DCSD in the News – October 2014

School leaders want fewer laws, more funding — 10/30/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
Colorado school leaders would prefer less legislative involvement but more funding, they said during an Oct. 29 Superintendent Forum in Denver.

School district could rejoin state group — 10/29/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
After a four-year hiatus, the Douglas County School Board is considering rejoining the Colorado Association of School Boards.

Humanist group files suit against school district — 10/28/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
The American Humanist Association filed a lawsuit against the Douglas County School District Oct. 22, alleging the district is engaging in religious fundraising events. The lawsuit comes after two previous warnings from the humanist group that such activities violate the United States and Colorado constitutions.

Board looks at change in charter process — 10/28/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
Douglas County School Board members are debating a change to their charter school application process, but one board member said the timing of their discussion gives the appearance of favoritism.

Charter high school proposed — 10/24/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
A charter high school that eventually would accommodate 1,500 students is aiming for a fall 2015 opening. Backers of John Adams High School have signed a letter of intent to purchase the now-vacant Highlands Ranch campus of Denver Christian Schools, near C-470 and University Boulevard.

Parents get help in choosing schools — 10/24/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
About one-fifth of Douglas County’s students don’t attend their neighborhood school, but instead travel to a charter, magnet or alternative school; are home-schooled; or take online classes.

Your Voice: Time for the whole truth in Douglas County School District — 10/23/14 (Denver Post)
The clock is ticking. The timer started in late 2009, when a majority of our school board was taken over by politicians with a specific agenda, an ideological, free market, corporate education “reform” agenda. The same scenario is currently unfolding in Jefferson County. 2009 was also the time that the truth behind the real agenda began to fade away and the deception and spin began. The clues were there, but we were a trusting community. We should have known to question the large sums of money from individuals outside Douglas County pouring into the “reformers” coffers. We should have picked up on the fact that the Superintendent hired by this board was a speaker for the Friedman Foundation, an organization that advocates for the privatization of public schools.

School board members concerned about AP U.S. History — 10/20/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
Two Douglas County School Board members have expressed public concern about the new Advanced Placement U.S. History course that sparked a firestorm in Jefferson County. Jim Geddes and Judi Reynolds said their interest is not about promoting or quashing a particular viewpoint, but giving students a balanced perspective on the past.

Group brainstorms school solutions — 10/17/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
Community members, many of whom said they feel inspired by the recent outcry against Jefferson County School Board actions, met Oct. 14 to talk about increasing the Douglas County School District’s public accountability.

History in the making in Jeffco — 10/16/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
Opinion: We are seeing history in the making in Jefferson County. The question is, will these current events be taught to future classes? Or will the school board insist that the retelling simply state that meetings were held between students and the board, omitting the unseemly civil disobedience that precipitated the audience with Superintendent Dan McMinimee?

Douglas County School District “Parent University” equipping parents for student success — 10/15/14 (Denver Post)
Enter the Douglas County School District’s Parent University program.

Cougars achieve excellence — 10/14/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
Cougar Run Elementary will be nationally recognized for its high academic excellence next month.

Parents upset over teacher’s departure — 10/14/14 (Castle Rock News Press)
Parents and students at Buffalo Ridge Elementary are devastated by the departure of a popular teacher who recently resigned. Fourth-grade teacher Mike Mizones cited an environment that “compromises my integrity as a teacher” as his reason for leaving the Castle Pines elementary school.

School choice fairs to highlight options — 10/13/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
The Douglas County School District will host a series of school choice fairs in late October that will highlight the district’s educational options.

Odor prompts evacuation at ThunderRidge High — 10/9/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
Students at ThunderRidge High School in Highlands Ranch had their fall break start a day early this year after Littleton Fire Rescue responded to a hazmat incident at the school Oct. 9.

District seeks ‘innovation status’ to skip tests — 10/7/14 (9News)
CASTLE ROCK -For years, the Douglas County School District has tried to do things differently. Now, it is attempting to use the legal distinction of “innovation” to waive tests required by the READ Act.

Top district communications employee departs — 10/6/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
Cinamon Watson, the Douglas County School District’s lead communications employee, has left the district “to pursue new opportunities,” according to DCSD.

After-school activity, Jefferson County style: Rally lines boulevard — 10/3/14 (Denver Post)
LITTLETON — Organizers hoped that Friday’s “Boots on the Boulevard” protest — held at the end of the school day — would draw thousands of people, enough to line the length of South Wadsworth Boulevard throughout Jefferson County.

School district, state differ on legal opinion — 10/3/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
The Douglas County School District and the Colorado Department of Education have a legal “difference of opinion” over the district’s ability to use state legislation to opt out of a K-3 reading assessment.

Your Voice: Dougco Schools past vs present — 10/2/14 (Denver Post)
After reading through the new “world class,” “twenty first century,” “choice”-laden, reform jargon-filled strategic plan being rolled out in Douglas County School District, all I can think is, why the need for all this “reinvention?” I have lived here for over twenty years, my children and my neighbors’ children are all graduates of DCSD.

Letter to the editor: To U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan — 10/1/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
Dear Secretary Duncan, Heritage Elementary School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, was honored for leading the way in Green and sustainable health and wellness practices during the “Green Strides Best Practices Tour” on Tuesday, September 16, 2014. Heritage is a “John Irwin School of Excellence,” and recently received an ‘A’ on ColoradoSchoolGrades.com.

Letter to the editor: Stand up to privatization of schools — 10/1/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
I just received an email from Douglas County School District Superintendent Elizabeth Fagen in regard to the READ Act and the Innovation Waiver Resolution that the board of education passed last week, indicating that “DCSD has been working to find a way to support schools who would like to return to quality accountability systems for their students,” meaning a way out of certain standardized tests.