April 21, 2020
Design Jefferson County's "I VOTED" Sticker!
We’re partnering with the Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder's Office to design a new “I Voted” sticker for the 2020 November election! All Jeffco high school students are eligible to participate.
 Read more here . Deadline for submissions: Friday, May 8
We can't wait to see your creativity!
And while you are being creative...
...stop by Jeffco Makes - updated today with new activities:
tie dye, a workout with Owen from Governor's Ranch, and pancake art!
Dear Jeffco Community,

Last Friday, I sent a message to employees of Jeffco Public Schools regarding possible budget cuts we will likely be facing for next school year. Today, I’d like to bring you up to speed on the magnitude of what we are expecting and what steps and options we have going forward.

The restrictions our state is experiencing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are creating a significant and negative economic impact as spending has constricted and tax collections have plummeted. Our funding is determined annually by the state legislature. While they are not presently in session, legislative financial staff have continued to work in evaluating dollars available for the next budget year (the 2020-21 school year).

At this time, school districts have been told to expect reductions between 1-10% below current funding levels. For Jeffco, this range would mean a cut of between $7 million and $70 million. Presently (and based on the best information we have available), we are modeling a reduction somewhere between those numbers at 5%, or around $34 million. Charter schools would also receive a proportionate reduction out of this amount.

In addition to expected cuts due to falling current year revenues, we should also expect a multi-year budget impact due to the “one-way ratchet” provision in the state constitution’s TABOR Amendment. Simply put, it requires tax collections to fall when the economy declines, but then to return slowly over a period of years based on a formula. As a point of comparison, our schools still have not financially recovered completely from steep declines in the economy related to the Great Recession over a decade ago.

So what does this all mean?

For this present school year, we are managing the district’s expenses and working toward finishing this year with a balanced budget. We are planning on continuing to pay our employees as expected with no disruptions. 

For the next budget year, we will likely have to look at making some difficult choices in order to bring our expenditures in line with a new (and lower) revenue reality. While we may receive some federal funding to help offset these cuts (which we will share with our charter schools), we are still going to be looking at significant reductions. I have provided some options below, in order of how disruptive or painful (least to most) I believe they are to school staff and communities: 

  • District emergency reserve spending
  • District level cuts and reductions
  • Freezing salaries (including steps/lanes & reductions)
  • Furlough days
  • Reducing salaries 
  • School closures & consolidations
  • Staff layoffs

All of these options will create some level of disruption or bring financial pain. There are also limits to what we can do with any of these options - at some point they all become destructive and will limit our continued ability to serve students.

While I do not get to make the decision on how we balance the budget for next year (our Board of Education makes the final call), I will advocate for a balanced approach designed to help moderate and limit this disruption and financial pain. 

Decisions about budgets are also decisions about values - and hard times test us on what we value most. 

While (again) I am not the one who will make the final decisions, I want to state my values and what I will advocate for through this process. I value:
  • Our students. We must protect the organizational capacity to serve our students in this next school year and beyond. We will likely have students returning to us next year who have significant needs for supports. We must protect services and programs that are vital to our students.
  • Our people. We must work to keep all of our staff positions and avoid layoffs. We will need all the talent and effort we can gather to meet the challenges that will come with next year.
  • Our community. School closures and consolidations will likely need to be considered over the long haul, but we should avoid them in the short term because of their disruption to the community.  
  • Short and long-term district stability. We must avoid over-reactions and quick-fix solutions that would imperil the district’s financial status and quality credit rating.
Looking ahead, we will all need to consider and clarify our own values. All of these decisions are going to come quickly. The legislature is reconvening May 18th with the sole purpose of passing a budget for next year and putting that before the Governor by the end of May. That will determine the final number we must work to solve and then our Board of Education must approve a final budget in June. We will be sending out multiple opportunities for you to share your values and to have your perspective included as we navigate this budget.

From a metaphorical standpoint, a budget problem might be thought of as a large hole in the ground that we have to fill. We can fill that hole with boulders, rocks, pebbles, and sand. The challenge we face is potentially one of tens of millions of dollars. In terms of dollar amounts, it will be important that we not confuse what are boulders (large budget impact) versus what is sand (small budget impact). 

As a final point, while budget cutting on any scale is never easy, Jeffco has the advantage of having a balanced budget going into these decisions and we have a robust cash reserve. If we are able to come together on our values, there is a path where we can weather this storm and continue to serve our students and community while also taking care of our people.

Kind regards,

Jason E. Glass, Ed. D.
Superintendent and Chief Learner
Join Dr. Glass for a Facebook Live
Thursday, April 23 at 4pm
See you then over on Facebook !
Having trouble with your student’s Chromebook or iPad and don’t know where to go? Look no further! We’ve got a one-page flyer available that outlines five easy steps for troubleshooting and includes links to additional resources and information for the parent technology support line.
The Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) has cancelled all performances, festivals, competitions, regular season and culminating CHSAA-sanctioned spring activities and athletics for the remainder of the 2020 season, ending on June 1. The Association released this statement today.
High School students enrolled in concurrent or dual enrollment courses, please make sure you are keeping up with your coursework and communicating with your teacher(s). ACC, RRCC, MSU Denver and CU Succeed all have different grading policies and withdrawal procedures for students who are in jeopardy of earning a D or an F on their Spring 2020 college transcript.
The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) is pursuing and agreement with College Board (SAT test administrator) where c urrent Colorado 11th graders would be able to take the SAT test on a school day next fall for no cost. Options for offering PSAT tests taken by 9th and 10th graders are also being explored. We will share additional information about both of these as it is communicated by CDE.
...there is new information about summer programming?
...there are updates relating to graduation?
Find out more on the Community COVID-19 FAQ page .
Jeffco Schools Foundation has a designated fund for Jeffco Public Schools.
Grab-and-Go Meals
Anyone 18 and younger
Food Pickup:
Mon, Wed, Fri 10:30a - 1p
Alameda High
Arvada High
Bear Creek High
Columbine High
Dunstan Middle
Jefferson Jr/Sr High
Lakewood High
Pomona High
Wayne Carle Middle
Golden High
West Jefferson Elementary
Wheat Ridge High
Visit this webpage for updated information about district meal services and for other useful community resources to help meet food needs.
Any parent/guardian can pick up meals for their children. Please do not come if you are sick.