Thu . 19 Jan 2019

Jefferson County Public Schools (Colorado)

jefferson county public schools (colorado)
Jefferson County School District R-1 aka Jefferson County Public Schools or Jeffco Public Schools is a school district in Jefferson County, Colorado The district is headquartered at the Jeffco Public Schools Education Center in West Pleasant View, an unincorporated area of the county near Golden in the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area12 Jeffco Public Schools serves more than 86,000 students in 155 schools, including nine option schools and eighteen charter schools It is the second-largest school district in Colorado, having been surpassed in 2013 by Denver Public Schools, which has an enrollment of approximately 87,000


  • 1 Demographics
  • 2 History
    • 21 Beginnings
    • 22 Original school districts
      • 221 List of historic school districts
    • 23 Unification and modern era
  • 3 Environmental consideration
  • 4 Literary mentions
  • 5 Schools
    • 51 Elementary schools
    • 52 Middle schools
    • 53 Senior high schools
    • 54 Option schools
    • 55 Special schools and programs
    • 56 Charter schools
  • 6 Former schools
  • 7 External links
  • 8 Footnotes
  • 9 Further reading


  • American Indian 1%
  • Asian 325%
  • Black 1%
  • Hispanic 24%
  • White 67%
  • Multiple Races 355%

2015-16 spending per pupil: $8,500

Graduation rate as of 2014-15: 829%
High school drop-out rate as of 2014-15: 18% 3


The South School, Golden, Colorado, when it originally served all of Golden School District #1 Photo taken around 1874


The first school in Jefferson County and the second school in Colorado opened in Golden on January 9, 1860 It stood at around today's 1304 Washington Avenue and was a rented log cabin, with school taught by Thomas Daughterty, with 18 students, financed through tuition and subscription Its second term was taught by Miss M F Manly When Jefferson County was organized by the Territorial government in 1861, the capability of organizing public schools became reality, and George West became the first superintendent of Jefferson County schools After a mill levy was created in 1862, the first two school districts, Golden and Vasquez roughly today's Wheat Ridge/Arvada area, were organized in 1863 That September the first public school in the county opened in Golden4

Original school districtsedit

Over time, as the population grew and spread across the county, more and more school districts were organized, each with its own elected board to govern them They were a diverse variety of schools, from the stately brick edifices of urban Golden which operated through the traditional school year, to the rural one-room wooden schoolhouses that operated during the summer months because winter in the mountains made it difficult for students to attend Some school districts only rented buildings for class; others shared into neighboring counties The first building constructed as a Jefferson County public school, around the area of 14th and Arapahoe Streets in Golden, was never completed and eventually sold in 1866 to Colorado Territorial Governor Alexander Cummings for $2,700 for use as the Territorial Executive Building Its replacement, the first completed public school building in Jefferson County, still stands today at 1420 Washington Avenue in Golden After the completion of its successor at today's 1314 Cheyenne Street in 1873, later known as the South School, Jefferson County's first senior high school, Golden High School, was organized The first public school graduations in Jefferson County were held in the 1880s

By 1894 Jefferson County school enrollment was around 1,500 students, with 54 high school students By 1939 Jeffco had blossomed to 3,883 students with 1,426 high schoolers In the early 20th century, however, population shifts and other factors began to spur consolidation The Lorraine School District of Jefferson County merged with the Mandalay School District of Boulder County Broomfield in 1917 In 1920 the Montana, Lakeview, Midway and Mt Carbon districts merged to become Bear Creek District C-1 In 1923 several mountain districts merged into Evergreen District C-2, while in 1945 Washington Heights and Bancroft merged to form School District 52 However, some school districts went by the wayside including South Platte in 1944, Pleasant Park in 1946, and Pine Grove By 1950 only 39 of the 54 individually organized school districts remained

