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Tuesday Churn: A second snow day

Updated – Several metro area school districts are calling for another day of weather-related closures on Wednesday. This includes Adams 12 Five Star, Adams 14 Commerce City, Aurora Public Schools, Cherry Creek Schools, Douglas County School District and Jefferson County Public Schools.

One exception is Denver Public Schools, which will be open, though weather-related absences and tardies will be excused. Families enrolled in Denver charters should check with those schools. See this press release for more.

Our partners at 9News.com are compiling an updated list here.

Meanwhile, the Douglas County school board will meet tonight as scheduled, starting at 7:35 p.m. at district headquarters, 620 Wilcox St. in Castle Rock. It’s a later starting time because the board has scheduled a closed session at 5 p.m. Here’s the agenda, which includes approval of two new charter schools, Ben Franklin Academy and STEM School, opening this fall.


What’s churning:

With a high temperature of -3 degrees forecast for today, schools along the Front Range are closed as are some district offices. Aurora’s school board meeting set for tonight has been delayed a week and state senators are taking the day off, though state representatives are expected to meet.

Jefferson County, the state’s largest school district, cited below-zero temperatures that “pose a health and safety hazard for children who wait at bus stops,” along with additional expected snowfall, in closing campuses. The day’s reprieve from classes isn’t all good news, however.

“Students should plan on attending school on Tuesday, May 31,” Jeffco officials said in a news release, “which is the previously published snow makeup day.”

What that means for adults varies by district. In Jeffco, all “non-essential personnel” were not expected to report to work. In Denver, district offices are open though employees “who need to work from home due to child-care needs or commuting difficulties” are told to talk to their bosses. Our partners at 9News.com have a complete listing of closures, cancellations and delayed starts.

Building Charter School Quality, a project funded by the U.S. Department of Education to create national consensus around charter school standards, on Monday released a new report, Building Charter School Quality in Colorado.

“For the first time in the evolution of the charter sector, we have established consensus on definitions of school quality that will shape the future of charter school growth and performance,” said Jim Griffin, president of the Colorado League of Charter Schools, which partnered with CREDO at Stanford University, the National Alliance of Public Charter Schools and the National Association of Charter School Authorizers on the four-year project. Visit the Building Charter School Quality website and read the press release.

Some national speakers are heading to Denver and it’s a good time to make plans to catch them in action:

  • Joel Rose, New York City’s School of One, is speaking at the Donnell-Kay Foundation’s Hot Lunch on Feb. 11 and there’s already a waiting list. You can read this New York Times story, “Classroom of the Future? Check” to learn why.
  • Diane Ravitch, author of  The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education, is in town Feb. 17 and is likely to draw a crowd. More details here. Ravitch debated state Sen. Mike Johnston, D-Denver, on a recent trip – see story and video.
  • Wendy Kopp, Teach for America founder and author of the new book A Chance to Make History, is scheduled to be at the Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver on March 1, for a conversation moderated by Dan Ritchie of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. More details to come.

Recent developments in the recall effort of Denver School Board President Nate Easley include a pledge from Johnston, who also represents Far Northeast Denver, to stand by Easley; a heated exchange on www.coloradopols.com about the group, DeFENSE, supporting the effort; and the release of a video showing DeFENSE members, Jackie Skalecke and Mario Ramirez, preparing to gather petitions:

Good reads from elsewhere: