By: Josh Griffin, Principal
On behalf of our family, I am thrilled to share the news that we welcomed our daughter Madison James Griffin on Thursday, September 23rd. Madison was born at 3:05 PM at Presbyterian/St. Luke’s Hospital in Denver, weighing 4 pounds, 15 ounces. Both my wife Fran and Madison are doing great, and our older two daughters are so excited to have a baby sister. Dad is just happy!
Madison has been diagnosed with Trisomy 21, commonly referred to as Down syndrome. My wife and I learned of Madison’s condition at the end of the first trimester of Fran’s pregnancy. Since we learned of her diagnosis, we have been abundantly blessed to receive care, support, and consideration from our family, friends, community members, and medical professionals. Fran and I consider ourselves blessed to have the opportunity to be Madison’s parents, and we truly believe that we were chosen as her parents for a reason. In just a few days, Madison has already been a light in our lives, and I know that she is the perfect child to complete our Griffin family of 5.
I am hopeful that in the upcoming months, I will be able to bring Madison, along with her two sisters Josie and Avery, to D’Evelyn athletic, extracurricular, and social events. As a family, we feel fortunate to be involved in this outstanding D’Evelyn community, and the support we have already received from so many revalidates that appreciation.
I will be on a leave of absence through Friday, October 29th. In the event that Fran or Madison need unexpected additional medical care or support, I may need to extend my leave, but I currently intend to return on November 1st. I am grateful to our faculty, staff, and administration for continuing the important work of educating our students in my absence. Please join me in welcoming Mr. Tim Schmeckpeper back to D’Evelyn, as he will return to serve as interim principal in my absence. I have known “Schmeck” for over 25 years, and I am honored that he has agreed to serve in this role during my leave.
I wish your child(ren) and family the best as we move into the fall this school year. Thank you for your sincere and ongoing commitment to the success of your student(s) and our great school.
I appreciate your understanding and support as I take the upcoming weeks to spend additional time with my family.
By: Josh Griffin, Principal
Last week, I was thrilled to share the news of the great success of D’Evelyn students on the SAT and PSAT 9 & 10 from the April 2021 statewide administration. Those results are a great tribute to the hard work and dedication of our students, faculty, and staff, and the outstanding support of our families.
We have received additional great news. Each year, the Colorado Department of Higher Education completes a study of the postsecondary success of Colorado High School graduates. One statistic generated in this study is called “remediation rates”. Remediation rates measure the percentage of graduates that require remedial coursework in public Colorado colleges and universities for English and Math.
In its most recent study, the Colorado Department of Higher Education found that the D’Evelyn Class of 2019 earned a 0% remediation rate. This means that among all graduates of the D’Evelyn Class of 2019, no one needed remedial coursework in English or Math. In the 11 years for which remediation rate data is available, we are proud to say that we have never had a class of graduates with a remediation rate about 4%.
This remediation rate data is a remarkable tribute to the quality of the D’Evelyn liberal arts program and the commitment of our students, staff, and families. Each year, the remediation data is a great point of pride - it highlights the level of knowledge and skills our graduates bring with them as they pursue postsecondary study.
On a personal note, I want to share with our full D’Evelyn community about some temporary change in our leadership team over the next few weeks.
My wife and I are expecting our third daughter. She will likely arrive during the week of September 20th. In order to support my wife and all three of our daughters, I plan to take a leave of absence beginning Wednesday, September 22nd that I plan to conclude on Monday, November 1st. I am thrilled to share that in my absence, veteran educational leader and recently retired D’Evelyn AP Tim Schmeckpeper has agreed to serve as the interim principal. “Schmeck” is a great man and has played an important role in my life dating back to my freshman year of high school. I am honored that he has agreed to fill the role of interim principal in my absence. Mr. Schmeckpeper will begin his interim appointment on Monday, September 27th.
