School Safety & Security
This past week has been uniquely challenging as a result of the statewide impact of the threats made against our K-12 schools in Colorado. While I am relieved that the threat that led to school cancellation on Wednesday, April 17th, has been resolved, the safety and security of D’Evelyn students, faculty, staff, and families remains of the utmost concern. I am grateful that this week concluded without incident in our schools, but I know that we have substantial ongoing work and responsibility for ensuring the continued safety of all D’Evelyn community members.
This week I am particularly grateful for the services and support of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. They have been involved in the safety and security of D’Evelyn and other schools in unincorporated Jefferson County for years, but their involvement, along with many other municipal, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, was exceptional this week. Deputy Greg Everhart, the School Resource Officer for D’Evelyn, has actively engaged in ensuring the safety of our students during the school day for many years. The acute nature of this week’s threats highlighted the value and positive impact Deputy Everhart has in our school community. If you have occasion to do so, please thank him and other law enforcement officers for their care, concern, and attention to the security threats of this week.
An important component of maintaining a safe school is a strong and engaged community. Our faculty, staff, and administration are vigilant in efforts to build strong relationships with students, and we have a unique ability to monitor student well-being and safety. However, we rely upon students, parents, family members, and friends to share pertinent concerns with the appropriate school personnel should they arrive. As a school, we are here to support our students’ personal and academic development. We are grateful for our engaged parent/family community and ask for your continued support in ensuring the well-being of our community members.
Thank you for your support and patience during this challenging week where school safety concerns were paramount. As an administration, faculty, and staff, we are consistently reviewing and reflecting upon methods to sustain and enhance safety and security at D’Evelyn. Your partnership and support are important to our success in maintaining a safe school environment.
Prom / After Prom
During the week of April 22nd, we will be celebrating Prom Week, which will include student-led spirit events and culminate in Prom on Saturday, April 27th and After Prom on Sunday, April 28th. Prom and After Prom are important community events for our students. I ask for the support of parents and family members in encouraging their student(s) to have a fun, safe, and enjoyable weekend at these two events. It is important for all students to consider that as school-sponsored events, all D’Evelyn and Jeffco student conduct policies are applicable. We expect that our students will enjoy their Prom weekend in a manner that is safe and law-abiding. Thank you for your partnership in encouraging our students to enjoy this important school event.
Thank you to all the parent volunteers and dedicated staff and students for their efforts to organize this important community event. Prom and After Prom are two annual highlights for D’Evelyn students, and we aspire to keep that rich tradition alive and well in our school. We could not do that without the dedication of so many key contributors from our community.
Please accept my best wishes for a successful and enjoyable Prom Week. For those students attending Prom and After Prom, I hope that they are able to have a fun and safe weekend and make many great memories among their friends.
In the process of providing D’Evelyn students an outstanding education that will prepare them for a happy and full life, the D’Evelyn faculty, staff, and administration bears the important responsibility of maintaining a safe, secure, and orderly school environment for all our students during each school day. Safety and security are particularly in the forefront of the minds of school leaders in Jefferson County as we approach April 20th, which this year marks the 20th anniversary of the senseless tragedy at Columbine High School.
The D’Evelyn faculty, staff, counselors, and administration maintain an acute focus on school safety and security as well as student well-being. We are fortunate to have a faculty with so many dedicated and talented professionals. We are also fortunate to have the services of two full-time Campus Supervisors, Mike Dobrowski and Kim Racine, and the support of Jeffco Sheriff Deputy Greg Everhart, all of whom are prominently involved in safety planning, decision-making, and response.
Education and preparation are two key components of maintaining a safe learning environment for all students. As a result, we lead frequent drills in our school to help students and staff prepare for emergency response, in the unfortunate event that response is required during a real emergency.
One type of drill is a lockdown drill, where students and adults in the building respond to our lockdown alarm by quickly moving to a secure location behind a locked door, out of sight. On Monday, April 29th, during 7th hour, we will administer our 2nd lockdown drill of the school year.
During the drill, we have asked teachers to discuss unique safety considerations that are more “off script” than the traditional response to a lockdown situation. As examples, teachers and students will discuss matters like what to do if a student is in the hallway or bathroom, or what to do if they are outside during an emergency. We are confident that these discussions will provide a great learning opportunity for our students in our efforts to prepare for potential emergencies.
I share this with parents and families for a variety of reasons. Primary among them, school safety and security are most effective when all community members are engaged and focused on the matter. I cannot predict how all students will respond to conversations about safety that can be personal, emotional, and/or upsetting. I encourage parents to have open conversations with students about school safety, but after this lockdown drill, to check in with their students to see what they learned and offer any additional support as needed.
Perhaps most importantly, we ask for the partnership of all students, parents, and families in the maintenance of a safe and secure learning environment. If you ever have a concern about the safety or well-being of your child or another D’Evelyn student, please contact the most appropriate D’Evelyn faculty/staff member or our front office immediately. We also have the valuable support of the Safe2Tell system, and concerns about student safety and security can be anonymously reported through Safe2Tell:
Thank you for your partnership during the D’Evelyn educational experience of your child(ren). Your consistent support and encouragement are an important component of the success of our great school.
