Students Request Voice Regarding Budget And Re-Opening Plans

A group of Jeffco students contacted us regarding both the budget cuts and the re-opening plan and wanting an opportunity to have their voices heard. We agree and we love student advocates, so we are hosting their letter here as well as an opportunity for you to sign on to their letter. These phenomenal students certainly can give us great ideas of what it looks like in their schools and we look forward to hearing more from them!

We also believe Dr. Glass and the Board will value their voices and help to create an opportunity for students to participate in these decisions.

Read their letter and add your name below:

 

Dear Dr. Jason Glass and Jefferson County School Board Directors,

Six months ago we could have never imagined the situation we would be in. We never would have imagined that it wouldn’t be safe to sit and laugh around the lunch table or to do homework in the library with our best friend. But that has all changed. We are in a crisis never seen before. A crisis where the future and lives of Jeffco students, staff, and families are all at stake. Our response cannot be lacking or flawed. That is why we are writing to you today. We are writing to encourage you to bring more student voice and student involvement into the discussion on how to restart school amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the discussion on the inevitable budget cuts that must be made.

Up to now, students have been left out of the conversation. We have had next to no input on the plans for the restart and how we are going to resume our education. This is irresponsible to everyone in our school district. If our plans do not go as expected and there is an outbreak of COVID-19 at a school, hundreds could be put at risk, from the students walking through the hallways, to the teachers and staff whose classrooms to which they are walking, to the families they go home to. Right now students have been so left out of the process, most don’t even know what the restart plan is. No emails have been sent to us and communication has been so sparse nearly everyone is relying on rumor and conjecture. It can not be expected of students that we follow these guidelines or prepare for these guidelines if they are not even shared with us. That brings us to why we need this student perspective. Students know what restart plans might work and what have no chance of working; what plans we will follow and what plans our friends will follow. We urge you, the officials who hold the future of the district in your hands, to give an opportunity for students to make their voice heard so we ensure the safety of everyone in our community. We urge you to reach out to students to hear their concerns and so you can make sure every single person in our school system continues to have a high quality education.

Listening to students should not stop with just the restart plan because we are affected by much more. What we are specifically referring to are the disappointing but necessary budget cuts. Because students are the ones impacted the greatest by your budgetary decisions, we need input in what those decisions are. What we are proposing is a survey, sent to all Jefferson County students, where their opinions on the programs, like theater or other extracurriculars, can be expressed. But it is not enough to just give them a voice, you must listen to that voice. Prioritize the programs and classes held in the highest regard by the students. We understand the budget must be cut so we might as well try to minimize the impact it will have on the lives and on the education of students.

We once again urge you to give students a voice in these conversations of utmost importance and we urge you to listen to that voice so all of here in Jefferson County schools can have a prosperous and fruitful education.

Thank you for your time and we look forward to these coming changes.