Additionally, D’Evelyn AP and Athletic Director, Jerry McWhorter will also be taking a leave of absence for at least the next few weeks. We are fortunate to have Mr. Kevin Land join us to serve as interim AP in Jerry’s absence. Mr. Land will work to support high school students with last names starting with A-L. Mr. Land will begin his interim appointment on Monday, September 20th.
I have great confidence in our administrative team, our faculty, staff, and counselors - they will do an outstanding job of continuing their important work in my absence. I encourage students and families to continue to utilize direct communication, and work directly with the teachers, counselors, staff, and administrators. If you need assistance connecting with a member of the D’Evelyn faculty or staff, please contact our Main Office at 303-982-2600 during office hours (7 AM - 3 PM, Monday-Friday).
I wish you all the best during the next few weeks. I will miss my daily interactions with D’Evelyn students, faculty, staff, and families, but at this time, it will be important for me to dedicate time to my family. I appreciate your support and understanding as we welcome our new daughter in the upcoming days!
By: Josh Griffin, Principal
At D’Evelyn, we are fortunate to have our school philosophy clearly established by the D’Evelyn Program Document, commonly referred to as the “Founding Document”. The quality of our school program is greatly supported by the shared belief in the Founding Document throughout our community.
Among the key elements of the Founding Document, D’Evelyn is designed to offer a strong liberal arts education, with high academic and behavioral expectations for all students. The purpose of our school is to support the development of the minds and character of our students, so that they may be effective community members and well prepared for their future endeavors. Over the 27-year history of our school, we have seen great success among our students, both during their time at D’Evelyn, as well as in their postsecondary pursuits.
As noted in the Founding Document, and quoted from the work of Jacques Barzun, the purpose of education is to ensure that our students are not “wide-eyed strangers in a world of wonders”. By way of a well-designed liberal arts curriculum, and quality instruction throughout the D’Evelyn program, our school’s mission and vision have served students well for many years.
While the school philosophy guides us, we are proud of the work and achievements of our students each year. Particularly against the landscape of the tumultuous educational setting we have experienced since March 2020, I am especially proud of the great achievements of our students in the spring 2021 administration of the SAT, PSAT 10, and PSAT 9.
I am thrilled to share that the upcoming D’Evelyn graduating class (current seniors, Class of 2022) earned the highest average SAT scores among all public, non-charter high schools in Colorado during the April 2021 administration. This marks the 20th consecutive year of rankings by the Colorado Department of Education in which D’Evelyn juniors earned the highest average ACT or SAT scores among non-charter high schools in the state. With an average score of 1269, these students did a remarkable job on the test. We are very proud of you, seniors!
Additionally, the D’Evelyn Class of 2023 and Class of 2024 also earned the highest average scores on their respective PSAT tests among Colorado public, non-charter high schools in the April 2021 administration. The Class of 2023 earned an average PSAT 10 score of 1158, and the Class of 2024 earned an average score of 1108. Congratulations to our current sophomores and juniors - you did an outstanding job on your respective tests last spring.
These great results are the result of the hard work and dedication of D’Evelyn students, teachers, and staff, as well as the commitment and support of D’Evelyn parents and families. Our students meet our high institutional expectations with perseverance, grit, and determination, all skills and ultimately character traits that will serve our students well. I am incredibly proud of not only the performance of these students last April, but also the preparation that brought them to this level of success. The education of our students now begins in 6th grade, and I am grateful to our junior high teachers for their important work in establishing a strong foundation for success among our high school students.
As a school, we are uniquely positioned to provide our students a transformative learning experience during their junior and senior high school years. The timeless nature of the liberal arts philosophy allows us to support the growth and development of both the mind and character of our students. Congratulations to our students on these remarkable achievements - we are proud of you!
By: Josh Griffin, Principal
I hope that you and your family have enjoyed the Labor Day weekend. It is important for our students, teachers, staff, and families to enjoy some down time during the school year, and it is my hope that the three-day weekend was a great way for all parties to rest, relax, and have fun.