On Tuesday, April 9th, D’Evelyn will host a variety of standardized tests for students as part of the Colorado SAT/PSAT Day for 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students. The D’Evelyn liberal arts program offers our students a rich, challenging academic program that supports their intellectual and personal development in a manner that should prepare them for a successful life. While our timeless curriculum is not modified to attend to changes and shifts in standardized testing protocols, we are very proud of the great achievement D’Evelyn students reach in the myriad of state-mandated tests that they encounter each year. The hard work of students and teachers, and the support of parents, families, and staff all contribute to the overall success of D’Evelyn students, success that is made possible and enhanced by the liberal arts curriculum. I am happy and proud to serve as the principal of this great school.
The 11th grade SAT test administration represents an important day for our juniors. Please accept my best wishes for all juniors on a very successful performance on this significant exam for the college admissions process. I am confident that the academic preparation and personal commitment to learning shown by our students will shepherd them to success on this exam.
Additionally, D’Evelyn freshmen and sophomores will take the PSAT on April 9th. With recent shifts in standardized testing policy from the state, the PSAT 9 and PSAT 10 are the official state assessments for 9th and 10th graders in Colorado. My hope is that this test will provide students helpful foundational information in preparation for future administrations of the SAT. The PSAT data will also provide our school administration and faculty with more useful information about student achievement at D’Evelyn, in a manner that will highlight potential areas where additional support may be needed for students.
Finally, the D’Evelyn 8th grade students will be completing their CMAS Science testing during the day on April 9th. I appreciate the efforts of our junior high students to complete this testing on the PSAT/SAT day, as it allows us to minimize the impact to important class time.
D’Evelyn 7th and 12th grade students will have the day off school on April 9th.
Please join me in encouraging your student(s) to offer their best performance on these upcoming tests. I am confident in their abilities, and in the level of preparation they have for success. I hope that the testing day on April 9th, as well as subsequent CMAS standardized testing for D’Evelyn students, go very well.
On behalf of the D’Evelyn faculty, staff, and administration, please accept my very best wishes that you and your family enjoy an outstanding Spring Break. We know that D’Evelyn students work hard and dedicate a great deal of their time and effort to academic success during the school year. Breaks like the upcoming week-long Spring Break are an important time for students to relax, refresh, and have fun. Regardless of your family’s plans for the week, I hope that it a great opportunity for all D’Evelyn community members to enjoy valuable time with family and friends. We look forward to an exciting, rewarding, and enriching final eight weeks to the school year upon your return.
One notable component of our school function in April will be frequent standardized testing. This is the month that we complete our CMAS and SAT/PSAT testing. You should have received a Messenger earlier this week about our unique schedule and plans for testing. For your reference, I have included that message below this article. I would like to recognize D’Evelyn Assistant Principal Greg Kottcamp for his efforts to design an efficient testing schedule that minimizes the negative impact on instructional time in a manner that will best support our students.
We are grateful for the level of support offered by D’Evelyn community members when standardized testing occurs. While we make no adjustments to our curriculum or instructional plan to sway with changing expectations in state-mandated tests, we do believe that the liberal arts education offered our students supports their ability to be successful on these upcoming tests. We ask for your partnership in encouraging your child to submit their best efforts during our testing season to demonstrate their learning and academic growth over the course of this school year.
Have a great break - we look forward to seeing you in April!
The April Testing Schedule Memo (Sent to all D’Evelyn families via School Messenger on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, and republished here for your convenience):
On April 9th, we will have a unique schedule to allow for the testing of students in grades: 8, 9, 10, and 11. By testing all these students on the same day we minimize the impact on instruction and learning. The school day will run from 7:35 to 12:20, so buses will pick-up students as usual; however, buses to return students home will depart the school around 12:20. As it is a shortened day, lunch will not be served. Students in 7th and 12th grade will not have school as they are not being tested that day.
The test that students are taking is dependent upon grade level:
8th Grade Students:
Please have students leave their cell phones, smart watches, or anything that can send or receive a transmission at home, in their car, or in their locker. If a cell phone rings during the testing, the student’s exam will be collected, and they will not be able to complete the test.
Additionally, other students’ test scores may be invalidated so it is important to not bring cell phones to the testing area.
Juniors taking the SAT without the Writing section will be free to quietly exit the building and go home after their testing is complete if they have their own means of transportation. For juniors that will ride the bus home, we ask that they go to the Counseling Office to wait for the 12:20 pm bus departure.
CMAS Testing - April 10 - 12, April 16 - 18, April 24
We will also be conducting the required state testing for 7th and 8th grade students in English and Mathematics on April 10, 11, and 12, and the following week on April 16, 17, and 18. Lastly, Juniors will be taking the Science CMAS tests on Wednesday, April 24th. These testing days will have unique schedules but will start and end at the usual time. If you want to opt your child out of any testing, you will need to email Greg Kottcamp at firstname.lastname@example.org with your child’s name and which tests they are to be opted out of, by April 2nd.
