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Thursday churn: Busy school board day

UpdatedDenver Public Schools board members will not be voting tonight on Innovation School guidelines, after the item was pulled from the board’s agenda at the request of board member Jeanne Kaplan. Kaplan requested more time for discussion. The guidelines could be returned to the board’s agenda for a February vote.

What’s churning

School boards in four of Colorado’s largest districts are meeting today on some weighty topics, from school closures and consolidations to budget cuts and whether guns should be allowed on district property.

Some details:

Jefferson County school board members have a work session starting at 5 p.m. at district headquarters, 1829 Denver West Drive. The agenda includes a discussion of the board’s proposed five-year facilities master plan, specifically the 2011 recommendations that would not be part of a fall bond question for voters. That list includes closures of Thomson and Zerger elementaries.

Denver school board members meet at 5 p.m. at 900 Grant St. for an update on changes in Far Northeast Denver and a vote on guidelines for Innovation School applicants, such as providing a detailed leadership succession plan and promoting equity of access for English language learners and students with special needs. Check the agenda here.

Adams 12 Five Star school board members meet with their community on budget priorities as they prepare to cut another $25 million for 2011-12. The session begins at 6:30 p.m. at 1500 E. 128th Ave. in Thornton. Here’s more info.

Greeley District 6 school board members have a special 5 p.m. meeting to talk about, and potentially act upon, a policy that would ban weapons from all district property, district vehicles and district-sponsored activities. This follows the controversy over board member Brett Rheese, who repeatedly aired a radio message critical of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. before Monday’s holiday. Rheese said he received death threats and planned to begin carrying a pistol to board meetings, prompting concern from some other board members. The meeting is scheduled for the auxiliary gym at Maplewood Elementary, 1201 21st Ave. in Greeley – because it’s a school, Rheese already is prohibited from carrying his gun there.

Meanwhile, in case you missed it, Colorado Northwestern Community College is getting a non-traditional president in former legislator and cabinet official Russ George.

Nancy McCallin, president of the Colorado Community College System, has announced that George would start Jan. 24 as president of the two-year school, which has campuses in Rangely and Craig plus three satellite centers in other towns.

George, originally from Rifle, was in the legislature from 1993 to 2000, including service as House speaker. He was director of the Division of Wildlife and of the Department of Natural Resources for Gov. Bill Owens and director of the Department of Transportation under Gov. Bill Ritter. George also was an active member of the Higher Education Strategic Planning Steering Committee, which produced the new higher ed strategic plan last year. Text of news release

New Department of Education employee Leanne Emm has been named interim director of school finance. Vody Herrmann, CDE’s respected finance director for more than a decade, announced Friday that she’s retiring in March. Before joining CDE, Emm worked in budget and finance for the Jeffco schools for nearly 14 years.

Good reads from elsewhere:

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