I continue to be impressed with how well the school year has started. Thank you to our students, teachers, staff, and families for your commitment to a successful start to the school year, as we all focus on a great year of learning and growth for our students in the D’Evelyn liberal arts program. In my classroom visits and school supervision throughout the first three weeks, I have seen firsthand the great benefit of our return to 100% in-person learning, daily class meetings of 50 minutes in length, the restoration of our traditional 7th hour program, and the opportunity for students to socialize at before school, after school, during passing periods, and at lunch.
As we continue through the school year, I expect that our students will experience greater complexity and challenge in their classes. Additionally, we are already in the midst of the beginning of our first round of unit assessments in our classes. Thank you for joining our faculty and staff in encouraging your students to keep up the great momentum with which we started the year. If your student is struggling, whether in a class or personally, please partner with our teachers, counselors, and/or administrators to develop a plan to better support your student.
In the upcoming weeks, we have several important opportunities for families to continue and/or increase your engagement in the school. Please consider these upcoming opportunities as pathways to deepening understanding of the D’Evelyn program, and ultimately a good way to best support your student during this year and their remaining D’Evelyn tenures.
D’Evelyn Accountability Committee
The first D’Evelyn Accountability Committee meeting of the year is Tuesday, September 14th, 2021, at 5:30 PM in the D’Evelyn library. Accountability meetings generally last approximately 1 hour. The purpose of the Accountability Committee is to serve in an advisory capacity to the D’Evelyn Steering Committee as well as the principal. During our typical meetings, we discuss and gather input on important matters in the school, share important updates on school philosophy and operations, and present opportunities for families to become more involved in the school.
In particular, the September 14th meeting is an important one, our Steering Committee will provide training in the Founding Document, as well as training on the curricular development/review and textbook selection processes. For families interested in learning more about our school’s liberal arts philosophy, and ultimately seeking opportunities to serve on curricular and textbook committees, we hope that you will be able to join us in our first A/C meeting of the year on the 14th.
D’Evelyn Steering Committee
The D’Evelyn Steering Committee serves as the governing board of the school, with specific responsibilities in regards to D’Evelyn’s curriculum, textbooks, and hiring practices, establishing policies for the school, and supervising the principal. The D’Evelyn Steering Committee meets 1-2 times per month, and has already been hard at work to ensure a successful year and strong future for our great school. The next Steering Committee meeting is September 20th at 4:30 pm in the D’Evelyn Main Office Conference Room. We encourage D’Evelyn families interested in learning more about the school’s governance to attend and observe S/C meetings as they are able.
Parent Teacher Conferences - September 29th, 5:00 - 7:30 PM & September 30th, 3 - 5:30 PM
Mark your calendars! Our fall parent teachers conferences are just a few weeks away. We are still gathering feedback to determine the best methodology for hosting these conferences, but will announce our plans soon. We encourage D’Evelyn families and students to attend conferences as an opportunity to touch base with teachers and learn firsthand about the progress of your child in their classes.
Thank you for your support and engagement in a strong start to the 2021-2022 school year. I look forward to many more great days and achievements ahead for our students.
By: Josh Griffin, Principal
Thank you to all community members for a great second week of school. I am particularly grateful to our families for the great turnout at the 2021 Back to School Night this past Thursday, and the 2021 D’Evelyn DASH on Saturday morning. Huge thanks to all of the volunteers that worked so hard to plan an awesome D’Evelyn DASH. It was a great way to start the school year, and that is the direct result of the hard work and dedication of many parent volunteers and staff members.
Good communication is an essential element of a successful school. In the educational setting, effective communication should be geared towards supporting the success of our students. Even when circumstances are challenging and hardship may occur, it is important we all work together to have honest, respectful communication in the interest of supporting the best possible outcomes for our students. Additionally, we encourage a model of strong direct communication, where individuals address their questions and concerns to the most appropriate member of the school faculty and staff.
