Just finished reading through Letters to the Board on Board Docs. We always enjoy reading them to discover issues, figure out where the community stands on issues, and find where the questions are so we can help.
Over the past few months, the overwhelming call was for putting a mill and bond on the ballot or specific calls for individual schools not to be closed/consolidated as the original FMP had recommended. This is extremely important. The Board voted to go forward with a mill and bond just last month to save those schools because of the call from individual communities but those same people MUST volunteer for the campaign! The buildings cannot be sustained without the voters approving it. The work started with the Board vote but those community members who wrote the letters and advocated for their schools must step up and join the campaign.
It’s crucial! If you are one of those people, sign up to volunteer! 3A3BInfo@supportjeffcoschools.com AND your name should be on the list of supporters, add it by going here – http://www.supportjeffcoschools.com/sign-up-to-show-support/
Another subject is boundary changes. After the FMP was presented and potential boundary changes were brought up, people were really upset and rightfully so! Our neighborhood schools are a treasure and they are the center of our communities. This discussion is on hold because we don’t yet know the outcome of the mill and bond vote for November. There have been a few comments like “I’m not voting for this until I know what school I get” from the northwest Arvada corridor. Well, you can pretty much guarantee you’ll get nothing or close to nothing if you don’t remember that this is for ALL kids – more than 86,000 kids and 155 schools. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater is not a strategy for success and it certainly doesn’t serve our Jeffco kids well.
Once the district knows whether or not they have money for the much needed repairs and growing communities, they can decide how to take care of boundaries to fit the families of the Arvada area. We can guarantee there will be community meetings before anything is decided and we will advocate to have all voices heard!
We know the needs as we both live in this part of Arvada, but we hope that everyone will remember that there are 155 schools and several of those are over 45 years old. Voting against a bond because you aren’t sure whether you’ll be inside the boundary that gets the newest building is extremely hurtful to the rest of the Jeffco Schools community. Take a walk through Arvada High School, Jefferson High School, or Alameda High School or one of the others in those articulation areas. It’ll open your eyes to the extreme needs that others have. Please remember those communities.
There was another sentiment noted in letters (several that were identical) – “my school first.” Staff put priority numbers on their presentation to the Board for different items. Not because one is more important than another but based on the most pressing needs to take care of ALL students. This resulted in the letter writing calling for “make my school the first priority.” We do understand this, but please remember the needs of other areas. Again, take a walk around another school, especially those more than 45 years old. The Alameda High School building will break your heart. If you don’t have the time to walk through all 155 schools to see all the needs, please ask questions but allow staff to do their jobs in determining what is most crucial, what they can do with resources available, and how long it will take to serve all kids. We are ONE Jeffco and we need to work together and take care of all Jeffco kids.
There are also several letters from a recalled board member who sends his kids to private school harassing a teacher who wrote to the board, claiming the teacher received a raise much larger than what she received (we are fairly certain that the teacher knows the difference between a 1% increase and an 8% increase in her checkbook.) He also has the gall to take a dig and call her a union activist. Of course, it’s the same board member who likes to take content from our website and photoshop it to indicate that we are part of the union. We hope he remembers that he was recalled by 65% of the people when he reads this and that number is larger than all of the staff in Jeffco. And to this teacher, who is also a mother, we send our virtual hugs for that uncalled-for attack. Keep using your voices, Jeffco! Don’t let trolls bother you!
There is one letter telling the board that if we tended to our facilities, we wouldn’t need any money. This one made us scratch our heads. Any business or person would need money to properly tend to aging facilities. There are well-qualified facility managers who work their tails off taking care of our facilities. They do all they can with very limited resources. We take care of our homes and do lots of repairs ourselves but everyone eventually needs to replace a water heater, replace or repair HVAC, replace leaking roofs, or invest money to fix pipes or install new. Now multiply your home x 155 more with additional needs while you still need to feed your family and cover the budgetary basics.
Sadly, there are always a few really mean and angry letters. One mentions fees being excessive and calls board members names. Please help correct misinformation when you see it online. No district in Colorado wants to charge fees for anything but they really have no choice due to statewide funding issues. This is one of the reasons parents need to participate in their school accountability committees and PTA. That’s where you can learn about these issues!
There was a long list of new hires but also a huge list of resignations. Some extreme talent. We lost several more to surrounding districts. Jeffco pays up to 19% less than surrounding districts. We have to end the exodus. One way you can help is to support your school staff AND volunteer for the campaign! http://www.supportjeffcoschools.com/sign-up-to-show-support/
We encourage everyone to write to the board and let them know about any concerns you have! http://www.supportjeffcokids.org/jeffco-board-of-ed/
When you write, always remember that this Board we worked hard to elect is comprised of three mothers and one dad with real kids in Jeffco Schools and a retired Jeffco principal and grandfather who loves Jeffco Schools. All of them work their tails off to do the right thing and all are unpaid volunteers doing this work. They truly Support Jeffco Kids and are passionate about retaining the Tradition of Excellence that Jeffco is known for!
If YOU Support Jeffco Kids, please do what you can to help before it’s too late! Sign up to help, join us at the parade on Saturday, print out your car window sign, make a donation, and share information on social media.
If you find yourself hung up on one item in the mix that you don’t agree with or love, remember that this impacts more than 86,000 children. We know that, ethically, most people know that properly funding our schools is the right thing to do.
If everyone does a little, we can make a big difference!
Support Jeffco Kids
Every child, every day!