors d’oeuvres and a champagne toast to honor Bill Hanzlik. Masks will be available at the event for a suggested donation, or guests are encouraged to wear their own. The event will take place from 6:13 to 10 p.m. on

Get a Library Card. • Free eBooks • Free movies • Free audiobooks • Free music • Free Wi-Fi • More! 303-235-5275 10

Jeffco’s top scholars garner national recognition Eighteen Jeffco seniors have been named National Merit Semi-Finalists. The National Merit Scholarship Corporation awards students who score in the top one percent on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/ NMSQT). Jeffco’s scholars are: Christopher Guttormsson at Arvada High School; Katherine Decker and Evan Eshleman at Chatfield High School; Mitchell Clough at Columbine High School; Jenny Chen, Michael Feller, Joshua Graber, and Keihan Swantek at D’Evelyn; Kelsey Evezich at Evergreen High School; Corey Baron, Tommy Le Cheng Fan, Clara Howell, Jacob Milleville, Kaia Sargent, Jacob Stufflebeam, Daniel Tsvankin, and Vivian Zhang at Lakewood High School; and Ben Heberlein at Pomona High School. The semi-finalists have the opportunity to compete for National Merit Scholarships later this school year. We caught up with a few of the students who shared their advice to other students and their thoughts about their education and their future. Christopher Guttormsson, Arvada High School. Plans for a career in math, science or engineering. “One of my favorite things about Jeffco is the commitment to providing classes that match the student’s needs. After I completed the highest level of math available at my school, Jeffco paid to send me to Red Rocks and Front Range Community College to continue my education. Without them, I would not have been able to continue my math education past calculus.”

Daniel Tsvankin, Lakewood High School. Plans for a career in biomedical engineering, specializing in tissue regeneration/reconstruction, biomechanics, and neural engineering. “Have some fun. The easiest way to get worn down is to focus too hard on heavy tasks and forget there’s more to live for. I’ve always had a full complement of stimulating classes and engaging teachers around me.”

Corey Baron, Lakewood High School. Plan A is to go to college and find something to pursue above all else. Plan B is to buy a nice looking van and make a home down by the river. “I wouldn’t value education nearly as much as I do if I hadn’t grown up in a family and school environment that values not only education, but learning for the sake of learning.”

Tommy Fan, Lakewood High School. Plans to major in math and economics. “It is a good idea to be consistently diligent and rigorous in the work you do. This is especially helpful on tests because it reduces the amount of mistakes you make. Although being rigorous on homework takes a long time, you will learn more and absorb more information. Enrolling in IB

Mitchell Clough, Columbine High School. Plans a career in the medical field. “At the end of the day, the reward you get out of something is equal to the work you put in. Jeffco schools have

(International Baccalaureate) at a Jeffco school has made my education more well-rounded, since we have to take classes from every subject.” Evan Eshleman, Chatfield High School. Plans to become a pediatrician. “The effort you put into a class yields proportionate results. I have been very lucky to have had so many great teachers t h ro u g h o u t my nearly 13 years in Jeffco Public Schools. To keep me engaged, they have found ways to make learning much more fun than it normally would be.”

it was fun, it was not nearly as intensive as the classes needed to satisfy the Jeffco requirements. I have been at a Jeffco school for six years now, and I am happy with what I have been able to do there.” Kaia Sargent, Lakewood High School. Plans to become a medical doctor. “While grades are important, you need to find something you’re truly passionate about. Otherwise, it’s impossible to stay motivated.”

Michael Feller, D’Evelyn Jr/Sr. Plans to study engineering. “Going to a Jeffco school has made all the difference in my education. I attended a private school during my elementary years, and while

Hill Center for Dermatology, PC Hill Center for Dermatology is pleased to announce that Anne Fender, MD, Board Certified Dermatologist, has joined our practice so that we can offer Jeffco families more appointment availability at our convenient Golden Road location!

