Staff Voices

You’ll remember a few weeks back we put out a survey after the district put out a RFP – “The District seeks professionals qualified to develop a rigorous, high quality employee survey instrument for the purposes of getting information to inform employee retention, recruitment and support for innovation.”

Now, we still contend that it’s ridiculous to pay for a survey to determine what to do to retain employees. This should be obvious to anyone who is actually involved in the district. So, we created our own survey to gather the voices of our staff. Though it’s not technical or what anyone would want for a formal and valid sampling methodology to determine a direction for the future of the largest employer in Jefferson County, the results are clear and at least the voices are heard.


Question 1 – Are you currently happy in your job?


This question included responses that clarify the answers. For this question there are over 80 individual responses, while we’ve read them all, we are only sharing a section of them due to space. These are the results that are so very telling.


I love my boss and coworkers, but am unhappy with the direction the district is headed
I love my job and my admin. I’m terrified of what will happen if the recall fails.
I love my job but I am very distressed with the state of the school board.
I love my job but I feel like the fun is being taken away
I love my job, but I’m not happy with the direction of the District leadership.
I love my job… With it being a new position this year it comes with challenge and uncertainty. What will be the future for digital teacher librarians?
I love my school and my students-NOT happy with the way teachers have been disrespected by the current board majority.
I love my school but I hate the effect that the board majority has had on morale and I am very unhappy with pay for performance
I love my students and my classroom; I am not happy working for this current school board.
I love my students, teaching, and my school. I am disappointed in the board majority and superintendent.
I love my work, but the demands are increasing and our school is struggling to meet the economic demands of the community it serves. SBB is not equitable for smaller schools.
I love teaching just not under the current district administration
I love teaching! I do not like the lack of respect teachers receive from the board majority. This is the first time I have ever considered leaving my calling.
I love teaching… HATE all of the hoops teachers have to jump through!
I love the kids – not so happy with some of the other stuff!
I love what I do with the children but hate to see and feel the stress we are all going through with the board.
I love what i do. I hate the political enviroment that this board makes me work in.

Question 2 asked how they felt about “Innovation.”



The result here is about the same as the word “Reform” in our community. It requires a definition. Teachers are not afraid of new things or trying something to benefit their students, but the word alone is simply not trusted. Our ask is that this word stop being thrown around.


Question 3 – Do you plan to stay in Jeffco Schools? This one was a nailbiter for us as parents!



About 150 individual responses and they’re nearly all identical!

Considering a different career
Depending on if the recall passes and how it impacts my own children
Depends completely on the November election. Keeping my fingers crossed for a new Slate!
Depends if I feel my kids will get good education. If recall fails, I may move.
Depends if recall is successful, then yes.
Depends if WNW are recalled or not
Depends on a lot of things – workload & money, but also culture & climate
Depends on culture of the district
Depends on election
Depends on election (and money)
Depends on election 2015
depends on election in November
Depends on election results
Depends on election.
Depends on how election and evaluation goes (new evaluator)
Depends on how the election turns out.
depends on how the election turns out. Probably not if the BOE3 stay
depends on how the recall goes and if I can afford to stay
Depends on how the recall goes. I want to work where I am appreciated as an educator. It’s not about money, it’s about the future of our district. If it was about money, I would have left years ago.
Depends on how this election pans out.
Depends on if Recall is successful
Depends on many factors
Depends on money and climate. At this time I am considering a job change for next year.
Depends on money and outcome of November board elections
Depends on money and the board
Depends on money and workload.
Depends on money, the BOE, and if teachers are shown appreciation and respect. Under the current situation, I will not be at Jeffco for long.
Depends on my principal and her confidence in me as a teacher
Depends on November election
Depends on November election outcomes
Depends on outcome of elections
Depends on pay
Depends on recall
Depends on recall
Depends on recall and whether there is a contract
depends on respect from school board, including, but not limited to pay
Depends on results of election
Depends on results of the election
Depends on school board elections
Depends on success of the Recall
Depends on the election.
depends on the November election. if we get in a pro public ed board I will stay.
Depends on the outcome of school board election.
Depends on the outcome of the November election
Depends on the outcome of the recall
Depends on the outcome of the recall and if we actually have a board majority that supports public education
Depends on the Recall
Depends on the recall results
Depends on the recall! With a new BOE YES!
Depends on the recall.
Depends on the status of the current maturity board members.
Depends on what happens in the election


Question 4 – What is the best thing about Jeffco Schools?


