DCSD In the News – May 2014

State to review teacher evaluation system — 5/30/14 (Lone Tree Voice)
The Colorado Department of Education has agreed to review the Douglas County School District’s teacher-evaluation system, a request made by the teachers’ union in May.

New schools position aimed at parents — 5/29/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
The Douglas County School District in April hired Katherine Brown as parent liaison in a new position called school-community partnership coordinator. Brown’s starting annual salary is $58,000.

ThunderRidge, Douglas schools administration building gain efficiency — 5/29/14 (Denver Post)
HIGHLANDS RANCH —The Douglas County School District is continuing its mission to make its facilities as energy efficient as possible with projects this summer at ThunderRidge High School and the district’s administration building.

Jeffco approves new school super at disruptive meeting — 5/28/14 (9News.com)
GOLDEN – The Jefferson County School board voted to hire Dan McMinimee as the district’s new superintendent during a very heated board meeting Tuesday evening that led board members to throw out several people for shouting.

McMinimee named Jeffco superintendent — 5/28/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
Jeffco Board of Education hired Daniel McMinimee as superintendent for the Jefferson County School District with a split vote Tuesday night.

High school students make functioning prosthetic hand for 6-year-old boy — 5/28/14 (Fox 31 Denver)
HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — A Highlands Ranch 6-year-old has a new robotic hand, thanks to a trio of students in Kent Allison’s Science and Technology class at Mountain Vista High School.

Jeffco Schools board OKs hiring of Daniel McMinimee by 3-2 vote — 5/27/14 (Denver Post)
GOLDEN — A badly divided Jefferson County Schools board on Tuesday night hired Daniel McMinimee as the next superintendent of the state’s second-largest school district, as audience members howled in protest and hurled catcalls toward the dais.

Douglas County shadow over potential Jeffco schools superintendent — 5/27/14 (Denver Post)
Daniel McMinimee’s educational credentials could hardly look more solid.

Costs of teacher tool presented, questioned — 5/23/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
School district leaders said they saved money and created a better system by opting to build a Douglas County-specific teaching tool instead of buying such software from an outside vendor. But community members are challenging the figures the Douglas County School District says it so far has spent on the system, with some asserting the numbers don’t reflect the total investment.

Parents march in search of answers — 5/20/14 (Castle Rock News-Press)
Parents and concerned community members met at the Phillip S. Miller library parking lot in Castle Rock on May 20 and marched carrying signs to the Douglas County School District administration building on Wilcox Street. There, they demanded answers and discussion from district administrators inside the building regarding the teacher evaluation system and what they described as the ongoing bullying and intimidation of staff and students.

Community walk to support to Douglas County teachers and Principal Amber Sorg Tuesday morning — 5/20/14 (The Denver Channel)
CASTLE ROCK, Colo. – Community members are planning a walk this morning to show support for Douglas County School District teachers and Principal Amber Sorg.

Douglas County principal, Amber Sorg, at center of merit pay dispute, put on leave for ‘misconduct’ — 5/19/14 (The Denver Channel)
CASTLE ROCK, Colo. – A Douglas County School District principal at the center of a community controversy over a teacher merit pay review at Rock Ridge Elementary School has been place on administrative leave for misconduct, the district confirmed Monday.

Elementary principal placed on leave — 5/19/14 (Denver Post)
Amber Sorg, principal of Douglas County’s Rock Ridge Elementary, has been placed on administrative leave, according to 7News.

Letter to the editor: Plenty of spending, but not on students — 5/18/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
My daughter’s neighborhood school sent a letter to accompany students as they asked for donations for their annual fundraiser.

District announces plan to boost school staffers’ pay — 5/18/14 (Lone Tree Voice)
The Douglas County School District plans to give staff members an average 3 percent pay increase for the 2014-15 school year.

Douglas County principal on leave amid investigation into teacher evaluations — 5/18/14 (The Denver Channel)
Castle Rock, Colo. – 7NEWS has confirmed the principal of Douglas County’s Rock Ridge Elementary School has been put on administrative leave.

Parents, students rally for Rock Ridge teachers — 5/17/14 (Lone Tree Voice)
In a scene reminiscent of rallies staged last year at two Highlands Ranch elementary schools, parents and students protested in their teachers’ defense May 16 at Castle Rock’s Rock Ridge Elementary School.

Pay for Performance Scores Coming Under Fire — 5/16/14 (The Denver Channel)
7News Denver Video

Jeffco superintendent finalist faces tough room during meet and greet — 5/15/14 (Denver Post)
WHEAT RIDGE — Jefferson County Schools superintendent finalist Dan McMinimee faced a decidedly tough crowd Thursday, as dozens of people came to an open house at Wheat Ridge High School to set eyes for the first time on the man who more than likely will take the reins of the state’s second-largest school district.

Douglas County School District’s pay-for-performance teacher scores under scrutiny
— 5/16/14 (The Denver Channel)
Castle Rock, Colo. – A group of parents and students held signs and honked horns to show their support for teachers at Rock Ridge Elementary in Castle Rock after their performance scores have come under scrutiny.