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Kelsey Evezich, Evergreen High School. Plans to pursue biomed or aerospace engineering. “Advice I would give: ask questions, ask questions, ask questions. Before school, after school, during school, emails. Also, always try to connect information you are learning now to something you

fostered me and built me up. I’ve been given opportunities here that I can’t get anywhere else, and I am incredibly thankful. I am surrounded by intelligent, talented, and creative people who bring out the best in me, and I know that I would never be where I am today without their help.”

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Ben Heberlein, Pomona High School. Plans to study electrical engineering and computer science. “Keep up with homework and take advantage of whatever your high school has to offer in terms of class rigor and community. Jeffco has p ro f o u n d l y affected my education, simply because I have had some of the clearest and kindest teachers in my 13 years in the district.”

already know. Reach across subject boundaries: once you connect math to physics, and history to your English books, everything starts making more sense.”


Vivian Zhang, Lakewood High School. Plans to major in international business and minor in Chinese. “I would advise other students to learn to manage their time between extracurricular activities, school, and other exams such as the

PSAT. Also, setting high goals is crucial because it gives students something to work for. Even if they don’t reach the goal, they know they have worked as hard as they can, and that will ultimately help them achieve academically.”


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Apply online at October 2012

Jeffco grad dreams big on the big screen The lights dim. The music begins. Jeffco graduate Chase Bortz’s images of dreamy creativity fill the screen. Bortz, a member of the class of 2012 at Lakewood High School and Warren Tech, won the Adobe Youth Voices Aspire Award for his short film in the poetry/experimental category. “The piece was created to inspire others to cre-

ate,” said Bortz. “I did it for me, I did it for school, I did it because I love to make films.” Bortz says he didn’t produce the film to win a contest. But when Stephanie Le, the program lead for the Adobe Youth Voices Aspire project, saw Bortz’s short film, “We were just like this is a winner,” she said. “The quality, the message, it

Asbestos Management Plans In compliance with federal guidelines, Jeffco Public Schools makes asbestos management plans for schools and other district facilities available for public inspection. Parents, employees or interested citizens may review the management plan for any school facility and have copies made at their own expense. Each school’s management plan is available at the school, and plans for all district buildings are on file at the Jeffco Public Schools’ Office of Environmental Services, 809 Quail St., Building 4, Lakewood. Call 303-982-2349.

was spot on.” So spot on, that Bortz beat out 840 other entries to take first place in the contest. He won $2,000 to be donated to a charity of his choice. Bortz says he’s splitting the funds between charities that deal with eating disorders and a charity that brings video games to people who don’t have the opportunity to play. Bortz is currently attending the Colorado Film School with plans to transfer to a four-year institution. His short film features dreamy colors and paint that falls over a lamp to bring home a message about taking risks and believing and creating. It is now playing in film festivals around the world. Bortz says he wants the audience to leave with a message. “I hope that they take away some personal note of inspiration from it,” he said.

Warren Tech and Lakewood High School graduate Chase Bortz wins the Adobe Youth Voices Aspire Award. He holds the lamp used in his film, with Adobe’s Stephanie Le.


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The Action Center distributes Thanksgiving Food Boxes to struggling individuals and families. More than 7,000 individuals are in need this year.

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Jeffco Schools Quarterly

Donation Drop Off: 8755 W 14th Avenue, Lakewood Monday – Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Thursday 8:30 am to 7:00 pm Saturday 9:00 am to Noon 303.237.7704


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The Action Center supplies a helping hand When Bill West walks through the doors of a local Walmart or Target in early June, the employees know exactly why he’s there. “I walk into the Walmart and the lady there that takes care of school supplies says, ‘Oh, you’re back, let me see your list,’” said West. West and his wife, Sarah, volunteer every year for The Action Center’s School Supply Drive which this year gave more than 5,100 Jefferson County children backpacks filled with pencils, paper, pens, and other basic tools they need for school. As a member of both the Grant Ranch and Columbine Kiwanis clubs, the 69-year-old West devotes scores of hours collecting the supplies and giving them to families. “It’s kind of neat to do that activity. You walk away feeling happy; the kids are happy, mom and dad are happy because they didn’t have to worry about