List of historic school districtsedit

Note: several districts have different identities over time

  • 1 - Golden
  • 2 - Everett/Vasquez/Arvada
  • 3 - Mt Vernon/Kittredge
  • 4 - Bergen/Creswell
  • 5 - Bear Creek/Mt Carbon
  • 6 - Ralston/Fremont
  • 7 - Upper Ralston/Leyden
  • 8 - Vasquez/Wheat Ridge
  • 9 - Mt Vernon/Bradford Junction/Conifer
  • 10 - Guy Hill
  • 11 - Platte/Spruce Park & Sprucedale
  • 12 - Ralston
  • 13 - Mountain/Rockland
  • 14 - Clear Creek/Maple Grove
  • 15 - Platte Canyon/Deer Creek
  • 16 - Bear Creek/Montana
  • 17 - Turkey Creek/Brownville/Medlen
  • 18 - Pine & Estabrook
  • 19 - Pleasant Park
  • 20 - Fairmount
  • 21 - Lakewood/Edgewater
  • 22 - Mt Morrison
  • 23 - Lothrop
  • 24 - South Platte
  • 25 - Lorraine & Mandalay
  • 26 - Turkey Creek/Hodgson
  • 27 - Coal Creek Canyon/Columbine
  • 28 - Pine Grove
  • 29 - Belcher Hill
  • 30 - Buffalo Creek/Evergreen
  • 31 - Soda Creek
  • 32 - Fruitdale
  • 33 - Jefferson City/Plainview
  • 34 - Kassler
  • 35 - Urmston
  • 36 - Lamb
  • 37 - Lakeview
  • 38 - Parmelee Gulch
  • 39 - Semper
  • 40 - Buffalo Creek
  • 41 - Bancroft
  • 42 - Idledale
  • 43 - Wagner
  • 44 - Prospect Valley
  • 45 - Midway
  • 46 - Sampson
  • 47 - Lakewood - Stober Elementary
  • 48 - Daniels
  • 49 - Denver View
  • 50 - Washington Heights
  • 51 - Mountair
  • 52 - Washington Heights & Bancroft
  • C-1 - Bear Creek Consolidated
  • C-2 - Evergreen Consolidated

Unification and modern eraedit

In 1950, the 39 school districts in Jefferson County were consolidated and reorganized into a single district, Jefferson County R-1 Schools5 It was so named as the Reorganized School District 1, and ushered in a modern age in a county where some still sent to school in the original one-room rural schoolhouses Through the course of time several landmark school buildings had been built across Jefferson County, including Golden's North, South, Central and High schools; the stone Morrison school; and Lakewood's 3-school campus With renewed energy a new generation would be built, and state-of-the-art schools sprouted across Jefferson County as old schools were phased out By 1999 Jefferson County had an enrollment of 88,793 students

Today the next wave of school buildings is being created, as Jefferson County schools move forward into the 21st century However, a good collection of schools from throughout Jeffco's educational history remain They serve many uses from private homes to museums, and several are designated Jefferson County, Colorado and National Historic Register landmarks6

Through Jeffco schools' history, there have been several tragic events which have not been forgotten In 1887 the original Lamb School, which had just been built the year before, burned down and had to be replaced The rebuilt school was later destroyed by the Lower North Fork Fire in 20127 In 1905 Golden's South School, including Golden High School, was saved from explosion by janitor Oscar Nolin when its overheating boiler was minutes away from claiming possibly over 100 lives8 In 1916 the original Fruitdale School burned as its students marched to safety In 1919 an attempt to burn down the South School was made by a parent who was frantic to keep the school from reopening in the wake of the Great Flu Epidemic, but the fire smothered itself out In 1938 the recently built Buffalo Creek School burned while school was in session from an overheated furnace, and teacher Wilma Barnes successfully got all 15 students to safety9 On April 7, 1982, Scott Darwin Michael was shot and killed by classmate, Jason Rocha at Deer Creek Middle School10

Best known is the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, when two students killed 12 students and a teacher However, that teacher, Dave Sanders, proved another hero, having helped many students to safety before losing his own life

On February 23, 2010, eighth-graders Reagan Webber and Matt Thieu were shot and wounded at Deer Creek Middle School11 The incident ended when math teacher David Benke tackled the perpetrator, Bruco Eastwood1213

In September 2014, students and teachers in schools around the district protested the conservative ideology of the school board, which had proposed reviewing the APUSH curriculum set by the College Board, to focus history education on citizenship and patriotism, while condemning civil disobedience and strike actions1415

Environmental considerationedit

Many Jefferson County schools make use of constructed wetlands for managing stormwater and contributing to the health of local watersheds The wetland project at Oberon Middle School has been lauded by the National Resources Defense Council for setting "an example for local governments seeking new ways to manage stormwater on municipal grounds with some value added16

Literary mentionsedit

Oberon Middle School is the setting for the novel Define "Normal" by Julie Anne Peters17


There are currently 88 elementary schools, three K-8 schools, 17 middle schools, and 17 high schools in the Jeffco Public Schools district