Yours sincerely,

Spencer Wilcox – Junior at Lakewood High School
Lexy Leblanc – Junior at Ralston Valley High School
Maddy Thomas – Junior at Lakewood High School
Bella Clark – Junior at Lakewood High School
Camila Self – Junior at Lakewood High School
Amanda Opp – Senior at Lakewood High School
Mia Chaw – Junior at Lakewood High School
Charlotte Combe – Junior at Lakewood High School
Brookelin Bonura – Junior at Lakewood High School
Avery Holdren – Junior at Lakewood High School
Maddie Flanigan – Junior at Ralston Valley High School
Audrey Lillie – Junior at Lakewood High School
Haley Wickham – Junior at Lakewood High School
Helen Blake – Junior at Colorado Academy
Molly Weber – Junior at Golden High School
Athena Pierson – Sophomore at Lakewood High School
Lily Ferguson – Senior at Lakewood High School
Izzy Rieger – Junior at Golden High School
Vianae Cazarez – Junior at Lakewood High School
Maddie Taylor – Senior at Arvada West High School
Harper Saxon – Junior at Ralston Valley High School
Nick Roboff – Junior at Ralston Valley High School
Morgan Fritzler – Junior at Lakewood High School
Audrey Avery – Junior at Lakewood High School
Natalie Williams – Junior at Lakewood High School
Lainey Graham – Junior at Lakewood High School
Grace Matteson – Junior at Lakewood High School
Hayley Thomas – Senior at Dakota Ridge High School
Jenna Koerner – Junior at Lakewood High School
Anna Nepomuceno – Sophomore at Lakewood High School
Connor O’Brian – Sophomore at Lakewood High School
Magdalena Bratic – Junior at Lakewood High School
Raine Wright – Junior at Lakewood High School
Kate Yorga – Junior at Lakewood High School
Ema McWilliams – Junior at Lakewood High School
Laura Noller – Junior at Lakewood High School
Cathy Zimmerman – Junior at Lakewood High School
Mrs. Katie Seelbach – Teacher at Lakewood High School
Karah Post – Junior at Lakewood High School
Greta Sturgis – Junior at Lakewood High School
Ms. Alexia DeNice – Teacher at Lakewood High School
Shawna Fritzler – Parent
Jonna Levine – Community member
Support Jeffco Kids – Community Nonprofit
Lucas Swallow – Junior at Lakewood High School
Ethan Girard – Junior at Wheat Ridge High School
Jack Haggard – Junior at Golden High School
Corbin Hastings – Junior at Wheat Ridge High School
Jordan Rein – Junior at Lakewood High School
Jeffco Council Parent Teacher Association
Tim Allport – Parent
Lorri Avery – Parent
Cody Knopf – Jeffco Classified Employee
Joel Whissel – Student at Lakewood High School
Bryce Melaragno – Teacher at Lakewood High School
Teresa Wagner – Parent
Michele Trujillo – Parent
Henry Falconetti – Student at Lakewood High School
Taylor Kent – Student at Lakewood High School
Stephen Price – Student at Dakota Ridge High School
Liz Rowland – Community Member
Cheri Cahill – Teacher at Manning School of Academics and Arts
Angie Wagner – Teacher at Bear Creek High School
Talisa Lin – Student at Lakewood High School
Eileen Hunter-Sweeney – Retired Social Worker & Community Member
CeXochitl Delatorre – Teacher at Alameda Jr./Sr. High School
Gigi Ryner – Teacher at Ute Meadows Elementary
Marianna Estrada – Student at Dakota Ridge High School
Isaias Estrada – Student at Dakota Ridge High School
Amber Miskimon – Parent
Tyler Croy – Junior at Standley Lake High School
Colin Booth – Teacher at Evergreen High School
Tess Brody – Student at Dakota Ridge High School
Karen Burgess – Parent
Pablo-Daniel Martinez – Student at Alameda Jr./Sr. High School
Bradley Hughes – Parent
Nicholle Leadblad – Parent
Angela Abeyta – Parent
Mollie Gates – Student at Lakewood High School
Amy Paulsen – Parent
Francisco J. Carrillo – Sophomore at Alameda International High School
Kelly Price – Parent
Shaunna Abling – Teacher at Creighton Middle School
Amy Vaughan – Parent
Alaya Vaughan – Student at North Arvada Middle School
Jen Luecke – Parent
Lacey Taschdjian – Parent
Britta Moore – Teacher at Manning School of Academics and Arts
Maggie Ruddy – Parent
Casey Gardner – Social Emotional Learning Counselor for GT
Micah Thunselle – Student at Alameda International High School
Suzanne Beauchamp – Parent
Rosa Thunselle – Parent
Becky Ugander – Teacher at Ken Caryl Middle School
Jack Schut – Lakewood High School Graduate
Olivia Allen – Teacher at Lakewood High School
Noah Hood – Lakewood High School Graduate
Lorrie Odom – Community Member
John Mikesell – Teacher at Lakewood High School
Zechariah Torrez – Student at Alameda International High School
Genevieve Bassett – Teacher at Alameda International High School
Melissa Herrera – Student at Alameda International High School
Neveah Trujillo – Student at Alameda International High School
Rebeca Vargas – Student at Alameda International High School
Nicholas Brozovich – Student at Green Mountain High School
Laura Clark – Parent
Dawn Allbee – Parent
Grahm Tuohy-Gaydos – Student at Green Mountain High School
Gladis Mondragon – Student at Alameda International High School
Shawn Tuohy – Parent
Grahm Tuohy-Gaydos – Student at Green Mountain High School
Colleen Turner Keefe – Teacher at Westwoods Elementary
Brianda Balderrama – Recent Jeffco Graduate
Adrian Salazar – Recent Jeffco Graduate
Darcy Wood – Parent
Patsy Lebsock – Community Member
Kenzie Smith – Student at Chatfield High School
Ruth Cook – Student at Wheat Ridge High School
Lisa Cook – Parent
Kaiden Price – Student at Wheat Ridge High School
Alison Huskie – Community Member
Christina Hubbard – Parent
Jennifer Lofland – Parent
Emily Hall – Teacher at Alameda International High School
Monica Meyer – Parent
Joi Lin – Community Member
Rebecca Montez – Teacher at Everitt Middle School
Lici McCuistion – Parent
Sam Cooper – Recent Jeffco Graduate
Shannon Khoury – Teacher at Dakota Ridge High School
Wendy Flusche – Parent
Emma Hirshblond – Recent Jeffco Graduate
Ret North – Recent Jeffco Graduate
Julie Hearrell – Retired Instructional Coach
Barbara Pagonis – Parent
Ben Williams – Jeffco Teacher
Suzanne McClung – Teacher at Lakewood High School
Allie Matsuo – Teacher at Doral Academy
Vesta Skinner – Community Member
Anthony Tyrrell-Ead – Community Member
Shannon Kaiser – Parent
Carol Degenhart – Teacher at Lakewood High School
Holly Brinkman – Teacher at Drake Middle School
Elly Miller – Parent
Tami Losasso – Teacher at Lakewood High School
Emi Valera – Sophomore at Alameda International High School
Donna Nemer – Parent
Patricia Unverferth – Parent
Chris DeMink – Parent
Katie DeMink – Senior at Standley Lake High School
Annie Bitsie – Jeffco Classified Staff Member
Kelly Bruen – Parent
Dianna Carrillo – Recent Jeffco Graduate
Rhiannon Wenning – Teacher at Jefferson Jr./Sr. High School
Tina Galterio – Parent
Lori Rubin – Teacher at Ralston Valley High School
Dianne Arthur – Teacher at Everitt Middle School
Gina Deal – Community Member
Pamela Dean – Community Member
Cassandra Ewert-Lamutt – Teacher at Parr Elementary
Robert Preusser – Community Member
Katie Herrera – Parent
Mariyam Parwa – Student at Alameda International High School
Andrew Cogswell – Teacher at Alameda International Jr./Sr. School

Join us in supporting the students of Jeffco by adding your name to the letter here: