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DPS names new leader for elementary school

Denver school officials have selected  a new leader for struggling Columbine Elementary School. Parents will be able to meet with the school’s new principal at 5:30 p.m. Monday.

Jason Krause, who taught at Columbine before entering the district’s leadership pool, will return to the northeast Denver school next year as its principal, according to a letter to parents provided to Chalkbeat Colorado.  He will be the school’s fifth principal in seven years.

Krause will replace Beth Yates. The current principal’s supporters were shocked when she announced the district was going to replace Yates, whom teachers and parents described as “relentless.”

Erin McMahon, an instructional superintendent, noted, in her letter to parents, the improvements Yates has made at Columbine this year. But McMahon went on to say student achievement has not improved enough.

“There have been modest improvements in academic achievement this year, which are a great starting point,” McMahon wrote. “However, this work must be deepened and accelerated.”

Some parents argued the lack of consistency at Columbine has been the reason for low test scores.

Krause is a proven school leader that has boosted test scores at Smith Renaissance School, McMahon said.

As part of the transition process, Denver Public Schools will form a steering committee to work with Krause through the spring.

Here’s the letter that was sent to parents announcing the school’s new leader:


DPS_ColumbinePrincipalChange2014 (PDF)

DPS_ColumbinePrincipalChange2014 (Text)