Written by: Melinda Bochner
Thank you to the many members of the community who have shared their thoughts about the proposed cell phone policy. We have read your emails as well as your posts on this blog and Facebook, and we have reviewed your responses to the Accountability survey. While, as always, your opinions vary, the majority of the input we received indicates support for a more restrictive cell phone policy. The most common concern that we heard surrounds students’ access to their cell phones in the case of an emergency. The technology subcommittee presented the policy proposal along with the community feedback to the Steering Committee this spring. The Steering Committee, expressing interest and support for this initiative, plans to move forward with a more restrictive cell phone policy in the fall, though the details of the policy have not been determined.
To that end, the Steering Committee welcomes additional community input, intends to seek more feedback from teachers, and will review research to refine the final policy. Steering’s expectation is to finish this review process in the fall semester for implementation in January of 2022. Please feel free to reach out to any SC member if you have questions or further comments. At the beginning of the 2021-22 school year, watch for additional information, and to warm-up for the roll-out of the new policy, please encourage your students to keep their cell phones out of sight during the school day. Have a fun-filled, low-tech, mask-free summer!
Written by: Gina Coco
D’Evelyn’s Founding Document sets us apart from neighborhood district high schools in many ways, including graduation requirements. As new Jeffco rules come out, it is the Steering Committee’s role to evaluate them and see if they align with our Founding Document and governance policies and determine if they should be implemented at D’Evelyn.
Recently, Jeffco changed their graduation requirements to allow the following high school graduation credits to be earned during junior high school:
D’Evelyn allows the following junior high credits to apply to high school graduation requirements:
While these may look like somewhat similar policies, the latter lines up with the requirements in the Founding Document, the former does not. For this reason, The Steering Committee unanimously voted to continue with our current graduation policy rather than adopt the District’s changes.
D’Evelyn graduation requirements can be found in Policy CU-08 and CU-08-R . All D’Evelyn policies, as well as meeting minutes, can be found on the D’Evelyn policy website. If you have any graduation credit concerns, please contact your student’s counselor.
Written by: Greg Holland, Steering Committee member
As April approaches, I am coming to the end of my first year on the Steering Committee. This has been a year of many firsts, and as we have just marked the anniversary of a global shutdown due to the pandemic, we look back at the many changes we have made due to COVID. One of the fall-outs has been the loss of face-to-face conversations around the world, and closer to home this means in the classroom, on the sporting fields, at school events, and in school committees. While Zoom and Google meets have allowed us to continue our work, the “new normal” means I have not had any in person conversations or meetings with other Steering Committee members, nor with any parents or students at D’Evelyn. This has become the norm for most of the D’Evelyn community, and I for one look forward to coming to an end of this ”new normal” as COVID numbers drop and vaccines roll out. Thankfully, the end seems to be in sight, and students will eventually return to the classroom.
Like the rest of society, even though Steering Committee meetings moved to Zoom this year, we have been continuing important work for our school. One significant item on which SC has been working is filling two upcoming vacancies as the terms of Gina Coco and Melinda Bochner are ending this spring. Both seats are being filled without the need of an election. Melinda Bochner is running unopposed and will return for a second term. Brock Gustafson, also running unopposed, will be a new member of the Steering Committee. During recent interviews, Mr. Gustafson asked a question which reminded me of my own interview process. He asked about the amount of communication he could expect from the D’Evelyn community as a SC member. Unfortunately, one casualty of the pandemic has been an indirect loss of communication with our community. Even though Steering Committee meetings are open to the public, and we are open to questions and concerns from D’Evelyn parents and the community at large, public interest in committee work has waned as pandemic concerns have increased. Hopefully this will change as the pandemic abates.
April Candidate Forum - You’re Invited!
This brings me to an important upcoming event and we encourage parent involvement. It is time to meet and bring questions to Brock and Melinda as we continue vital work of the Steering Committee, including the continued transition of the 6th grade to the building as well as bringing D’Evelyn out of pandemic restrictions. The Steering Committee would like to invite you to participate in a public forum on April 13 after the Accountability Committee meeting to greet the new Steering Committee members. Both meetings are via Zoom and all participants are invited to ask questions: you can submit your questions early to SC vice-chair Jeff London or by asking questions via chat during the forum itself. Mr. London’s email is email@example.com and he asks that you submit your questions by April 12th. Otherwise you can join the meeting and enter questions by chat. This public forum will begin at 6:45pm.
Here are short bios for Melinda and Brock:
“It has been an honor to serve as a member of the D’Evelyn Steering Committee for the past three years, through our school’s many accomplishments, some struggles, and now a pandemic. As the mother of three daughters who are currently in the 6th, 9th, and 11th grades at D’Evelyn, I am profoundly grateful that this school exists and continues to provide students with the rich education envisioned by its founders. I was born in Denver, a fourth-generation Coloradan, yet spent much of my childhood living abroad. I completed my high school education at Cherry Creek HS and subsequently attended and graduated from Duke University, the UCLA School of Law, and the University of Colorado School of Medicine. After working and training in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, I am currently working at home, enjoying raising my beloved daughters. Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to D’Evelyn’s future – I love this school, the meaningful education that it provides to my children and yours, its dedicated and talented staff, and the brilliant Founding Document which established D’Evelyn and continues to shepherd it to success.”
“I grew up in Ohio and moved to Virginia to attend the University of Richmond. After graduating with a B.A. in International Studies and French, I spent 15 years working for telecommunications firms in Virginia before my family moved to Colorado in 2008. I am currently a management consultant for a large technology firm where I help clients gather and examine data to help them design their future strategy and help better organize their operations. My wife and I are foodies and we love to travel, so we hope to be able to get back into that soon. I am a father to four sons; my oldest, Phillip, graduated from Chatfield and will graduate this year from the U.S. Naval Academy. He studies Quantitative Economics and plays on the soccer team and will commission as a Marine officer in May. Taylor graduated from D’Evelyn in 2019 and is in his second year at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy where he studies Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and plays lacrosse. Mason is currently a senior at D’Evelyn and has been accepted to VMI for next year where he will study Business and Spanish and play D1 lacrosse. Clayton is currently a Freshman at D’Evelyn and plays tennis and soccer. I look forward to working with the D’Evelyn community to help maintain our spot as the top high school in the state and continue our commitment to the Liberal Arts and to academic excellence.”
The Steering Committee is the governing board of the school and establishes policies designed to maintain and enhance its liberal arts philosophy. The Steering Committee appoints Directors to the Board of the D'Evelyn Education Foundation.