THE SCHOOLS OUR STUDENTS DESERVE
We are teachers, parents, students and community members committed to public education, a publicly and fairly funded school system responsive to families and communities. As such, we have created a shared vision for The Schools Our Students Deserve.
Our Voices Matter
All of us – educators, administrators, school staff, students, parents and communities – deserve a voice in education policy and practice and should work in collaboration with the Jeffco School Board to make decisions impacting the district.
Board Collaboration. The School Board should welcome, encourage and embrace our input on raising student achievement and sustaining excellent schools.
Transparent Budgeting. School and district budgets should be developed through an open and democratic process that is guided by a commitment to fairness, equity, and student success.
Shared Involvement. Our district and our schools should establish multiple ways for all stakeholders to give input and make decisions about how schools are run. Schools should do their best to communicate with community members in their native language.
Strong Public Schools, Strong Communities
Schools are community institutions – and because K-12 education alone cannot eradicate poverty, schools should support the services students and families need to thrive.
Early Childhood. We support high quality early childhood/preschool programs because they are proven to improve student outcomes. We support measures to fully fund preschool and full day kindergarten.
Community Supports. Students are better able to achieve when they and their families can access basic health/dental care, mentoring, English language classes and more at school.
Public Schools as Public Institutions
Our school districts must be committed to providing all children with the opportunity to attend a quality public school in their community.
All Learners. Our public school system must be able to teach all students, including those with special needs or disabilities, English language learners, homeless kids and troubled children.
Charter Accountability. Charter schools can serve as models of innovation, not a means to privatize the district. A level playing field demands that charters be open to and provide equitable opportunity for all students, follow similar operating rules as neighborhood schools, meet district standards, and are funded fairly.
High Quality, Respected and Supported Teaching
Teaching is a career, not a temporary stop on the way to another one. Students succeed when teachers are well-trained, trusted and given the opportunity to be leaders in their schools and classrooms.
Class size matters. Lower class size allows teachers to customize instruction and provide individualized attention to each student, which is especially important in struggling schools.
Continued Education and Professional support. Teachers should have access to training tailored to their specific needs – and have adequate time to plan lessons targeted to the learning needs of all students they teach.
Union protection. Teachers will feel free to advocate for students, reasonable class sizes, time to teach and compensation only when collective bargaining is in place.
Learn More, Test Less
Accountability is important but excessive high-stakes testing takes away from valuable instructional time and narrows the curriculum to focus on “teaching to the test” instead of preparing students to succeed in college, careers and civil society.
Well-rounded curriculum. All children deserve a rigorous, broad and culturally-relevant education that includes arts, world languages, sciences, social studies and physical education.
Student evaluation. Students should have multiple ways to show what they have learned, including tests, day-to-day work products, observations and teacher-student discussions.
School scorecards. Schools, teachers and administrators should not be judged, punished or compensated based on one-time test results, but rather on multiple factors.
Safe and Welcoming Schools
Students, parents, educators and community residents of all cultural backgrounds should feel safe, welcome, respected and valued.
Safety and security. All staff – regardless of the zip code of their school or the postion they hold – should ensure students feel safe, accepted and part of a community. Student discipline should focus on learning how to solve conflicts.
Community involvement. Parents and residents have opportunities for school involvement and bilingual communication, where appropriate.
Administration-staff relations. Respect and collaboration between administration and staff is important to build a strong and healthy school climate.