As you navigate the start of this school year, we encourage you to encourage your child(ren) to sustain a strong start to the school year, with active engagement in each of their classes and extracurricular activities. Ideally, students will begin to build positive relationships with their teachers, counselors, and support staff, where they are comfortable asking for help and additional support. Self-advocacy is an important skill for our students to develop during their secondary academic years. Thank you for encouraging your child(ren) to work productively with our staff throughout the year.
There are times when additional involvement by parents and/or guardians is warranted. Occasionally, a student may struggle significantly with a subject matter or assignment, or have a hard time approaching an adult in the building on their own. Please support your student in these situations by reaching out proactively to partner with the most relevant teacher or staff member as needed.
As a school administration, faculty, and staff, we aspire to provide comprehensive communication with families and students about important updates, events, and information originating at D’Evelyn. Timely, efficient communication is an important element to the establishment and maintenance of positive student, teacher, parent/family partnerships. Those partnerships are critical to supporting student success in the D’Evelyn program.
Within our school communication system, we use the following tools:
Jag Tracks - offered in a weekly web-based format, this is an opportunity for faculty, staff, administration, and community members to share important updates with families regarding upcoming events and important issues in the school. We encourage all families to review the Jag Tracks every week.
Jaguar Tracks website: https://develynjaguartracks.weebly.com/
School Messenger - email updates for all families, or families organized by grade-level, depending upon the nature of the message. In order to receive School Messenger updates, your contact information needs to be accurate in Jeffco Connect.
School Website - a steady source of information, including teacher websites and school and extracurricular calendars. Please visit and familiarize yourself with our school website and the individual websites of our teachers.
· School Website: https://develyn.jeffcopublicschools.org/
· Navigation Page - Teacher Websites: https://develyn.jeffcopublicschools.org/d_h_s_staff
Parent Portal (Gradebook) - allows access to student gradebooks for each of their classes. This is an important component of our communication plan, and we encourage parents/families to stay up-to-date on student performance in their classes via the gradebook.
Numerous school community events like Back to School Night, Parent Teacher Conferences, Prospective Student Information Nights, Welcome Events - all of these events are designed to offer opportunities to gain more information on expectations for students and families at D’Evelyn in a face-to-face forum. We encourage all D’Evelyn families to participate in these important school community events.
D’Evelyn App - you may download the D’Evelyn app from the App Store or Google Play store. This is a great resource that aggregates a number of important student/parent resources.
Email & Phone Communication - Please use this method to communicate with faculty/staff when a specific question or concern arises. Our faculty directory is on the D’Evelyn website.
Additionally, in an effort to highlight the many great things happening at D’Evelyn among our students, faculty, and staff, we have recently added D’Evelyn official social media outlets with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Facebook - /develynjrsr
Instagram - @develynjuniorsenior
Twitter - @develynjrsr
We encourage D’Evelyn community members, past, present, and future, to follow our various social media platforms to receive updates highlighting the many great achievements of D’Evelyn students, alums, faculty, and staff throughout the course of the school year.
While we aspire to have thorough, comprehensive communication, I recognize that maintaining this level of communication with thousands of current community members is not perfect. Families and students are encouraged to contact the appropriate school official directly if they have questions that cannot be answered within the aforementioned existing communication systems. Please feel free to call or visit the D’Evelyn Main Office - 303-982-2600 - should you need clarification on who the best contact is in the event that you have a question or discussion point with a member of the D’Evelyn faculty and staff.
Student, teacher, and parent/family partnerships are essential to the success of D’Evelyn students. I ask that all community members remain committed to positive, productive conversations throughout the course of the year to support our students.
By: Josh Griffin, Principal
As we wrap up our first week of the 2021-2022 school year, I am so proud of our school community. In our return from both summer break and the challenging 2020-2021 school year, we are off to a great start in our efforts to return to a normal school experience for our students, teachers, staff, and families. While we are just four days into the year, I am very pleased with our start.