what do I get —school supplies or does the electric bill get paid?” said West. Community service isn’t an obligation for West, it’s a joy. He retired from Lockheed Martin after 30 years as a design safety engineer and wanted to give back to those who are most in need and most vulnerable. He said he is thanked repeatedly by every child who receives the supplies. The need and the emotion are overwhelming for him. “I go home and cry a lot because it’s a shame that we have so many kids in Jeffco, more than 33,000, that qualify for free and reduced lunch,” he said. Collecting and distributing a voluminous amount of supplies to thousands of families is a logistical challenge and West plays a critical role in not only negotiating prices with major retailers, he also acts as team leader, directing other volunteers.

“For more than four years, Bill’s passion to help ensure that every student begins the school year with basic supplies, has presented him with a leadership role in securing product for the Action Center,” said Barbara Penning, director of volunteer programs at the Action Center. “He is a tireless and strategic problem solver with outstanding relationship building and negotiating skills.” “It’s one of the things we look forward to. My wife gets to wrap up the pencils every year so we have a great deal of fun doing it. It’s kind of part of our lives — we both look back and say, ‘Gee, we grew up lucky,’” said West. The Action Center is now collecting food for Thanksgiving meals and is looking for volunteers to help distribute to Jeffco families. For more information, call 303-237-7704.

Action Center volunteer Ben West.

For Adults and Families The Learning Source offers GED (General Educational Development) testing and preparation programs at our Belmar Center, 455 S. Pierce St., Lakewood, CO. Tests are offered several times each week. Call or check the web site for testing dates and times. $90 for series of five tests, or $20 per test. Scholarships are available for students in The Learning Source preparation program. Save $5 on series of five tests when you mention this ad. For more information, call 303-957-2839 or visit


October 2012

Jeffco Public Schools Upcoming Concerts Jeffco Public Schools offer a variety of student performances that are open to the public, most of which are free. Dates and times are subject to change; please contact the school or check the school’s website for confirmation and ticket costs at






Oct. 18 & 19 Oct. 18-20 Oct. 19-20 Oct. 22 Oct. 23 Oct. 23 & 25 Oct. 24 Oct. 24-27

Standley Lake HS Fall Choir Concert 7 pm D’Evelyn HS Theater Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland 7 pm, Sat. 2 pm Chatfield HS Theater Rose of Treason 7 pm Arvada West HS Area Choir Festival 7 pm Chatfield HS Fall Choir Concert 7 pm ($3) Arvada West HS Fall Choir Concerts 7 pm Bear Creek HS Area Orchestra Festival 7 pm Green Mountain HS Theater Strange Boarders 6:30 pm Oct. 24-27 Lakewood HS Theater Moon Over Buffalo 7 pm Oct. 27 Conifer HS Theater I Want My Mummy with Trick-or-Treat Street 7 pm Oct. 29 Conifer HS Conifer Choral Festival “Songs for Work and Play” 7:15 pm Oct.30 Deer Creek MS Choir Concert 2:35 pm Nov. 1-3 Arvada HS Theater Diary of Anne Frank 7 pm Nov. 1-3 Columbine HS Theater A Christmas Carol 7 pm Nov. 1-3 Pomona HS Theater America Hurrah 7:30 pm Nov. 7 Bear Creek HS Area Band Festival 7 pm Nov. 7, 8 & 13 Evergreen HS Theater Dracula 7 pm Nov. 8-10 Bear Creek HS Theater Almost, Maine 7 pm Nov. 8-10 Dakota Ridge HS Theater Diary of Anne Frank 7 pm Nov. 8-9 Lakewood HS Theater Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged 7 pm Nov. 8-10 Ralston Valley HS Theater You Can’t Take It With You 7 pm Nov. 13 Summit Ridge MS Fall Concert 7 pm Nov. 15-17 Golden HS Theater Night of January 16th 7 pm, Sat.2 pm Nov. 27 & 28 Pomona HS Theater Thespian One Acts/Conflict Kitchen 7 pm Nov. 28 & 29 Moore MS Theater Camp Twilight 7 pm Nov. 30, Dec. 1 Wheat Ridge HS Theater Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 7 pm, Sat. 2 pm Dec. 11 Chatfield HS Holiday Choir Concert 7 pm ($3) Dec. 11 Dakota Ridge HS Winter Festival Choir Concert 7 pm ($5) Dec. 11 & 12 Bear Creek HS Holiday Extravaganza 7 pm ($5) Dec. 11 & 12 Lakewood HS Band and Orchestra Concert 7 pm Dec. 13 & 14 Standley Lake HS Winter Choir Concert 7 pm Dec. 14 & 15 Arvada West HS Holiday Collage Concerts 7 pm, Sat. 2 pm