This is clear – our teachers love our children and our families the most. We inadvertently left out co-workers (sorry!) The individual responses that chose the BOE as the best thing were very telling – one was an IP address from Wisconsin that noted it was not even a staff member and left some extremely nasty notes that won’t be included. The only individuals that picked the BOE as “best” all included rude and profane messages.   


Question 5 – How can we better retain employees?


Lots of great responses here – again, this is just a sampling of more than 50 individual responses. If district administration wants the entire list, all they have to do is ask us for it!

Acknowledge that things aren’t always perfect but that you DO have faith on your employees to do the right thing. Don’t micromanage me. Treat me like a professional and understand that you likely have NO idea what my day is like.
Adequate support for intense needs students and reasonable mangable caseload for me
All of these are necessary to keep my student and I in Jeffco!
Allow me the time to improve my teaching vs. having to prove my worth
Allow us to teach kids how to think independently not how to think like everyone else.
Be fair. Be honest. Have integrity in dealings with teachers and parents
Bring back some sort of salary schedule so I can plan for my financial future and it ensures collaboration not competition among my peers.
collaborate with the unions
Combine sick and personal leave
Create a fair system to evaluate employees
Create a reasonable workload.
Decent wage/respect
Demonstrate that you value diversity
develop meaningful evaluation document and train admits to use it.
Don’t just say you’re involving me, surveying me, etc. Actually listen to me!
Don’t mess with my autonomy: my individual planning time, my lesson plans, my choices in furthering my education.
Ensure that learning conditions are the best they can be for students and teachers!
Full day kindergarten
Fund the mandates
Give me adequate planning time
Give me time to do my job well without adding more demands
Give teachers more voice on district committees and in curriculum and school-based decision making.
Give them the respect they deserve
Have BOE spend some time in classrooms and teaching kids.
Honor my higher education degrees and my experience.
I feel like I could check all of these. A school board and administration that treats teachers with professional respect would negotiate with teachers to find agreement on pay, testing, costs, and class size.
It’s not the pay per se, I knew this field wasn’t going to make me wealthy. However, when I started 20 years ago there were other benefits. The time off, the stability, tenure, some flexibility in my day and a LOT of creative autonomy. I always felt successful and I knew I was valued. Without those, the pay is not enough. If I had wanted to work in a competitive environment, I’d have gone into law and I suspect I’d be making quite a bit more!
Keep your promises. Care about kids. Care about teachers. Stop making our district be “for sale” to outside forces.
Look at longevity & the investment into our expertise
Make the goal setting more applicable to making me a better teacher. Not just another hoop jump that looks good on paper.
more custodial team work, less complaining about the job.
Offer reduced cost for K since I’m an employee
provide me with the tools (ie – materials and consumables) to do my job
Provide more opportunities for professional development. The summer PD classes fill up within hours of being offered. Teachers who don’t get a chance to sign up until a later planning time are not able to enroll in classes that are relevant and meaningful to their current career. (Some people signed up for classes just to get the extra pay and don’t even teach 3rd grade math expressions)
Put in place a fair evaluation system.
Put students’ first, not politics.
Reduce my class size is #1. It’s what’s best for kids.
Reduce my class size is #1. It’s what’s best for kids.
Respect is free. All boards can afford it.
Restore our old pay scale, honor the old MOU, STOP OVERTESTING!!!!
Stop randomly choosing new teaching curriculum AND testing until it is proven tried and true!!
Stop taking away planning time to justify agendas that have nothing to do with my teaching/student learning.
stop the bullying by the BoE
Support me in my professional growth and development
Training BEFORE school year starts


Question 6 – What type position do you hold?



Question 7 – Are you a union member?




We always wonder who we are reaching.

Question 8 – Are you glad there is a recall effort underway?



The results are certainly clear here. The no people – one is from Wisconsin and none of the others identified as staff in their responses. We do love that the survey analytics allowed us to look at those individual responses to see how some folks tried to skew the survey. We could have pulled those individuals OUT of the survey entirely. Just chose not to so everyone could see the truth – although, again, we certainly won’t share the profanity-laced responses.


Question 9 – How can we recruit new talent?

You gave us 350 individual responses on this one! Thank you! Just a small sampling, but again, if administration wants the feedback – all they have to do is ask us!

