*UPDATE* Jeffco schools to no longer close March 19


UPDATE: After our print deadline, Jeffco Public Schools announced that due to the cancelation of the CEA's Day of Action March 19 rally, that the district would be holding school as normal on that day. Students will have class that day, and all before and after care programs and bus service will operate as usual.

With a number of Jefferson County School Distirct teaching staff taking Thursday, March 19 off for the CEA Educator Day of Action, the school district has announced all schools will close that day, including preschool programs.

On Feb. 26, the district sent out a letter stating that “the current number of teaching staff who are submitting an absence has moved beyond the maximum number of absences that can be covered by our guest teachers.” If schools were to open as planned, the staffing gaps would create “an unsafe school environment,” it said.

Extracurricular activities will not be canceled, unless a specific school announces a cancellation, it said. Schools will open as scheduled on Friday, March 20.

The CEA, or Colorado Educators Association, has asked educators from across the state to rally at the Colorado State Capitol March 19, with the goal of addressing funding for public education. The group is advocating for increased educator wages, an initiative for a ballot issue to change the education funding system and the elimination of the Budget Stabilization Factor by 2022, the district letter said.

“Colorado students deserve a fully funded education system and educators who can afford to stay in the profession,” said a CEA statement included in the district letter.

This will not be a paid day off for teachers. Though students will not be present, is considering it a regular workday for all employees. "Employees wishing to attend the CEA Day of Action must use personal leave for this purpose — the use of sick leave is not allowed," the district statement reads.

The district stated that it communicated the upcoming schedule change as soon as it knew schools would close.

“Please know we exhausted all resources before deciding to cancel school for students,” the district letter said. “Our intention in providing this notification now is to allow families to plan for this change.


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