Status of Education in 80214: 2016 Community Report

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Building on collaborative efforts that were already in place, the Jefferson Success Pathway launched in the fall of 2013 to support education in the 80214 area. The Jefferson Success Pathway is a coalition of community members, nonprofit organizations, county agencies and Jeffco Schools staff devoted to seeing all kids in the 80214 zip code succeed from cradle to career.

Each fall this collective effort releases a Community Report which details the progress toward the milestone goals of cradle to career success. The Jefferson Success Pathway is committed to not blaming teachers and school leadership, but rallying the community and partner organizations to work toward solutions.

In this year’s Community Report, the emphasis is on three outside influences that impact student success in the classroom: family income, the lack of affordable housing and language barriers.

One of the biggest roadblocks in 80214 is the lack of affordable housing. Many of the families on a tight budget find it hard to secure stable housing in the 80214 area. The indicator used to measure family income is the percentage of students who receive free or reduced lunch rates. To receive reduced lunch rates, a family of four will make less than $44,955 a year and to receive free lunch rates a family of four will make less than $31,590 a year. Given the current median multi-family monthly rental rate of $1,331, families that receive free lunch rates would be spending half of their monthly income on rent. The stresses of an inadequate amount of family income have a large impact on success in the classroom.

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These rising rents are impacting student enrollment in all four schools in 80214. Each of the schools has seen a decrease in student enrollment of 20-30 students since last school year. Fewer students means fewer dollars for the schools.

When looking at our local schools it is also important to understand the language barriers. 49% of students in the 80214 schools are learning English as a second language. Some of these students are Spanish speaking and learning in a dual language classroom. The goal is that these students will be proficient in English by 5th grade, but until then they will have more difficulty demonstrating proficiency on reading tests in English. It is important to bear in mind that dual language classrooms take different approaches to work toward the same expectations.

The One-Way Dual Language program option in all four 80214 schools is designed for native Spanish-speaking students. Instruction is delivered in English and Spanish in all subject areas. Students will develop high levels of academic proficiency in both languages.

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The Community Report also shares the Stories of Impact from partner organizations working in the area. Given the challenges of poverty, progress is slow but partners are committed to putting in the hard work.

Click here to read the full Community Report or access the online version of the report here.

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