The March 9th board meeting included a few interesting conversations and some documents not previously included in the agenda are now present.
First, the McMinimee Agreement.
Here’s the attachment – Agreement DMcMinimee 030917 Signed
It wasn’t approved and signed until a vote of the board at last night’s meetings, which is standard and appropriate procedure. Based upon the surprises at the past few meetings and the board not being informed of school closures and the extensive list of cuts presented by the direction of McMinimee, followed by McMinimee’s lengthy and prepared surprise speech removing closures and cuts from immediate consideration (after causing emotional turmoil for many families and that document also not given to the board nor available to the public prior to the meeting), the end to this lack of leadership has been a sigh of relief to those most involved in the community.
Also, likely a good decision for all, based upon his quotes to local news groups as well as this one to ChalkBeat, ““It’s a hard position to be in when you’re no longer focused on the future. When a CEO is removed from a major company or a head coach is removed from a team, they don’t stay around for spring practice or for the next six months.”
The Board took the time to thank him for his service and wish him well, which was certainly a much more professional action than what occurred under the recalled board members who catastrophically severed many relationships and grossly embarrassed the district due to the inept and egregiously unprofessional behavior at the board table as well as in public, including preventing the previous superintendent from even volunteering and went so far as to order her social media accounts to promptly note that she was not with Jeffco within that agreement.
Terry Elliott was formally named Interim Superintendent. Though he has given his resignation and plans to leave his Jeffco Schools Administrative Cabinet position for a principal position in Brighton, we hope that he will help to stabilize the turmoil and properly share information with the board, as required by policy. We hope to see more transparent communication from the district to the board, parents, staff, and community soon.
We were all lucky to view the many schools and students receiving awards on Thursday night. We’ve previously recognized these amazing achievements in the following posts! Go Jeffco!
If you haven’t already, take a look at the list of accomplishments!
Update on New Jeffco Superintendent
Very unfortunately, the presentation from Ray & Associates was not available on Board docs at the time of the meeting. Because the print on the spreadsheet provided by Ray & Associates was so small, there was no way to read the information presented and it was extremely difficult to follow along. Thankfully, district staff has since included that presentation and you can view it here – http://www.boarddocs.com/co/jeffco/Board.nsf/files/AKB2GF021B49/$file/Memo%20030917%20Supt%20Search.pdf
How Important Is Data?
Mountain Phoenix Charter School was on the agenda and up for renewal. Their community was largely in attendance and provided several speeches during the first public comment. There’s been mixed data with the school underperforming in some years. However, with the state tests being new, and 3 years of data not actually available to determine trends, following the year prior to the change showing increases, we agree that the board was correct in renewing this charter and waiting for trending data in addition to providing updates from MAP testing.
Longview High School Move
Huge kudos to the Longview community for showing up to advocate for their school during the second public comment. Though it’s a small school community, it is an important one and serves students with a program that is different than any other alternative in Jeffco. We appreciate that the board listened to these comments very well and brought it up to add in the next agenda. This community was only informed of the plan to move two weeks ago.
There was some mention of a meeting planned for Longview by the interim superintendent but it was not clear whether the meeting was for staff or the community and there doesn’t appear to be anything mentioned on the district website as of this writing.
Coming Up For March 23rd Study Session (No Public Comment)
- Recommendations from DAC on budget and review by CFO Askelson on community engagement observations and direction from Board on budget before public hearing in April
- Negotiations update
- Zerger lease approval
- Legislative update
- Longview High School update
Final Side Note
When our students and schools are recognized for achievement and awards at Board Meetings, it’s standard tradition to support those incredible achievements. Perhaps some in the audience were not aware that these awards are, in fact, a big deal. Whether it is your student or your school or not, if you are physically able, please stand with the rest of the crowd and show your support. Especially for our students, we are and must always be one Jeffco.