Elementary schoolsedit

  • Adams Elementary School
  • Allendale Elementary School
  • Arvada K-8 School
  • Bear Creek K-8 School
  • Belmar Elementary School
  • Bergen Meadow Primary School
  • Bergen Valley Intermediate School
  • Blue Heron Elementary School
  • Bradford K-8 North School
  • Bradford K-8 South School
  • Campbell Elementary School
  • Coal Creek Canyon K-8 School
  • Colorow Elementary School
  • Columbine Hills Elementary School
  • Coronado Elementary School
  • Deane Elementary School
  • Devinny Elementary School
  • Dutch Creek Elementary School
  • Edgewater Elementary School
  • Eiber Elementary School
  • Elk Creek Elementary School
  • Emory Elementary School
  • Fairmount Elementary School
  • Fitzmorris Elementary School
  • Foothills Elementary School
  • Foster Elementary School
  • Fremont Elementary School
  • Glennon Heights Elementary School
  • Governor's Ranch Elementary School
  • Green Gables Elementary School
  • Green Mountain Elementary School
  • Hackberry Hill Elementary School
  • Hutchinson Elementary School
  • Kendallvue Elementary School
  • Kendrick Lakes Elementary School
  • Kullerstrand Elementary School
  • Kyffin Elementary School
  • Lasley Elementary School
  • Lawrence Elementary School
  • Leawood Elementary School
  • Little Elementary School
  • Lukas Elementary School
  • Lumberg Elementary School
  • Maple Grove Elementary School
  • Marshdale Elementary School
  • Meiklejohn Elementary School
  • Mitchell Elementary School
  • Molholm Elementary School
  • Mortensen Elementary School
  • Mt Carbon Elementary School
  • Normandy Elementary School
  • Parmalee Elementary School
  • Parr Elementary School
  • Patterson Elementary School
  • Peck Elementary School
  • Peiffer Elementary School
  • Pennington Elementary School
  • Powderhorn Elementary School
  • Prospect Valley Elementary School
  • Ralston Elementary School
  • Red Rocks Elementary School
  • Rose Stein Elementary School
  • Rooney Ranch Elementary School
  • Ryan Elementary School
  • Secrest Elementary School
  • Semper Elementary School
  • Shaffer Elementary School
  • Shelton Elementary School
  • Sheridan Green Elementary School
  • Sierra Elementary School
  • Slater Elementary School
  • South Lakewood Elementary School
  • Stevens Elementary School
  • Stober Elementary School
  • Stony Creek Elementary School
  • Stott Elementary School
  • Swanson Elementary School
  • Thomson Elementary School
  • Three Creeks Elementary School
  • Ute Meadows Elementary School
  • Van Arsdale Elementary School
  • Vanderhoof Elementary School
  • Vivian Elementary School
  • Warder Elementary School
  • Weber Elementary School
  • Welchester Elementary School
  • Westgate Elementary School
  • West Jefferson Elementary School
  • Westridge Elementary School
  • West Woods Elementary School
  • Wilmore-Davis Elementary School
  • Wilmot Elementary School
  • Witt Elementary School

Middle schoolsedit

  • Arvada K-8 School web site
  • Bear Creek K-8 School web site
  • Bell Middle School web site
  • Carmody Middle School web site
  • Coal Creek Canyon K-8 School web site
  • Creighton Middle School web site
  • Deer Creek Middle School web site
  • Drake Middle School web site
  • Dunstan Middle School web site
  • Evergreen Middle School web site
  • Everitt Middle School web site
  • Falcon Bluffs Middle School web site
  • Ken Caryl Middle School web site
  • Mandalay Middle School web site
  • Moore Middle School web site
  • North Arvada Middle School web site
  • Oberon Middle School web site
  • Summit Ridge Middle School web site
  • Wayne Carle Middle School web site
  • West Jefferson Middle School web site

Senior high schoolsedit

  • Alameda International Junior/Senior High School 1960 web site
  • Arvada High School 1900 web site
  • Arvada West High School 1960 web site
  • Bear Creek High School 1932 web site
  • Chatfield Senior High 1985 web site
  • Columbine High School 1973 web site
  • Conifer High School 1996web site
  • Dakota Ridge High School 1998 web site
  • Evergreen High School 1955 web site
  • Golden High School 1873 web site
  • Green Mountain High School 1973 web site
  • Jefferson High School 1955 web site
  • Lakewood High School 1928 web site
  • Pomona High School 1973 web site
  • Ralston Valley High School 2000 web site
  • Standley Lake High School 1988 web site
  • Wheat Ridge High School 1957 web site

Option schoolsedit

  • Brady Exploration School web site
  • D'Evelyn Junior/Senior High School web site
  • Dennison Elementary School web site
  • Jeffco's 21st Century Virtual Academy web site
  • Jefferson County Open School web site
  • Long View High School web site
  • The Manning School web site
  • McLain Community High School web site
  • Warren Tech web site

Special schools and programsedit

  • Fletcher Miller School web site
  • Mt Evans Outdoor Education Laboratory School web site
  • Sobesky Academy web site
  • Windy Peak Outdoor Education Laboratory School web site

Charter schoolsedit

  • Addenbrooke Classical Academy web site
  • Collegiate Academy web site
  • Compass Montessori Wheat Ridge web site
  • Compass Montessori Golden web site
  • Doral Academy of Colorado web site
  • Excel Academy web site
  • Free Horizon Montessori web site
  • Golden View Classical Academy web site
  • Jefferson Academy web site
  • Lincoln Academy web site
  • Montessori Peaks Academy web site
  • Mountain Phoenix Community School web site
  • New America School web site
  • Rocky Mountain Academy web site
  • Rocky Mountain Deaf School web site
  • Two Roads Charter School web site
  • Woodrow Wilson Academy web site