Pay comensurate with years of education and experience Tuition reimbursement plan
Pay competitive wage
Pay competitively with surrounding districts.
Pay fair market
Pay fair wages, offer raises that exceed the cost of living adjustment. When put in perspective everyone has done nothing but loose for the past 7 years…
Pay fair wages, treat each other with respect, innovate for kids and families not for big business or money
Pay fair wages. Reduce class sizes. Develop true respect for teachers as professions; that includes giving teachers the respect to create their own assessments.
Pay fairly and make benefits affordable and treat them with respect!
Pay fairly and treat all employees with respect. Value the opinions and concerns of parents, teachers and students.
Pay fairly and value/respect teachers!
Pay higher salaries, hire better administration to run schools and jeffco
Pay higher salaries, pay for higher education like master degrees and higher education classes
Pay more. Reward post-graduate degrees with fair pay.
Pay teachers commensurate with experience and education and at least competitive with highest paid districts in the metro area.
Pay teachers… All teachers not just new ones. A board that believes in those you lead. Be leaders and drop the politics.
Pay them a fair wage and a salary schedule that is competitive. Treat them with respect and listen to their ideas.
Pay them a fair wage, give them support while giving autonomy and respect for their professionalism.
Pay them better and give teachers the respect they deserve!
Pay them fairly but more importantly lets retain the wonderful talent we have right here in Jeffco already
Pay them more. Give bonus’ and more incentives to want to make a difference. Unfortunately we are driven by money.
Pay them!!!!!
Pay us for the work we do and the degrees with have and respect us as professionals that went to college for 4 years (minimally). We know what we’re doing!
Pay wages similar to Boulder Valley using pay scale based on experience and education. I’m a first year teacher in Jeffco and due to the current boards policies, I will most likely leave the district next school year.
Pay, honor recruits teaching experience, involve teachers in academic decisions, respect teachers abilities, stop making excellent teachers change their successful strategies for this current dog and pony show
Pay, positive district culture
Predictable pay schedule that honors the PD work we do and is a livable wage for singles and new families
Proper working conditions. Complete the promises for wages (levels and steps). A little respect goes a long way!!!
provide A competitive salary package, provide money for out of district trainings, provide non evaluative mentorship, show respect for the importance of the teacher student relationship.
Provide a respectful and supportive environment for education, include teachers and parents and the local community in decisions that impact schools (that is provide early information on possible changes/impacts at one BOE meeting, provide a forum for discussion of alternatives and solution options, review possible outcomes at a second BOE meeting, allow for public comment, vote at a third (or even 4th) BOE meeting — you know — follow the procedures and policies in place that govern the BOE. Reinstate lost pay from the recession. Provide a reasonable calculation for pay, including a discussed, mutually beneficial (teachers, kids, administration) pay for performance plan that considers the professional status of the teachers, the mix of kids, and the socio-economic condition of the neighborhood that impacts learning. Allow teachers and school administration some flexibility in determining performance measures — not the standards, but the type of measures made (tests – some kids are verbal, some are visual, some do well with standardized tests). Stop dictating how a teacher teaches and micromanaging curriculum to the point where teachers have no opportunity to address specific needs of their classes/kids while following a rigid “packet” (yes there are curricula that have specific worksheets that provide some data, but not necessarily an effective teaching tool). Provide a collaborative working environment that respects the knowledge, understanding and experience of the teachers.
Provide a safe environment. Evaluations should be used to grow our teachers, not seen as punitive.
Provide an environment that values and respects employees.
Provide respect and trust
Provide technology, training to use it, support to implement it, and follow-up by receiving feedback. I would reduce class size for primary grades to a maximum of 18 students with an in-class teaching assistant 3 days per week. I would reduce intermediate grades to no more than 25 students with a teaching assistant also 3 days per week. All teachers would have Wednesday afternoons from 1:00-4:00 pm to plan and analyze student data while the students would engage in specials of Art, Music, or PE. A portion of this time would also provide a measure of time for Library Science where students can check out books, research information, build computer skills or practice math with helpful electronic resources. This would provide a break in academics while providing an opportunity to explore project based options. Art teachers can build project centered activities, Music teachers can help build productions and music-dramatic events, PE teachers can promote health and fitness with this extended time.
Raise pay and be consistent with raises.
Raise pay Pay for masters degrees
Raise salaries and change the evaluation system
Raise salaries to be competitive with other districts. Lower class sizes, and have an evaluation system that is fair. Reduce testing.
Raise salaries, reduce class size, elect officials to our School Board who respect their constituents, have respect for teachers a high priority of the administration.
RECALL and try to heal this district with respect to all staff, students and community members. Proper compensation.
recall the board and reset the agenda to a kids first agenda. Then raise wages.
Recall the board majority
Recall the board so “new” teachers will want to come to Jeffco.
Recall the board!
Recall the BOE 3 and restore community faith in our school district.
Recall WNW, value their talent
Recruit from top universities, pay good wages, consider alternative licensing candidates


Question 10 – Is there anything else you’d like to tell SJK? Almost 300 individual responses here. Some amazing ideas and lots of thanks – we are sharing the thank you notes here so the 1000’s of SJK volunteers can read them.

Moral is really low due to the fact that the future of the district that we all love is being torn apart. We have no idea what our future holds. Our school is full of teachers who go in over an hour early and stay 2 hours late and then take many hours of work home. We are doing it for the kids while sacrificing our health. We all love that your site supports teachers in any way you can!
Morale is the lowest I have seen in Jeffco in 20 years. Mid career teachers have no chance of making it. My pay is still 5000 dollars less than it was 5 years ago in spite of our school’s excellent standing. There is the feeling that this board wants to get rid of longtime teachers to save money. There is no respect for teachers.
My heart breaks for the stress I see all teachers under these days with minimal district support and a Board of Education that clearly feels they are underworked and overpaid
My husband has asked me to really consider if this district is still a good fit for me. It has been a topic of our family discussions that maybe I should find a district that values my skills.
My kids are Jeffco students and I am scared for their future if the current board is not recalled.
My pay was increased from 40500 to 40800! I’ve been a special education teacher for 10 years in the same high school and chair of my department for 5 years. I have a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and I am highly qualified in 3 areas (CTE, FACS, and history. I am an only parent of 2 great kids that attend Jeffco Schools. I can’t even afford their school fees not to mention my own medical treatments for multiple sclerosis. My dignity has been completely stripped away! Does this school board have any idea how many people are hurting from their actions like I am?!??
My thanks!
Our kids deserve the best……period! Our majority board is so far below the best that I can’t find a gage lower than that! Excellence is what we need and the board majority has failed at providing that. This is the most “unprofessional group I have ever seen in schools or in, and, out of the board room.”
Our school can’t afford enough teachers with school based budgeting. Para hours have been cut and kids are in multi grade level classrooms, with large class sizes. Kids aren’t able to get the individual attention that they need.
Pay attached to my evaluation is not fair. Why should teachers bust their tail when various principals aren’t going to acknowledge it. Students suffer in the long run. SSB for elementary schools under 400 is awful and 2/3 of Jeffco Elementaries ARE under 400. Cuts have been made, students and staff lost. It stinks! Sub pay is pathetic. We are constantly covering classes due to lack of subs. They are worth way more and other districts realize that. Cut the Superintendents pay and pay the veteran teachers and subs! Get rid of waste like Brad Miller, too!
Pay for performance doesn’t work. Honoring teachers with more opportunities to grow within their profession and collaborating with peers has been proven to be more effective for student achievement.
Political agendas have no place in the education system. What this BOE has done is sickening. They cannot continue to bully the community, students, teachers and other board members. They stand for everything Jeffco is not. We need to return pride, respect and transparency to Jeffco.
quit blaming teachers and the education should be union for failed test scores, education should be an equal lateral triangle equal parts teacher, students, parents. Now is all on teachers back, no admin support or board support
Recall or strike!
School based budgeting is having a very negative impact on srudents, staff, and learning.
Special Education is under staffed and kids are suffering as are the over worked employees struggling to constantly meet the ever changing needs of this diverse population.
Support for employees begins with the top, especially the Board. If the Board ignores employees, the turnover will only increase. Place emphasis on learning, not testing. Leadership involves accepting input from all, not just a select few.
Take back jeffco! We were a great district, we need to get there again!
take back our district and let’s start serving ALL kids again!
Teachers who have been in the district for their whole career, need to be treated well and get raises too. Teachers who were in Strategic Comp aren’t getting any raises. Its difficult to pay bills that are constantly increasing when our pay is not increasing. I understand that we needed to bring up the pay for younger beginning teachers, but older teachers haven’t gotten much at all. Reward people for sticking through all of this chaos.
teachers work too hard for the way we are being treated
