The following column was penned by our Superintendent, Dr. Jason Glass, in the e-newsletter sent to parents. It’s fantastic and thoughtful, enjoy!
Welcome to the 2017-18 school year! Jeffco educators and staff have the greatest jobs in the world – getting to work with your kids! We are grateful for the opportunity to serve your family and this wonderful community.
As the new superintendent for Jeffco Public Schools, I’ve made an intentional effort since I began in July to crisscross the county, meeting with people and making as many connections as possible. I’ve had the chance to visit with parents, students, employees, community and business leaders, and elected officials across Jeffco. Thank you for sharing so many valuable insights and perspectives about your schools.
I’m often asked about my initial impressions and about how things are going, and I’d like to briefly relay some of those thoughts here.
Jeffco Public Schools is a well-run organization with a tradition of quality and service to its students and the community. We also have many talented and passionate educators and support employees working on behalf of kids and families.
While we begin from a solid foundation, there are also areas to improve. The community is hungry for leadership, a compelling vision for where our schools will go in the future, and information about the direction of its schools. You want to know more about the decisions that shape our way forward. While I’ve been in a listening and “seeking to understand” stance for these past few weeks, I am pivoting to put forth such a shared vision.
My goal is to set a course that unifies and inspires our community – and sets our students up to lead successful lives. Be on the lookout for this refocused direction sometime in September.
While shaping community input into a collective way forward, it’s important to acknowledge the political situation in Jeffco and how that impacts our schools. For the past few years, Jeffco Public Schools has possibly been the worst-in-the-nation example of drama, partisan politics, and a flood of outside money working to influence our schools.
One of the reasons I chose to come to Jeffco is that I believe we also have the opportunity to be the best example in the nation of what can happen when people in a community come forward and put their children above the fray of “us versus them” politics.
Jeffco is a community where neighbors care about one another, where we love our children, and where we work together to get things done – and it’s been this way for generations. I am asking you to help me flip this story, and show our state (and country) what Jeffco is really about.
Schools come from the community; the community comes from its schools. Looking ahead, your participation is an important part of transforming our schools into a new, dynamic learning environment for today’s students and future generations. I plan on keeping up the listening and relationship building across Jeffco. Plus, we’ll increase our communications effort, and have more community workshops as we move forward. Together, we’ll put the “unity” back into community schools.
Dr. Jason Glass