Colorado families begin picking their top schools in annual rite

As many as 350 parents and their children packed the narrow gym at Carmody Middle School on Thursday night, eager to hear if the school’s curriculum and programs might be a good fit. Principal Wendy Doran shared a PowerPoint presentation and a breakdown of the school’s offerings and academic performance. The school’s state test scores are generally on an upswing, and Carmody’s 24 elective courses include pre-engineering, art and the

Haefner named DU’s new Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

Jeremy Haefner, who previously held leadership posts at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, was named last week as the University of Denver’s Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor effective July 15. Haefner’s hiring as DU’s chief academic officer came after the school announced late last year it was reorganizing the Office of Provost and Vice Chancellor. Haefner joins DU from the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, where

Denver students take longer to graduate

Colorado’s annual release of graduation data showed some metro area school districts making gains while others, like Denver’s district, posting decreases in on-time rates. Statewide, four-year high school graduation rates inched up again, reaching a new high with 79 percent of all students graduating on time in 2017. Another 10.1 percent, or almost 6,500 students, are still enrolled in high school and could still graduate after five, six or seven

Loveland school district votes not to close schools next year

Jenny Sparks, Loveland Reporter-HeraldStansberry Elementary School first-grade teacher Susan Knapp, left, helps Nora Greco, 6, with a reading lesson during class on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018, at the school in Loveland. Knapp has spent her entire career teaching at Stansberry, including her student teaching. The Thompson School board won’t close Van Buren and Stansberry elementary schools next year, but the district has not guaranteed that two smallest schools won’t eventually

Man accused of illegally growing pot in his basement faces child abuse charge because of trim found near dollhouse

A man accused of illegally growing 57 pot plants in his home in Greeley could face a heavier sentence because his alleged crimes occurred less than 500 feet from University Schools. Graham Loines, 33, was arrested Thursday on five charges, including cultivation of more than 30 marijuana plants, distribution of marijuana and extraction of marijuana concentrate. He also faces a child abuse charge because ATF and Weld County Drug Task

Cellphones banned at Colorado middle school; other principals seek middle ground

While most Colorado schools seek a negotiated truce in the fight over student cellphone use on campus, one middle school principal has gone on the offensive. Shane Voss, with the full backing of faculty two years ago, banned all cellphone use at Mountain Middle School during school hours. Students at the Durango school are expected to turn off their cellphones and stow them in their locker or backpack before classes

Colorado teens brainstorm the future of cities and they see drones

Colorado middle-schoolers have been racking their brains over how to make the world a better place. They engineered their big ideas into future city models featuring renewable energy, heated sidewalks, curbside composting, drone-based health care and smart homes. The students showed off their work at the regional Future City Competition, which took place Monday at the Global Village Academy in Aurora. The program is designed to teach students how to solve

Denver schools’ budget plan: More money for poor students, cuts to central office

Denver school district officials are proposing to cut as many as 50 central office jobs next year while increasing the funding schools get to educate the poorest students, as part of their effort to send more of the district’s billion-dollar budget directly to schools. Most of the staff reductions would occur in the centrally funded special education department, which stands to lose about 30 positions that help schools serve students

Despite concerns, Jeffco school board agrees to spend $1 million to start funding school innovations

Jeffco school employees can apply for a piece of a $1 million fund that will pay for an innovative idea for improving education in the district. The Jefferson County school board last week approved shifting $1 million from the district’s rainy day fund to an innovation pool that will be used to provide grants to launch the new ideas. The board had reservations about the plan, which was proposed by

Will recess cuts boost learning? One struggling Colorado district wants to find out.