Dec. 14 & 15 Conifer HS Theater Dec. 15 & 16 Evergreen HS Theater



Warren Miller Movie Premier Wind of a Thousand Tales

7 pm 7 pm, Sat. 2 pm Dec. 20 Deer Creek MS Choir Concert 2:35 p.m. Jan. 23 Lakewood HS Wind Ensemble 7 pm Jan. 31, Feb. 1 Columbine HS Theater One Acts 7 pm Feb. 7 Deer Creek MS Choir Concert 7 pm Feb. 19 Mandalay MS Choir Concert 7 pm Feb. 21-23 Columbine HS Theater Seussical 7 pm Feb. 21-23 Dakota Ridge HS Theater Cinderella 7 pm Feb. 20 & 21 D’Evelyn HS Theater Once Upon A Mattress 6:30 pm Feb. 20 Lakewood HS Empty Bowl/Dinner Fundraiser Concert 7 pm (Dinner 5:30 pm) Feb. 21-23 Conifer HS Winter Musical 7 pm Feb. 22 & 23 D’Evelyn HS Theater Once Upon A Mattress 7 pm Feb. 28 – Mar. 2 Chatfield HS Spring Musical “Grease” 7 pm ($9) Mar. 6-9 Bear Creek HS Theater The Producers 7 pm Mar. 6-9 Green Mountain HS Theater Legally Blonde 6:30 pm Mar. 7-9 Standley Lake HS Spring Musical 7 pm Mar. 8-10, 15-17 Evergreen HS Theater Urinetown The Musical 7:30 pm Mar. 13-16 Lakewood HS Theater Les Miserables 7:30 pm Mar. 14 & 15 Standley Lake HS Spring Choir Concert 7 pm Mar. 14 & 15 Arvada West HS Spring Choir Concert 7 pm Mar. 15 & 16, 21-23 Golden HS Theater A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum 7 pm, 2 pm on 3/23 Mar. 18 Conifer HS Choral Concert at Our Lady of the Pines Church 7 pm Mar. 20 Bear Creek HS Spring Band and Choir Concert 7 pm Mar. 20-23 Pomona HS Theater Dirty Rotten Scoundrels 7:30 pm Mar. 21 Chatfield HS Choir Concert 7 pm ($3) April 16 Lakewood HS Band and Orchestra Concert 7 pm April 17 & 18 Deer Creek MS Musical 7 pm April 19 & 20 Conifer HS Spring Melodrama 7 pm April 26 & 27 Wheat Ridge HS Theater Cupids Comedy Cabaret 7 pm

Local Focus. More News. Jeffco boasts a smorgasbord of opportunity for engagement that makes our communities thrive. So if you go to the New York Times for the latest Broadway play reviews, that’s fine by us. But if you’re looking for local sports, local events and policies affecting your home and community, your best resource is Colorado Community Media.