Teaching is a profession that has been passed down in my family since they came to America several generations ago…a great-grandparent even taught at Maple Grove Elementary in 1901. It looks like it stops with me. None of my children have any desire to teach as they have grown up in this district and have seen how their mother is treated in her job and the stress she undergoes. It is sad teaching is not about the children anymore.
Thank You
thank you everyone who is showing support in some way for our Kids
Thank You for all of your hard work on our behalf
Thank you for all of your hard work!
Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do!
Thank you for all you are doing!
Thank you for all you do for us!
Thank you for all you do!
Thank you for all you do!
Thank you for all YOU do!!!
Thank you for all YOU do!!!
Thank you for all you do. Parents in jeffco are the best.
Thank you for all you do. The recall would have never happened without parents like you taking action.
Thank you for all your efforts!!
Thank you for all your efforts.
Thank you for all your hard work.
Thank you for being a voice for teachers and students!
Thank you for doing this and advocating for kids and teachers!
Thank you for doing what you do to support kids, families, and teachers!
thank you for everything you do!!!
Thank you for everything you do!!!
Thank you for everything you have done.
thank you for making this survey. I hope the results will not be ignored.
Thank you for supporting jeffco students and employees.
Thank you for supporting Jeffco students and teachers!
thank you for supporting teachers and doing what’s best for all Jeffco kids!
Thank you for supporting us!
Thank you for supporting us! I am a mom and a teacher. I am also a proud Jeffco graduate. This board majority is terribly misinformed and misguided. They must go.
Thank you for supporting us!!!! It means the world to know that I’m not alone in this, and that someone other than my fellow teachers values what we do!
THANK YOU for the work SJK does for the education community in Jeffco! I’m hanging on because of your work!
Thank you for what you’ve done to forward the recall. I’m tired of putting on a brave face. I’m scared for my career, for my daughter, and the rest of the kids of JeffCo. I don’t want to become DPS. I love my colleagues and want them to stay. I don’t want JeffCo to be a joke on the late shows national. Let’s kick butt and get ride of the McBoard and move forward.
Thank you for your efforts on behalf of the teachers, staff, and children of Jefferson County. We are grateful!
Thank you for your efforts to support Jeffco kids.
Thank you for your efforts. This is a big turning point that can either save Jeffco or continue to dismantle it. The high level professionals will keep leaving
Thank you for your hard work.
Thank you for your support!
Thank you for your support!
Thank you for your support!
Thank you for your time & commitment to our children.
Thank you for your work! You make a difference!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for standing up for kids!
THANK YOU I love you all 🙂
Thank you Support Jeffco Kids for supporting our kids and schools!!!
Thank you to everyone who has pulled together in unity to support our excellent schools and try to hold on to the successes of our PUBLIC education. Collaboration is so much more important to public education than corporate money and privatization. Choice does not mean the wealthy get it and the rest of us take the scraps.
Thank you!
Thank you!
Thank you!
Thank you!
Thank you!
Thank you!
Thank you!
Thank you! I am so anxious about this recall and fear for my career if it doesn’t go through. I grew up here and am heartbroken at what these tyrants are trying to do.
Thank you!!!
Thank you. You give me hope!
Thanks for all of your work!
Thanks for all you do for teachers and kids 🙂
Thanks for all you do!
Thanks for all you do!
Thanks for all you do.
Thanks for all you have done the last two years! You guys are amazing!
Thanks for all you have done the last two years! You guys are amazing!
Thanks for all your efforts on our behalf.
Thanks for all your efforts to support students and teachers recently.
Thanks for all your efforts!
Thanks for all you’re doing to support the Jeffco community!
Thanks for fighting the good fight when it became necessary.
Thanks for the invite to participate.
Thanks for the work you do!
Thanks for what you do
Thanks gang! We can do this. We have to.
Yes, thank you for all your hard work on behalf of teachers and kids. My family and I really appreciate it.
You all ROCK! Thank you for all of your hard work to make our communities stronger . I would have retired last year if SJK didn’t “have my back.”
You guys are a huge part of why I have hung in here- it means everything to know that we have support behind us! Thanks for all of your work!
You guys are fantastic.


Dear Jeffco Staff – SJK would like to extend our thanks to YOU!

Now let these thanks inspire EVERYONE to join in walking and phone banking this weekend!