Thank you to our students - you all adjusted very quickly to our norms and routines as we began the school year. I am grateful to you for your diligence and thoughtfulness as you reacclimate to 100% in-person learning, the standard 6-period school day, and traditional lunch periods. I hope that you enjoyed your first full week of school, and the return to typical learning, athletic, extracurricular, and social activities in our school.
Thank you to our teachers and staff. I had occasion to drop-in to approximately 20 classrooms during the course of this week, and the passion, organization, and commitment exhibited in the classrooms was outstanding. Our teachers and staff have made thoughtful, conscientious plans to support our students’ return to school, and I was impressed to see the fruits of their labor.
Thank you to our D’Evelyn families. The return to school always calls upon parents and family members to adjust routines and make new plans to support their students. Particularly in this unique school year, I am grateful to you for your continued patience, thoughtfulness, and support for your children, our staff, and our greater school community. All-in-all, we have had an outstanding start to the year, and that is a tribute to our parents and families.
As a faculty, staff, and administration, we stand ready to support students that may be struggling with the return to school. As needed, please work directly with your student’s teachers, counselor, support staff, or assigned administrator for additional support. We have enjoyed a great start to the year overall, but I know that individuals may have struggled with the return. If we work together as a team to support a struggling student, the outcome will be far more positive - please do not hesitate to reach out for additional support as needed!
My optimism for a great upcoming school year has grown throughout this week. I have observed unique enthusiasm throughout the community for this far more typical year, and look forward to many more great days ahead. This is going to be a great school year!
As shared in my School Messenger letter on Monday night, we were surprised to learn of the change in plans for masks in our school. I appreciate the flexibility and accountability to this public health order of our students, staff, and families. I understand that the last minute change can present challenges, but our compliance as a community has been outstanding.
As we proceed through the year with this public health order in place, please ensure that your student has at least one mask with them when they arrive at school each day. Based on our observations this week, it may be wise for students to carry a back-up mask as well. For those interested, our school store plans to have masks available again this year for purchase by students and community members. I appreciate your compliance with the mask mandate and your support in encouraging your student(s) to be prepared for school each day with a mask.
Back to School Night
We look forward to welcoming our D’Evelyn parents/guardians to the 2021 Back to School Night on Thursday, August 26th. We will host a new parent meeting for interested families at 5:30 PM in the auditorium, and a parent meeting for all families at 6 PM in the gym. After the parent meeting in the gym, parents will have a chance to follow the schedule of their child(ren) for six, 10-minute class periods. In these sessions, you will have a chance to meet with your student’s teachers and learn more about their classes and expectations. This is a great opportunity for us to connect (and re-connect) as a community, and will support a sustained strong start to the school year.
In order to allow all parents/guardians the opportunity to fully participate in Back to School Night, we ask that families make arrangements for their children to NOT attend the event. This event is designed for parents/guardians, and will be most effective if students do not participate.
I look forward to seeing you at Back to School Night. I’ll be walking the halls throughout the evening after my presentation, and will look forward to meeting as many parents as possible.
It is not too late to sign up for the D’Evelyn DASH, held on campus on Saturday, August 28th We encourage our students, families, staff, and community members to participate in this awesome start-of-year community event. It is a great way for our families to gain improved connection within our school community - let’s make this 2021 D’Evelyn DASH the best yet! Your participation will make a big difference in supporting the D’Evelyn Education Foundation, who annually oversees more than $100,000 in commitments to D’Evelyn students and staff.
All those interested in participating in this great event can sign up here:
I hope you all have enjoyed a great weekend. Best wishes on an outstanding 2nd week of school starting Monday 8/23.