Reaching over 72,000 Jeffco households Jeffco Schools Quarterly

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Subscribe to your hometown paper: Call 720-409-4775 14

Giving students the gift of music Pleasant View Elementary students played “Name That Tune” with a visiting string quartet. Then they learned about the big surprise. Colorado Public Radio (CPR) and Mr. Holland’s Opus donated 19 musical instruments to fifth and sixth grade students so they could participate in Jeffco’s elementary instrumental music program. Pleasant View’s PTA president, Laurie Arnold-Kelly applied for and got the grant from CPR. “I’m a parent and a piano teacher and a lot of the kids in this school, they don’t have the opportunity to take private lessons. They can’t afford it,” ArnoldKelly said. “So I thought if they could get involved with music at the school level, that would be a good thing.” The students thought it was a

good thing, too. They jumped right in, trying out the different instruments, under the supervision of elementary music teachers Cid Breeser and Barbara Casanova. Fifth-grader Andie Micklich knew exactly what she wanted to play. “The cello because it’s big and loud,” she said. As students bowed and blew and tapped on their new instruments, Pleasant View Principal Janace Fischer marveled at the energy. “We feel really honored,” she said. “And it’s been a great partnership with Colorado Public Radio and our Parent Teacher Association,” Meantime the students agreed with fifth-grader Danny Barraza. “Cool!” he exclaimed.

Pleasant View Elementary Principal Janace Fischer and fifth-grader Gabe Frankel check out a donated bass.

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Colorado Rookie Art Educator of the Year, D.J. Osmack, at Kyffin Elementary School.

Art teacher named Rookie of the Year “Where’s your nose?” elementary art teacher DJ Osmack asked, pointing to a second-grader’s self-portrait. She giggled and started sketching a nose into her portrait. “Do you like the way this looks from far away?” Osmack asked another student, holding her portrait up so she could view it from a distance.

Osmack, who teaches at Kyffin and Ralston elementary schools, is always in motion. He visits each student’s table, asking questions, talking about lines, shapes, and textures. And the students love it. “He’s a cool teacher,” said Kyffin second-grader Joseph Wyatt. “’Cuz he does art really good.” That’s one reason the Colorado Art Education As-

sociation named Osmack the 2012 Rookie Art Educator of the Year. The association gives the award to a Colorado art teacher who has been teaching for five years or less. Osmack says he feels like he was born to teach art. “It’s just so inspiring for me to see how their minds work,” said Osmack. “The artist in me feeds off the energy and I love coming to

work everyday.” He says coming to work reminds him of how he felt as a student in art class. And he says, his reward for his work is seeing students solve problems. “I think it’s that wow factor,” he said. “They get that spark in their eyes, when it’s like wow I figured it out. There’s no right or wrong answer in art, and that’s what I love.” email:


October 2012

Teaching teamwork and discipline through music Jeffco’s 15 high school marching bands took to the Jeffco Stadium field to compete in Jeffco’s annual Marching Band Invitational. “It is truly the sport of the arts,” Green Mountain band director Doug Dalton said. “Marching band teaches teamwork, discipline, hard work, working toward a goal, and develops self-confidence. It is an athletic endeavor that truly works the body and the mind.” In the first competition of the season, here’s where the bands stack up: 2A - D’Evelyn took first place 3A - Evergreen placed first, Arvada, second 4A - Conifer won first place, Pomona placed second, followed by Dakota Ridge, Green Mountain, Wheat Ridge, Columbine, and Standley Lake 5A - Lakewood won first place followed by Chatfield, Bear Creek, Ralston Valley, and Arvada West. Check out more photos from the Jeffco Invitational on our new Facebook fan page:

ABOVE: Ralston Valley High School placed fourth in the 5A contest. TOP RIGHT: Lakewood High School Principal Ron Castagna celebrates a first place win with the 5A division band members. RIGHT: Evergreen High School took first in the 3A division. FAR RIGHT: D’Evelyn Jr/Sr’s band won the 2A division. BELOW: Conifer High School places first in the 4A division.

Jeffco Schools Quarterly


Jeffco Schools Quarterly  

Jefferson County Colorado school news

Jeffco Schools Quarterly  

Jefferson County Colorado school news