A suburban Denver school district on a state-mandated improvement plan has cut recess time for elementary students in a bid to devote more time to instruction. On a good day, elementary children in the Adams 14 district get about 15 minutes of recess at lunch time, but sometimes it’s as little as seven, according to teachers who’ve spoken out about the issue. The change, instituted at the beginning of the

Education Department awards debt collection contract to company with ties to Betsy DeVos

A company that once had financial ties to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was one of two firms selected Thursday by the U.S. Department of Education to help the agency collect overdue student loans. The deal could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The decision to award contracts to Windham Professionals and Performant Financial Corp. – the company in which DeVos invested before becoming secretary – arrives a month after

Annual Preschool Showcase offers Denver parents and toddlers an educational shopping experience

Toddlers of all sorts ran around the Dahlia Center for Health and Well-Being on Saturday morning eating fruit cups and candy while gandering at a 6-foot-tall Minion and listening to stories, a preview of their preschool education experience to come. The Denver Preschool Program hosted its sixth annual Preschool Showcase designed as a one-stop-shop for Denver families to explore early learning options for their youngins. The more than 40 booths

Woman who helped use inmates’ names to get $582,000 in federal student loans sent to prison

A woman was sentenced to two years in prison for her role in using the identifications of 181 prison inmates to take out $582,000 in federal student loans. Mercedes Diaz, 28, was one of four people who have been convicted in a conspiracy that targeted inmates serving lengthy prison terms in Colorado, Arizona, Ohio, Florida and Illinois. “They took advantage of 181 individuals who had no way of monitoring their

Teen will spend 5 years in youth corrections for killing 16-year-old at Thornton homecoming party

Denver7Haley Vargaz was shot to death in Sept. 2016. A teenager who shot and killed a 16-year-old girl at a homecoming party in Thornton in 2016 on Friday was sentenced to five years in the state’s youthful offender system. Angelo Alvarez, 18, was indicted in March on one count of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted first-degree murder related to the shooting that occurred outside of a party in

Poverty, segregation persist in U.S. schools, report says

WASHINGTON — Too often, low-income, black and Latino students end up in schools with crumbling walls, old textbooks and unqualified teachers, according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. The commission said inequities are caused by the fact that schools are most funded with state and local tax dollars. More than 92 percent of funding comes from nonfederal sources, according to the Education Department. The

Cold snap exposes cracks in upkeep of timeworn schools

By David Mcfadden and Carolyn Thompson, The Associated Press BALTIMORE — The recent spell of cold weather exposed the poor state of school buildings in many big-city districts, including Baltimore, where the failure of heating systems closed dozens of institutions after children were left shivering in frigid classrooms. Schools were challenged in other cities affected by the cold snap, including Philadelphia and Bridgeport , Connecticut’s largest city, as pipes burst,

3 Cherry Creek school leaders failed to properly report claims of sexual assault by a teacher on 14-year-old student, indictment says

By Tony Kovaleski, Ryan Luby and Brittany Freeman, Denver7 AURORA — Three Cherry Creek school leaders — a principal, assistant principal and former counselor — were indicted on a charge that they failed to properly report claims of sexual assault by a teacher on a 14-year-old student and, in fact, suspended the student. The claims arose after Aurora police arrested Prairie Middle School social studies teacher Brian Vasquez in August 2017 and accused him of physical abuse

Cherry Creek schools superintendent Harry Bull to retire

Cherry Creek School District Superintendent Harry Bull is retiring at the end of the current school year, citing a need to spend more time with his family and to deal with health concerns. Bull told the Cherry School Board of Education of his decision Monday night. “This isn’t an easy choice, I’ve been blessed to serve as the superintendent for the Cherry Creek School District, an organization that has taught

Disabled Colorado veterans gain new mobility thanks to School of Mines technology

Disabled Army veteran Tyler Wilson always tried to keep his wheelchair from breaking his stride. And now, thanks to new technology being developed at the Colorado School of Mines, his independent streak is broadening. “All of this is going to open new doors for me,” said the 33-year-old, whose spine was pierced by an insurgent’s bullet in Afghanistan in May 2005. Confined to a wheelchair, Wilson became immersed in adaptive

Staunch school choice supporter is quitting Colorado State Board of Education

Pam Mazanec, a Larkspur Republican and staunch supporter of parental rights and school choice, is resigning her seat on the State Board of Education. Mazanec began serving on the board in January 2013. Her term would have ended in 2019. Mazanec said she wants to focus on her family’s small business. “Serving in this role has truly been an honor and a privilege,” Mazanec said. “I thank the people of