Jefferson Will Become a 7th-12th Grade School in the Fall



The Jeffco School Board voted 5-0 last night to approve two motions related to the Jefferson Plan to reorganize schools within the Jefferson Articulation Area. The Jefferson Articulation Area currently includes Molholm Elementary, Edgewater Elementary, Lumberg Elementary, Stevens Elementary, Wheat Ridge 5-8 and Jefferson High School.

The first motion that passed moves 7th and 8th grade students from Wheat Ridge 5-8 to Jefferson this upcoming fall. The second motion which passed moves 5th-6th grade students at Wheat Ridge 5-8 to Stevens Elementary.

Board Member John Newkirk then put forward a motion to move Everitt Middle School to the Wheat Ridge 5-8 building as well as other school moves within the Wheat Ridge Articulation Area. This motion was eventually tabled because not enough community input had gone into this idea. District staff will now seek input from the Wheat Ridge community as well as school staff on these possible moves and what should ultimately happen with the Wheat Ridge 5-8 building. Part of the Jefferson Plan was to move Stevens Elementary into the Wheat Ridge 5-8 building but this was not decided last night.

Jefferson High teacher Rhiannon Wenning expressed her support for the plan, “What excites me about the this plan is the possible collaboration between teachers and staff from both schools and building upon the great work we’ve completed thus far. I am excited that we will have the opportunity to work with some outstanding folks, and get the opportunity to expand our academic foci, athletics, activities, and other programs that make the Jefferson community so unique and a great place to live , work, and go to school. I also am looking forward to building more community in which to grow and foster our not only our programs, but our students and their success in our neighborhood schools.”

Though there is broad support for the Jefferson Plan among teachers, they also have concerns going forward. Wenning echoed these concerns of teachers, “I also am concerned about innovation status as it has failed miserably in schools in other districts that are similar to Jefferson. We do not need to seek such measures as we can take variances from our Collective Bargaining Agreement as well as Memorandums of Understanding to address our calendar, salaries, and other possible concerns that are contractual in nature. I am however more excited than worried, and I, as well as my colleagues from both schools will continue to stand up for all of our students and do the very best for them and their futures!”

The Staff Advisory Committee will continue to meet this spring to work out the details of the move to a 7-12 at Jefferson. It has been announced that current Jefferson Principal Michael James will be the principal of the new 7-12 next fall. Wheat Ridge 5-8 Principal Warren Blair will move into a new role this fall assisting the Jefferson Articulation Area and the Achievement Directors.

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