DCSD in the News – June 2014

Colorado teacher evaluations still face major hurdles after first year — 6/29/2014 (Denver Post)
Curtis Garcia faced what seemed an impossible task: Observe all his teachers multiple times, provide them with meaningful instructional feedback, assess their professional practices — and still perform myriad other administrative functions.

Program expands definition of education — 6/27/2014 (Castle Rock News-Press)
Castle View High School Principal James Calhoun believes the majority of high-school students are compliant and somewhat disengaged, with untapped reservoirs for deep learning. A new program that will be introduced at CVHS this fall is designed to reach that core.

Your Voice: The bully pulpit in Douglas County School District — 6/26/2014 (Denver Post)
I really dislike the term bully. It is widely overused and too often single instances of this behavior are blown out of proportion. However, when a pattern of behavior develops and becomes detrimental to the function of a school district, those involved and those complicit by their silence must be exposed.

Group formed to oppose new Xcel transmission line — 6/26/2014 (Denver Post)
The Colorado Public Utilities Commission will hold a public hearing on a proposed Xcel transmission line going through Parker just as an informal group has formed to spread word about the possible dangers of the new lines.

Mission trip prompts warning from humanists — 6/20/2014 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
For the second time in less than a year, a Douglas County school is accused of engaging students in fundraising activities that benefited Christian organizations. An attorney for the American Humanist Association sent a June 18 letter to the Douglas County School District, saying two Highlands Ranch schools improperly supported a Christian mission trip.

Arbitrator backs teachers’ union on sick leave — 6/20/14 (Lone Tree Voice)
An arbitrator has decided in favor of the Douglas County teachers’ union in a lawsuit about the teachers’ sick-leave bank filed against the Douglas County School District. The arbitrator’s decision is non-binding, and DCSD officials did not participate in the proceedings that led to arbitrator John Criswell’s final report.

Letter to the editor: School board member the one who misleads — 6/20/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
There’s more to the story of Douglas County Board of Education Director Doug Benevento’s attack on Colorado Community Media and CCM reporter Jane Reuter during the June 3 BOE meeting.

Letters to the editor: School board member’s accusations false — 6/20/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
Editor’s note: The following letters were sent to Colorado Community Media in response to Douglas County School Board Member Doug Benevento’s comments at the June 3 school board meeting. The letters published here reflect the views of more than two dozen people who sent email messages to CCM on this topic.

Schools’ capital-needs backlog drives up cost — 6/19/14 (Lone Tree Voice)
Douglas County School District staff and committee members have painted a dire picture of problems plaguing district school buildings and property, and a financial plan for addressing the situation. But that plan would require voter approval, and some board members said they don’t think that’s likely.

Douglas County Parent Upset Over Christian Student Fundraising — 6/18/14 (CBS 4 Denver)
HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (CBS4) – There are claims that a public school is promoting religion and a group wants the practice to stop in Douglas County.

Douglas County School Board votes to rescind letter supporting Xcel transmission lines — 6/17/2014 (The Denver Channel)
CASTLE ROCK, Colo. – Douglas County’s School Board voted late Tuesday night to rescind a letter for support for a controversial Xcel Energy project, after the CALL7 Investigators exposed a possible conflict of interest.

Victim’s parents sue school district, leaders — 6/17/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
The parents of a sexual assault victim filed a lawsuit June 16 against the Douglas County School District, former Rocky Heights Middle School principal Patricia Dierberger and former RHMS assistant principal James McMurphy.

Parents sue school district, others after teacher Richard Johnson convicted of sexual assault
— 6/16/14 (The Denver Channel)
DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. – The parents of a girl sexually assaulted multiple times by a teacher are suing the Douglas County School District, the then-principal of Rocky Heights Middle School and the then-assistant principal of the same school.

Dougco School Board tackles Xcel issue — 6/16/14 (The Denver Channel)
CASTLE ROCK, Colo. – A CALL7 Investigation uncovers a possible conflict of interest involving the Douglas County School Board and a controversial energy project.

State Board approves $1M shift of low-income funding to Dougco — 6/13/14 (Chalkbeat)
In an attempt to better match federal funds with the students the money is supposed to help, the state is piloting a program that will re-direct more than half a million dollars to the relatively wealthy Douglas County Schools.

Legend principal moving to district position
— 6/10/14 (Parker Chronicle)
Legend High School principal Corey Wise has mixed emotions about leaving the building he opened and helped mold into one of the area’s most respected high schools. Recently promoted to a district-level position as director of high schools, Wise intends to put the winning formula he used at Legend to work on a broader scale.

DCSD plans community survey — 6/9/2014 (Parker Chronicle)
The Douglas County School District plans to conduct a community survey, the first since 2012, school leaders said during the board of education’s June 3 meeting.

Conservative school boards in Jeffco and Dougco? — 6/8/14 (Denver Post)
Letter to the editor: Please stop referring to the Douglas County and Jefferson County school boards as “conservative.”

Schools upgrade outreach system for emergencies — 6/6/2014 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
Glitches revealed in the Douglas County School District’s emergency communications during the Arapahoe High School shooting prompted a dramatic reworking of the system.

Your Voice: Douglas County students deserve better — 6/5/14 (Denver Post)
It is with a heavy heart that my husband and I have decided to move our youngest child to Littleton Public Schools (LPS) next year.  In 2002, when we moved to our current home in Highlands Ranch, we thought we’d found the perfect place to live, with a wonderful community, beautiful walking and biking trails and top-notch neighborhood schools.

Charter to focus on earning college credit — 6/5/2014 (Parker Chronicle)
Colorado Early Colleges, a charter high school designed to earn college credits for its students, is opening a campus in Parker. The building near Lincoln Avenue and Parker Road is the third location for the school, launched in Colorado Springs in 2007.

Rock Ridge replacement resigns — 6/3/14 (Castle Rock News-Press)
Castle Rock’s Rock Ridge Elementary School is without a permanent principal.  The woman hired to replace Amber Sorg resigned from the Douglas County School District.

County survey shows changing perceptions of schools — 6/2/14 (Lone Tree Voice)
A county-sponsored survey about a variety of quality-of-life issues in Douglas County shows that perceptions about schools are changing.