By: Josh Griffin, Principal
As we look ahead to the start of school on August 17th, I have a great sense of optimism and enthusiasm for the 2021-2022 school year. On Monday, August 9th, we hosted Registration, where 100's of students and families had a chance to connect (or reconnect) with D’Evelyn students and school personnel, and return to our campus. Additionally, this past week, we welcomed back our faculty to begin preparations for the school year. The passion and excitement exhibited over the past few days from students, staff, and families was uplifting and encouraging. I am looking forward to a great school year ahead.
Given the impact the pandemic had over the past 18 months in our school community, we understand that it is going to be an adjustment process for our community members in the return to a typical school year. I encourage all parties - students, teachers, staff, and families to maintain open communication and thoughtful teamwork in our shared efforts to ensure the best possible educational experiences for all of our students. Thank you for your partnership in ensuring a successful school year.
Our teachers and staff have been hard at work to plan for the return of students on August 17. As we prepare for the year, I encourage students and families to review teacher websites and syllabi, and to begin thoughtful preparations for school year routines as we start the new year.
For those interested in reviewing our Jeffco School's Covid-19 protocols, please review last week’s Principally Speaking in the Jaguar Tracks and the Jeffco Schools communication to families that went out on Wednesday afternoon. Below, please find a link with my brief remarks highlighting the key points of our Covid-19 plan as we start the new year.
Update regarding Covid-19 protocols
Thank you for your partnership as we work to start this new school year on a successful note. We know that the restrictions, limitations, and impediments on our daily school operations are vastly reduced - let’s all work together to ensure that this year is as great as possible for all of our students.
The D’Evelyn Education Foundation and the 2021 D’Evelyn DASH
We are thrilled to host the 21st annual D’Evelyn DASH, live, in-person, and on-campus on August 28th. The D’Evelyn DASH is an awesome way to kick off the new school year for D’Evelyn students, faculty, staff, and families. In addition to the community 5K/2K walk/run racing options for our community, there will be a high school race featuring nearly 40 area schools, as well as dozens of booths organized by our student clubs, sports teams, sponsors, and organizations. We encourage all D’Evelyn families to participate in this year’s D’Evelyn DASH - it will be a great time!
Registration information can be found here:
I am grateful to the volunteers that have worked diligently to organize this great event for our school. The DASH is one of several major annual events organized by the D’Evelyn Education Foundation, an organization responsible for $100,000 - $150,000 per year of funding to support D’Evelyn students, faculty, and staff. In addition to the D’Evelyn DASH, we look forward to your participation and support in the other major fundraising events later this school year: The D’Evelyn Dinner Auction, the D’Evelyn Annual Giving Campaign, and the D’Evelyn Golf Tournament.
By participating in or sponsoring the D’Evelyn DASH, you are contributing directly to the 2021-2022 school year budget of the D’Evelyn Education Foundation. This upcoming school year alone, DEF has pledged to fund the following crucial programs in our school:
· $15,000 towards college scholarships for members of the D’Evelyn Class of 2022
· $10,000 towards our full weight room renovation, supporting D’Evelyn students in their PE classes and athletic programs
· $25,000 towards D’Evelyn Performing Arts programs, including theatre, band, orchestra, and choir
· $17,000 towards D’Evelyn athletic programs
· $13,000 towards faculty/staff scholarships and recognition events
In addition to this year’s specific funding targets, DEF oversees the distribution of over approximately $15,000 in privately funded scholarships and awards, and supports Outdoor Lab tuition assistance, Mock Trial, Steering Committee, Accountability Committee, Junior High Boosters, and Counseling Department programming.
Your participation in the DASH provides direct support to DEF and the multitude of student organizations as well as our generous sponsors that will be represented at the DASH. More importantly, it is a great event for our families to attend as we work to return to normalcy with an amazing in-person event to kick-off the new school year.
Thank you for your participation in and support of the 2021 D’Evelyn DASH. I look forward to seeing a great turnout of students, families, and staff at this great event!
Josh Griffin, Principal