We appreciate your support and flexibility for these required state assessments. Please join us in extending best wishes to your student(s) for a successful testing season. We look forward to seeing the results of the great work by D’Evelyn students. If you have questions or need any clarification on the logistics of the day, please feel free to contact the D’Evelyn Main Office at 303-982-2600.
Since the January Jeffco Schools Board of Education meeting, the Dennison/D’Evelyn 6th Grade Task Force received feedback with concerns about the initial proposal for transitioning 6th grade from Dennison to D’Evelyn between now and the 2021-2022 school year. As a result, the Task Force reconvened to consider the feedback, and has adjusted the proposal.
Based upon the feedback received, as well as review of data from the Fall 2018 survey, the Task Force has modified the proposal to be considered in April 2019 by the Jeffco BOE. The primary change between the two proposals is that Dennison will maintain a 6th grade program while D’Evelyn will add a 6th grade program beginning in the 2020-2021 school year. Dennison students will have a guaranteed position at D’Evelyn beginning in 7th grade because of this proposal. The proposal is linked here.
There will be a community presentation regarding this proposal in the D’Evelyn Auditorium on Wednesday, March 20th, beginning at 6:00 pm. We encourage interested families from both D’Evelyn and Dennison
to attend this meeting to learn more about the proposal.
Thank you in advance for your continued support as both school communities work to address the changing landscape of education in Jeffco in a manner that best supports the students of Dennison and D’Evelyn.
I am thrilled to share with the D’Evelyn community the news that my wife Fran and I welcomed our second daughter, Avery Margot Griffin, on Thursday, February 28th. Fran and Avery are both healthy and doing great, and our older daughter Josephine has shown a real affinity for her baby sister. I was fortunate to be able to spend a few days at home with my family as Fran and I acclimate to the household size increase from three to four. During this exciting time for our family, I feel particularly grateful to serve as D’Evelyn principal, leading such a thoughtful and caring community. Fran and I appreciate all the love, support, and well wishes we have received, and continue to receive, from members of the D’Evelyn family, far and wide.
The final weeks of the semester are always busy and exciting times at D’Evelyn. I have a few timely updates to share with the D’Evelyn community at this time.
New Student Welcome Night for students enrolling at D’Evelyn for the 2019-2020 school year was last week and it was a great success. We welcomed approximately 200 members of the Class of 2025, as well as several members for the Classes of 2023 and 2024. Thank you to all the students, teachers, coaches, sponsors, and parents who attended this important community event to welcome our newest students and families to D’Evelyn. I believe wholeheartedly in the strength and power of the D’Evelyn liberal arts educational program, and it was uplifting to welcome so many enthusiastic new students and families last night.
Jeffco Schools 2-Hour Weather Delay Protocol - the school district has developed and is ready to implement a 2-hour weather delay protocol in the event of future inclement weather that necessitates such a delay. The district will continue to use existing methods of communication - district website, Jeffco Connect, and various news media outlets - to share updates on school delays or cancellations. This new 2-hour delay protocol, when used, would apply to D’Evelyn, and our school is impacted in the following ways:
Between now and Spring Break, there are many opportunities to support D’Evelyn student-athletes and performers. To find events to attend, please visit our school sports calendar and school calendar (for concerts and performances).
Thank you for your continued support of D’Evelyn students. It is a privilege to serve as principal of this great school!
The Jeffco Schools Board of Education has delayed further consideration of the Dennison/D’Evelyn 6th Grade Proposal until their April 2019 meeting. In conjunction with this delay, the Dennison/D’Evelyn 6th Grade Task Force and D’Evelyn Steering Committee are taking time to review and reflect upon the proposal, and to determine what changes should be made.
I share this with the D’Evelyn community primarily as an update, to ensure that our community members are aware of the progress towards the possibility of adding a 6th grade program to our school. Based upon the feedback we have received from D’Evelyn families, we know that it is important to those with younger students not attending Dennison to have a 6th grade option at D’Evelyn for their younger students. We also know through the feedback that we have received that there are many Dennison/D’Evelyn families that oppose removing 6th grade from Dennison and offering 6th grade only at D’Evelyn.
Based upon a further review of the feedback gathered in the community survey from Fall 2018, as well as additional feedback we have received since the first presentation to the Jeffco Schools BOE in January 2019, the Task Force is reflecting on its proposal, and will be prepared to share any proposed revisions with both school communities in March 2019. Please stay tuned for further updates that will be provided to both communities in a variety of forums, including additional community meetings.
Thank you for your continued support of D’Evelyn Junior/Senior High School. I know that there are many concerns and considerations associated with any changes involving sixth grade students, and I am committed to an open, transparent, and thoughtful process on route to a
resolution that serves the needs of families at both Dennison and D’Evelyn for many years.