Former schoolsedit

  • Columbia Heights Elementary School, Wheat Ridge closed 197818
  • Community Involved Charter School / Center for Discovery Learning Charter School closed 2005
  • Fruitdale School, Wheat Ridge closed 197819
  • Jefferson County Open High School merged into Jefferson County Open School, 1989
  • Martensen Elementary School closed 2011202122
  • Mountain Open High School, Evergreen renamed Jefferson County Open High School, 1978
  • Open Living School, Edgewater combined into Tanglewood Open Living School in 1978
  • Open Living School, Evergreen combined into Tanglewood Open Living School in 1978
  • Pleasant View Elementary School, Golden closed 201723
  • Russell Elementary School, Arvada closed 201024
  • Tanglewood Open Living School, Golden merged into Jefferson County Open School, 1989
  • Zerger Elementary School closed 20112025

External linksedit

  • Colorado portal
  • Schools portal
  • Jeffco Public Schools


  1. ^ 2010 CENSUS - CENSUS BLOCK MAP: West Pleasant View CDP, CO Archive US Census Bureau Retrieved on April 3, 2015
  2. ^ Contact Us Jefferson County Public Schools Retrieved on April 3, 2011 "1829 Denver West Drive #27 Golden, CO 80401"
  3. ^ Jeffco Public Schools website
  4. ^ The Golden Pioneer Museum 1955 - "Sophie Martin" from A Woman's Life In Golden 1902-1980, Lorraine Wagenbach, ed, 1980
  5. ^ A Chronology of the History of Jefferson County, Colorado Compiled by Jefferson County Archives and Records Management
  6. ^ "Jefferson County" History Colorado 
  7. ^ Roeder, Milly 2012 "Farewell to Lamb School" PDF Historically Jeffco Jefferson County Historical Commission 
  8. ^ Skiba, Doug "Golden's historic cemeteries" Golden History Museums 
  9. ^ Lawson, Pamela 2007 "Passing into history: Jack Green dies at 90" High Timber Times 
  10. ^ "Deer Creek also site of a shooting in 1982" The Denver Post 24 February 2010 
  11. ^ Pankratz, Howard; Vaughan, Kevin; Bunch, Joey 23 Feb 2010 "2 students shot, 1 man arrested at Deer Creek Middle School" Denver Post 
  12. ^ "Teacher describes how he stopped shooting" CNN 24 Feb 2010 
  13. ^ "David Benke And Matt Thieu On TODAY Show VIDEO" The Huffington Post Denver 5 May 2010 
  14. ^ "Hundreds of Colorado students protest history curriculum changes that would promote patriotism" Fox News Associated Press September 24, 2014 Retrieved September 25, 2014 
  15. ^ Wallace, Kelly September 24, 2014 "Denver students accuse school board of censoring US history" CNNcom Retrieved September 25, 2014 
  16. ^ Implementing Pollution Prevention for Municipal Operations - Constructed Wetland Becomes Outdoor Classroom, Natural Resources Defense Council
  17. ^ Julie Anne Peters, Hachette Book Group, 2007
  18. ^ "Columbia Heights Elementary School" Place Names Directory Jefferson County, Colorado 
  19. ^ "Fruitdale Elementary" Place Names Directory Jefferson County, Colorado 
  20. ^ a b Jeffco Public Schools 2011-12 Budget Reductions - FAQ School Closures
  21. ^ "Martensen Elementary School Holds Open House Before It Closes" CBS Denver 14 May 2011 
  22. ^ Garcia, Peyton 24 Apr 2017 "Martensen Elementary becomes first-responder training facility" Denver Post 
  23. ^ Klemaier, Josie 7 Mar 2017 "Preparing for closure, Pleasant View Elementary in Jeffco looks ahead" Denver Post 
  24. ^ Meyer, Jeremy P 1 Jun 2010 "Jeffco's Russell Elementary packs up classrooms as school shuts doors" Denver Post 
  25. ^ Fortier, Shanna 28 Mar 2017 "Lease agreement approved for Zerger building in Westminster" Westminster Window Zerger Elementary School closed in 2012 following budget cuts 

Further readingedit

  • Nicky Woolf, "US 'Little Rebels' Protest against Changes to History Curriculum," The Guardian, Sept 26, 2014
  • Lindsey Bever, "After Weeks of Student Protests, Colorado School Board Gives a Little Ground on ‘Positive’ History Curriculum," Washington Post, Oct 3, 2014
  • Charles Lane, "What the AP US History fight in Colorado is really about," Washington Post, Nov 6, 2014

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