Plan to increase preschool tuition

Preschool tuition will likely increase in Clear Creek’s preschools in the fall.

The Clear Creek school board, which operates the King-Murphy and Carlson preschools, is looking at increasing tuition between 5% and 10%. District officials also want to align preschool options between the two schools, offering only two-day and four-day preschool starting in August.

If tuition increases 5%, the cost would be $590 per month for four-day preschool. If tuition increases 10%, tuition would be $625 per month.

By comparison, monthly tuition at Jeffco Public Schools preschools such as Wilmot and Bergen Meadow in Evergreen is $920 per month.

Clear Creek subsidizes the cost of preschool through its general-fund budget, and board members at the March 10 school board study session said while it was financially important to increase prices, it was also important to let parents know that their children were getting a quality education despite the lower cost compared with Jeffco.

The board will decide on the exact tuition increase at a subsequent board meetings.

District now part of Path4Ward

The Clear Creek School District is now part of a pilot program to help fund tuition for high school students who graduate early and need help with tuition for college or training programs.

Called Path4Ward, the program will help students who need financial assistance. Students in the program will get between $2,400 and $4,100 depending on whether they graduate after their junior year or in December of their senior year.

Superintendent Karen Quanbeck is excited about the program because it will help students with their career goals.

The Colorado Commission on Higher Education, which is funding the program, chose school districts that could integrate Path4Ward into existing programs and be able to support students graduating early, according to a release.

Electives, scheduling

Clear Creek High School is looking at the electives it offers and class scheduling to help students get core classes and electives they need and want to take.

A parent told the school board at the February meeting that she was concerned that her student couldn’t get classes he needed for graduation or wanted to take.

Superintendent Karen Quanbeck agreed that course scheduling in a small district — with high school enrollment around 200 — is difficult. Some classes only are offered once, and if two of those classes are only offered at the same time, a student must make a difficult choice. 

“We can do better in how we offer electives and when we are offering them,” Quanbeck said. “We also have to make sure we are offering electives of high interest to students.”

She said the parent who spoke at the school board meeting was “spot on” in her concerns, and while online options are available, it would be better if Clear Creek teachers could offer the courses.

Quanbeck says she hopes to encourage teachers to create new electives.

“We need to be doing better job of listening to what kids want and to incentivize teachers to provide more and different classes,” she said.