What children does this serve?

Yesterday we shared with you an email that Board Member John Newkirk stayed up late to write, shifting blame and attempting to change the story about the mass confusion and upset caused to the Maple Grove, Manning, Everitt Middle School, and Sobesky communities when Mr. Newkirk raised a suprise Motion at a Board Meeting.  http://www.supportjeffcokids.org/to-tell-the-whole-truth/


Of course, that was dissected and backed up with screen shots and facts.  Apparently Mr. Newkirk just isn’t willing to give up and admit he made a big mistake but would prefer to point fingers at everyone else.

 Here’s his newest email to us and the Golden Newsletter:


—–Original Message—–

From: Newkirk John J <jnewkirk@jeffco.k12.co.us>

To: judy_d

Cc: Shawna Fritzler <fritzlersm@aol.com>; Jonna Levine <jlevine922@yahoo.com>; Fellman Jill C <jcfellma@jeffco.k12.co.us>

Sent: Tue, Apr 14, 2015 9:56 am

Subject: Re: Golden Newsletter 04/12/15


On Apr 13, 2015, at 5:13 PM, Judy Denison wrote:


“Will include all responses in Golden Newsletter…”


Thank you, Ms. Denison, and I encourage all concerned to carefully reread the attached Wheat Ridge Education Alliance (WREA)proposal dated December 31, 2014 and posted on the district’s January 9, 2015 weekly update.


The WREA Wheat Ridge Plan B proposal claimed to be “supported by principals and many teachers of the above-mentioned schools, Wheat Ridge families,” and “the BOE members we spoke to.”  As Ms. Fellman is the only BOE member in the WREA, this suggests that Ms. Fellman supported the proposal.  While Ms. Fellman’s more recent statements express a desire to distance herself from the matter, I remain hopeful that the Wheat Ridge community will be adequately served by their district representatives.


Ms. Fritzler’s response expresses a desire to “ensure that ALL parents and community [members] have the ability to actively participate as stakeholders.”  To have denied the WREA members a place at the discussion table would strike against this very point, and I trust Ms. Fritzler is not suggesting that only certain community members be allowed to participate and not others.



 John J. Newkirk,


Jefferson County Board of Education




Including the snide comments about our email and who is defined by the word “ALL” and the other snide comment about Ms. Fellman, Mr. Newkirk must not realize that there’s even more documentation that shows that he is WRONG, as well as being petty, snotty and rude:


Here’s the apology from the WREA:


March 15, 2015 
Community Member, 
The purpose of this letter is to acknowledge and clarify the misunderstanding that resulted from the Wheat Ridge Education Alliance and our role in supporting/opposing the Jeffco Public Schools “Jefferson Area Innovation Plan.” 
Purpose of the Wheat Ridge Education Alliance
As a City Councilmember and mother of children who attended Wheat Ridge schools, ensuring that our children have the best possible education is a priority to me. With this purpose in mind, I formed the Wheat Ridge Education Alliance in April 2014 to create partnerships between the city, citizens, school administrators and the local schools that serve Wheat Ridge. The community members of the committee have a shared passion for the important role education plays in the community and they want to help make a difference.   
The committee has worked to promote and increase awareness about Wheat Ridge schools through outreach to the 17 schools serving our city. We developed a directory of schools with information for residents, held a community meeting to introduce schools to residents, and researched programs to connect the schools to the community.
Jefferson Area Innovation Plan Impacts 
A significant change to Wheat Ridge schools was revealed in December 2014, when the Jeffco Public School District announced the “Jefferson Area Innovation Plan.” The plan proposed the following changes to Wheat Ridge schools: 
• Closure of Wheat Ridge 5-8 Middle School, transfer of 7th and 8th graders to Jefferson High School and creation of a 7-12 school at the current Jefferson School.   
• Movement of Stevens Elementary into Wheat Ridge 5-8 building. 
• Relocating Sobesky, a school serving emotionally challenged children from across the district, from Lakewood into the current Stevens Elementary school building.   
• Changes to articulation areas in Edgewater and Wheat Ridge would be implemented and a Gifted and Talented (GT) program would move to Everitt Middle School.
Closure of Wheat Ridge 5-8 as proposed by the District, has created great concern within the Wheat Ridge community as this would be the second school that the District has recommended closing in the past 5 years. In 2011, the District closed Martensen Elementary School and now the property serves as a SWAT training center for local law enforcement. The continuing loss of neighborhood schools is felt throughout our entire city and remains a concern for the Education Alliance. The District’s recommendations above have significant impacts on Wheat Ridge parents, students, and families. 
As a result of the District’s proposed changes, suggestions and ideas were brought forward in December 2014 by members of the Education Alliance and shared with District Administration. These suggestions included asking about the possibility of moving Everitt Middle School to the Wheat Ridge 5-8 Middle School building, moving the Manning School to Everitt Middle School to accommodate more students and expanding Maple Grove Elementary School. 
It was my understanding that the District reviewed the suggestions and performed an assessment of their original “Jefferson Area Innovation Plan” and also considered Plan B which developed out of the Education Alliance’s suggestions. The final recommendation to the Board of Education made by the District in February was to not consider these school moves. Instead, the District recommended to move forward with changing the articulation areas of Edgewater and Wheat Ridge and moving a GT program to Everitt. After this decision by the District I had discussed with Terry Elliott, Jeffco’s Chief School Effectiveness Officer, that I wanted to move forward working with them on their original “Jefferson Area Innovation Plan.” 
On March 5, 2015 two parents from the Wheat Ridge Education Alliance asked the Board of Education to continue the discussion and open a dialog for re-consideration of Plan B. I respect the right of parents to speak to the Board on any issue. However, Plan B was never formally presented to the School District by the entire Education Alliance. The original letter was signed by myself, Mr. Chad Harr and Mr. Guy Nahmiach. This miscommunication between members of the committee has caused concern, anger and frustration . I apologize for this miscommunication. Mr. Harr and Mr. Nahmiach have stated that they are no longer in support of Plan B. As noted earlier, I was no longer in support of Plan B after the School District recommended against it. Collectively, we are engaged community representatives and most importantly parents, who want to see the District and Board of Education make a decision in the best interest of our community. 
Moving Forward
In the days following the last Board of Education meeting, the Board has asked the District to conduct community meetings on the Wheat Ridge Plan B which will be held this week. I believe these meetings will provide opportunity for parents and concerned citizens to learn more about the proposed ideas and to voice their opinions about the impacts future changes to our schools will have on our community. 
In closing, again I apologize for this miscommunication and hope that this letter helps clarify the resulting misunderstanding. In the coming weeks, the Wheat Ridge Education Alliance will continue to move forward in promoting Wheat Ridge schools.   
Genevieve Wooden 
Chair, Wheat Ridge Education Alliance 
City Councilmember, District IV



A mistake was made and a formal letter containing TWO apologies to the community for disruption and affirmation that the plan was not supported by the entire WREA. 


So…why can’t Mr. Newkirk apologize to the community and just move on? 


Why does he write this –

“Ms. Fritzler’s response expresses a desire to “ensure that ALL parents and community [members] have the ability to actively participate as stakeholders.”  To have denied the WREA members a place at the discussion table would strike against this very point, and I trust Ms. Fritzler is not suggesting that only certain community members be allowed to participate and not others.”

In response to this –

“We greatly appreciate the opportunity to respond and ensure that ALL parents and community have the ability to actively participate as stakeholders of the public schools their children attend.”


Why do this?  The packed meetings at those schools made it VERY clear that there were community members who didn’t feel they had an opportunity to be heard before a suprise motion was made!  What children does this serve?  What community does this serve?  How is THIS being accountable to the community?