DCSD in the News – August 2014

Two schools score high on global test — 8/29/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
Students at two Douglas County high schools demonstrated their academic prowess on a global level. Highlands Ranch and Ponderosa’s test scores in the Programme for International Student Assessment were higher than national and international averages.

Colorado schools finding ways to bring digital devices into classrooms — 8/30/14 (Denver Post)
Ending what some thought to be a futile fight to keep digital devices out of the classroom, schools around Denver this year are experimenting with ways to embrace personal technology in their lessons.

Overall school funding grows under new law — 8/29/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
As school starts, lawmakers are touting an education law passed this year that many believe will help students achieve greater success.

Education funding all over the map — 8/29/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
The Douglas County School Board long has expressed dissatisfaction with the state’s education funding, saying county residents shoulder an unfair tax burden. It is not alone in concerns about K-12 funding.

Charter school shifts sights to JeffCo — 8/25/14 (Parker Chronicle)
A proposed charter school that initially planned to build in Douglas County recently shifted its sights to Jefferson County.

TCAP scores take small dip — 8/22/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
Douglas County School District’s 2013-14 state test scores fell slightly in two of three categories, but remained higher than Colorado averages.

District adds staff, programs for parents — 8/22/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
The Douglas County School District wants to make stronger connections with its parents and help them guide their children’s education.

Longer classes, shorter lunch set for Ponderosa — 8/21/14 (Parker Chronicle)
A Colorado Department of Education audit of Ponderosa High School’s schedule has resulted in longer class times and a shorter lunch period for the 2014-15 academic year.

Tossing the First Lady’s Lunch — 8/21/14 (Business Week)
As superintendent of the Fort Thomas Independent School District in northern Kentucky, Gene Kirchner oversees 3,000 students who buy about 1,400 cafeteria lunches each day. At least they used to. Since federal school lunch nutrition requirements championed by Michelle Obama began phasing in over the past two years, Kirchner has noticed kids don’t buy lunch so much anymore. Last school year, Fort Thomas sold about 30,000 fewer meals than the year before. The problem is particularly acute at the high school level. “They’re just skipping lunch and stopping by the minimart on the way home instead,” Kirchner says. “And when they do buy a lunch, they go by the trash can and throw half of it away.”

Charter high school opens in Parker — 8/19/14 (Lone Tree Voice)
Students released hundreds of blue and yellow balloons into the sky above the Parker campus of Colorado Early Colleges Aug. 18, marking the non-traditional high school’s opening.

Wacky ride to benefit local students — 8/18/14 (Lone Tree Voice)
Denver broadcast personality Susie Wargin and her brother Ted have participated for years in the state’s numerous cycling events.

Legal fees in campaign complaint top $113,000 — 8/18/14 (Lone Tree Voice)
The Douglas County School District’s legal fees to appeal its court-ruled violation of the Colorado Campaign Fair Practices Act now total about $113,470.

Reform impact on teacher turnover debated — 8/18/14 (Lone Tree Voice)
Education reform may be accelerating the pace of teacher turnover not just in Douglas County but throughout Colorado, some experts say.

School transparency issue heads to ballot — 8/15/14 (Lone Tree Voice)
An effort to require school boards to open up collective bargaining negotiations to the public has earned a place on the November ballot.
The Secretary of State’s Office confirmed Aug. 13 that Initiative 124 earned enough valid petition signatures to qualify.

Carroll: Principled stand by CASB on Douglas County school vouchers — 8/15/14 (Denver Post)
Opinion: Ten years ago when a lawsuit challenging a school voucher program arrived at the state Supreme Court, the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB) was among the establishment groups cheering for the program’s demise.

Find your Colorado school’s 2014 TCAP test scores — 8/14/14 (Colorado Public Radio)
State test scores for Colorado’s public school children lost a little ground this year over last year, while the achievement gap between minorities and their white peers grew larger. – See more at: http://www.cpr.org/news/story/find-your-colorado-schools-2014-tcap-test-scores#sthash.8ZqeZduR.dpuf

TCAP scores show student achievement down in 2014 — 8/14/14 (Denver Channel)
DENVER – The results of the latest statewide testing were presented to the Colorado State Board of Education on Thursday and the news wasn’t good.

TCAP results prompt State Board to take familiar ideological sides — 8/14/14 (Chalkbeat)
Today’s release of the 2014 TCAP scores sent members of the State Board of Education into a philosophical discussion that highlighted the group’s longstanding ideological divisions about education reform.

State of Colorado was at fault for omission of deadly Arapahoe High shooting — 8/7/14 (Denver Post)
Colorado Department of Education officials said Thursday that the glaring omission of a fatal shooting at Arapahoe High School from campus violence data stemmed from a processing error by the state, not a failure to report by the school district.

Department of Education admits mistakes in school violence data; says Arapahoe shooting was reported — 8/7/14 (Denver Channel)
DENVER – Desiree Richie’s son was involved in several fights at Bruce Randolph School. Once, he even made another child bleed, she said.

New school violence data raises more questions about self-reporting at schools — 8/6/14 (Denver Channel)
DENVER – Note: The Colorado Department of Education later retracted previous statements confirming that the data released on August 5, 2014 was accurate, blaming a “processing error.” The Department said Littleton Public Schools had in fact reported the December 13 fatal shooting at Arapahoe High School as a first-degree assault. The error also led to incidents of “3rd Degree Assaults/Disorderly Conduct” being listed as “Dangerous Weapons.”
In an analysis of new 2013-2014 school violence data, the CALL7 Investigators have found what’s reported to the Colorado Department of Education can vary significantly from district to district and even school to school, making it difficult for parents to obtain an accurate picture of what’s really going on in their child’s school.

Some Douglas County schools get early jump on new year — 8/4/14 (Fox31 Denver)
CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — The Douglas County School District is the first to start classes for the new year in the Denver metro area Monday.

School bells ring for most Aug. 11 — 8/2/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
Alissa Oster and her mother are excited about the Aug. 11 start of school, but for very different reasons.

Ballot won’t have school question — 8/2/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
Douglas County School District staff proposed a way to fix the district’s aging buildings without raising taxes, but the school board recently decided not to put the question on November’s ballot.

Teachers’ union membership drops — 8/1/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
Membership in Douglas County’s teachers’ union has dropped from about 70 percent of the district’s teachers in 2012 to around 50 percent, its president said.