Douglas County school employees to get raises of 3 percent, on average — 5/16/14 (Denver Post)
The Douglas County school board on Friday approved raises of 3 percent — on average — for teachers and employees for the 2014-15 school year.

Englewood School District new assistant superintendent comes from Douglas schools — 5/14/14 (Denver Post)
The Englewood School District has named a new assistant superintendent to replace Karen Brofft.

Four local students receive Boettcher scholarships — 5/14/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
Four of the 40 Colorado students chosen for this year’s Boettcher Foundation scholarships are Douglas County School District students.

Union wants state to review teacher-evaluation system — 5/14/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
Douglas County’s teachers’ union is asking the Colorado Department of Education to review the district’s teacher-evaluation system on claims it is “invalid and unreliable”.

Jeffco superintendent finalist faces tricky road ahead — 5/13/14 (Denver Post)
When Ron Cabrera was hired as superintendent of the Thompson School District in 2008, he took the helm of the 16,000-student district without the full support of the board.

Highlands Ranch H.S. class wins CDOT competition for distracted driving video — 5/13/14 (KDVR.com)
HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — A Highlands Ranch High School media class is named winner of the Colorado Department of Transportation’s statewide contest called “Life in Slow-mo.”

Longview School Board exploring options for interim superintendent — 5/13/14 (The Daily News)
The Longview School Board plans to review applications from interim superintendent candidates within a week, though it’s uncertain whether it will hire a district employee or outside educator to temporarily replace outgoing superintendent Suzanne Cusick.

Jeffco finds new superintendent in Douglas County — 5/12/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
The Jefferson County Board of Education announced Douglas County School District Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education Dan McMinimee as the sole finalist in their superintendent search on May 10.

One finalist in Jeffco superintendent search — 5/10/14 (9News.com)
KUSA – After going nearly three months without a superintendent, the Jefferson County School board announces its pick for the next one. It’s the current assistant superintendent in Douglas County.

School board changes policy to fill vacancies — 5/10/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
The Douglas County School Board adopted a process to fill board vacancies that will require more discussion before such decisions are made. It’s an effort to avoid the scenario that occurred March 25, when Rich Robbins was appointed the newest member of the seven-person board.

School district to showcase reforms — 5/10/14 (Highlands Ranch Herald)
The Douglas County School District will open its doors to those in the education world curious about its education-reform efforts during a summer Innovation Summit.

Jeffco community says superintendent finalist proves their fears of “Dougco agenda” — 5/10/14 (Chalkbeat)
The Jeffco Public Schools community reacted quickly on social media to the news a Douglas County schools administrator had been named the sole finalist for the superintendent position in the west suburban school district.

Superintendent finalist eager to prove himself to Jeffco community — 5/10/14 (Chalkbeat)
Earlier today, the Jeffco Public Schools Board of Education named Dan McMinimee, a Douglas County school administrator, as the district’s sole finalist for the open superintendent position.

Jeffco school board names superintendent finalist Daniel McMinimee — 5/10/14 (Denver Post)
Jefferson County Board of Education members announced Saturday they have selected by a vote of 3 to 2 one finalist for superintendent, Daniel McMinimee, currently assistant superintendent of secondary education for Douglas County schools.

Jeffco board names Dougco administrator as lone superintendent finalist — 5/10/14 (Chalkbeat)
GOLDEN — In a split decision, the Jeffco Public Schools Board of Education has named a Douglas County Public Schools administrator as its sole finalist for the open-superintendent post.

Longview superintendent candidate from Colorado lays out plans  — 5/8/14 (The Daily News Online)
Former Colorado school administrator Christian Cutter has educated students in a wide variety of settings, from Caribbean schools with only three walls to Colorado’s 67,000-student Douglas County School District. But Cutter, a candidate to replace outgoing Longview Superintendent Suazanne Cusick, says he’s willing to stay in a district the size of Longview.

Four Highlands Ranch high schools return to traditional schedule
— 5/8/14 (Denver Post)
Four Highlands Ranch high schools are returning to traditional schedules after two years on a block schedule that caused some consternation among parents and teachers, but students generally liked.

Colorado TCAP reading scores off slightly as READ Act gets underway — 5/7/14 (Denver Post)
Colorado’s third-grade reading results in the final year of the Transitional Colorado Assessment Program dipped slightly from last year, but students scoring proficient or advanced continued to hover in the low 70 percent range.
3rd Grade Reading Results: Colorado 2014 TCAP

School district software contract draws questions — 5/6/14 (Lone Tree Voice)
The Douglas County School Board recently approved spending $2.2 million to replace its human resources, payroll and benefits system, plus $639,000 for a five-year subscription for support services to the winning vendor, California-based Workday.

Why my kids played hooky from school tests — 5/3/14 (Denver Post)
Opinion:  “Comparison is the thief of joy,” America’s consummate individualist Teddy Roosevelt said. It’s a proverb I wish the Colorado Department of Education would embrace.

Douglas County School District creates new position to engage parents
  — 5/1/14 (Denver Post)
The Douglas County School District has created a new position to better engage parents in response to a bill passed by the state legislature last year.