• Threats, lockdowns, school safety

    Many area schools, including Brighton High School, received threats in the week following a mass shooting that killed 17 at a Parkland, Florida high school Wednesday, Feb. 14

    Administrators at Brighton High School and students found a note written in a stall of the boys’ bathroom that said the school would be shot up on Wednesday, Feb. 21. Fort Lupton High School was placed on lockdown twice last week, and a Thornton high school also received information about a potential threat.

  • Four-day school weeks may be temporary fix

    What’s life like for a teacher at School District 27J?

    Not easy, teachers and administrators say.

    “Our staffs (are) working harder than everyone else - they just are. We’re asking everyone to do an impossible job,” said School District Superintendent Chris Fiedler.

    Fiedler said some 27J teachers are responsible for teaching up to 190 kids a day.

  • Teachers give four-day week A+, students still unsure

    School District 27J officials received a quiet round of applause after they finished up the last community meeting about the planned four-day school week recently at West Ridge Elementary School, 13102 Monaco St., Thornton.

  • Parents worry about daycare

    Parents and officials are concerned about daycare needs, as School District 27J considers going to a four-day school week this fall.

    Superintendent Chris Fiedler has said the measure would help retain teachers in the district. School District 27J officials hosted the last planned informational session about the plan Monday, Feb. 12, at West Ridge Elementary, 13102 Monaco St. in Thornton. The school district still would need Colorado Department of Education approval for the new schedule before going forward with it.

  • Parents, community try to get behind four-day week

    Some community members say they may be coming around to the proposed four-day week for School District 27J.

    A recent second community meeting to discuss the plan at Stuart Middle School, 15955 E. 101st Way, Commerce City, brought 150 people and new outlooks for the change.

    “I’m keeping an open mind,” said Julie Popiel, a parent of twin kindergarteners. “I want to get more information and see the plans. They have already made the decision.”

  • District seeks to solve budget crunch with four-day weeks

    With School District 27J considering four-day weeks, in part as a bid to keep more teachers here, one may ask why the district doesn’t just pay their employees higher salaries.

    The simple answer is that the district doesn’t have the money.

    As of early 2017, an average starting salary at in the 27J school district was $33,686, almost $5,000 less than the Denver metro average of $38,028. Average overall salaries in the school district are more than $6,000 lower than the metro average.

  • Four-day week isn’t for everybody

    More than 150 people packed into the School District 27J training room recently to discuss the proposed four-day school week.

    But many in attendance didn’t get the discussion they were looking for, when school district administrators presented information about the plan, then had them break into small groups to talk to each other.

    “I feel like someone slapped me. I was hoping for more feedback,” said Sarah Horton, a parent in the district.

  • Prairie View, BHS graduate students at rates above state average

    Brighton and Prairie View High School seniors graduate on time slightly more often than their peers do around the state, according to Colorado Department of Education statistics.

    Brighton High School’s graduation rate was 81 percent for the Class of 2017, up 2.3 percent from the 78.70 percent posted for the Class of 2016. The state average was 79 percent

    Prairie View High School’s graduation rate fell slightly to 84.30 percent in 2017 from 86.10 percent in 2016.

  • 27J seeks to solve budget crunch with four-day weeks

    After voters rejected a $12 million levy proposed in November, School District 27J staff started searching for new ways to retain teachers and pay competitive salaries.

    One idea is to institute four-day school weeks as a workplace benefit.

    “We can be really creative and get some real gains about how we structure time,” said 27J Superintendent Chris Fiedler.

    Fiedler also expects the four-day week to save the district around $1 million a year. This money would be devoted to getting counselors into all district schools.

  • ArtSmart means after-school fun

    It’s Wednesday, early-release day, at Northeast Elementary School, and more than 75 kids are gathering in the gymnasium for a dance class.

    The hour-long class, taught by Dancer’s Edge teachers and dance students, is part of the city’s Office of Arts and Culture ArtSmart after-school program. The program is the brainchild of David Gallegos, the arts and culture coordinator.