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Summit Jeffco

Summit Jeffco Overview

Summit Jeffco - partnering with families to help students thrivePartnering with families to help our students thrive

Summit Jeffco is a free half-day experience that creates an opportunity for families and the community to learn from district staff and other experts about topics impacting students, including how families can support their student’s educational journey and Jeffco's focus as a district. 

Join us on Saturday, March 2 from 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. at Summit Ridge Middle School for the spring Summit Jeffco event! 


The Summit Jeffco event:

  • Builds a culture of trust and belonging through positive collaboration between families, school leaders, staff and members of the community.
  • Engages community members in Jeffco’s strategic plan, the district’s ongoing academic and operational initiatives and how they impact our school communities.
  • Highlights the important partnership between school/district staff and families and how those partnerships directly impact student achievement and success.
  • Fosters collaboration around how to create a supportive environment at home that boosts your students’ academic and social growth.

Sessions offered during the event will focus on three topics

  • How Schools Work: Understand important district operations with an emphasis on finance/budgeting, school safety and information technology, and how this benefits your student and their school.
  • Curriculum and Courses: Learn how to set your student up for success - today and beyond high school - navigate the high school experience and work toward postsecondary pathways.
  • Student Engagement: Strengthen student engagement - cultivate your student’s love for learning, health, safety and well-being.

How to Register

Please register for Summit Jeffco to reserve your spot for this exciting event. This half-day experience is an opportunity to connect with other families, engage with school leaders and gain valuable insights to support your student’s education.

By registering in advance, you'll be able to:

  • Reserve childcare, if needed. Childcare is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • Sign up for interpretative services to listen to the event in your preferred language, subject to availability.
  • Share dietary needs as a light breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Online registration is now closed. Please register in-person at the event!

Summit Jeffco Agenda


8:30-9 a.m.: Registration and light breakfast; Doors will be open before 8:30 a.m. at Summit Ridge Middle Schools to ensure a smooth registration process for all. All sessions will be first-come, first-serve.

9-10 a.m.: Coffee & Keynote featuring Dr. Travis Gayles, MD, PhD, Chief Health Officer with Hazel Health.

10:10-10:55 a.m.: Sessions Round 1 (choose from a variety of topics)

11-11:45 a.m.: Sessions Round 2 (choose from a variety of topics)

11:55 a.m.-1 p.m.: Lunch and Resource Fair

1:05-2:35 p.m.: Sessions Round 3 (choose from a variety of topics)

  • Be SMART- Secure Gun Storage
  • Strategies for Supporting Your Student's Mental Well-Being
  • Suicide Prevention Course

Please note: Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Childcare is offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Interpretation services are available upon request and based on availability during registration.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Travis Gayles, MD, PhD, Chief Health Officer, Hazel Health

Dr. Travis GaylesDr. Gayles previously served as the Health Officer and Chief of Public Health Services for Montgomery County, Maryland, where he oversaw the county health system, including the county's school-based health program.

As the Chief Health Officer of Hazel Health, he brings significant pediatric clinical experience and has been a published researcher on topics such as the impact of exposure to bullying and interpersonal violence on adolescent risk-taking behavior.

Dr. Gayles is a faculty member at NYU and the co-chair of the CDC/HRSA Advisory Committee on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and STD Prevention and Treatment (CHACHSPT). He holds a BA from Duke University and an MD/PhD from the University of Illinois.

Sessions Offered

Learn more about the individual sessions being offered. Sessions will be on a first-come, first-serve basis on the day of the event.

Session Title Presenters Session Description

Keynote: Student Success Starts with Well-Being

Dr. Travis Gayles, MD, PhD, Chief Officer, Hazel Health

Superintendent Tracy Dorland

Nationwide, students are dealing with more than ever before. Their learning is primarily being disrupted by absenteeism and disengagement, which leads to negative impacts on academic success. One of the most important ways families can support their student’s success is by prioritizing their physical and mental well-being.

Join us for a rich and collaborative discussion on how we deliver on the promise of creating extraordinary student experiences for our learners by:

  • Supporting their mental well-being and leading by example
  • Building learning communities that foster attendance and engagement
  • Honoring families' roles as their student's first educators
Guardians of the Digital Galaxy: Safe Navigation Through Social Media and the Internet Lisa Summitt, Security Analyst and Chris Linton, Manager, Tactical Information This session is designed to strengthen parenting in the modern digital era, with a special emphasis on empowering parents to guide their student’s online exploration with confidence. Attendees will learn about the latest online trends, develop open lines of communication with their student, implement strong safety practices and nurture a sense of responsible digital behavior to create a safer and more enjoyable online environment for the whole family.
Smart Spending for Bright School Futures Brian Sammons, Budget Director Join us for an educational session all about school budgets. We'll dive into the important choices between wants and needs, and you'll get to know how both the district and our schools make important budget decisions. Learn how you can work with your principal around planning for your school’s budget.
Jeffco K-8 Mathematics: Experiencing a Culture of Instructional Excellence through Problem-Based Learning Beth Grabois, Director of Mathematics and Science Calling all math enthusiasts and curious minds! Join us for a deeper look into Jeffco’s mathematics program and experience some of the research-based practices that will guide your student’s math journey each year. Let's explore the exciting math adventure together so we can better support our students at home!
Unlocking the Magic of Words: From Reading Rockstars to Learning Legends! Martha Shehan, Director of Elementary Literacy Get ready to discover how we help students become lifelong readers in our schools. We'll chat about getting elementary students set for reading adventures, how we teach reading step-by-step in elementary school, and reading skills students learn as they grow. You’ll learn how we support students at school and provide you with several fun ideas for making reading time at home enjoyable. Let's team up to help our young bookworms shine!
Roadmap to Navigate the HS Years and Beyond Marna Messer, Director, Choice Programming and Sonya Sallak, Counselor Coordinator Discover how Jeffco's high schools pave the way for student success. Explore exciting opportunities preparing them for college, careers, and more. Learn about programs from middle to high school, including free college options like ASCENT and TREP. Get tips for guiding your student through the high school transition and understanding the overall experience. This session equips you to identify key contacts, essential elements for success, and tools to actively support your student's thriving journey.
Safety First: Creating Safe School Environments for Our Students Jeffrey Pierson, Executive Director of School Safety and Madalena DeAndrea, Sr Manager, Security and Emergency Management Discover the latest safety measures, important protocols and helpful tips that keep students secure, including school and student safety plans. Hear more about our top-notch district safety training that positively impacts students. This session will reinforce that it takes all of us to ensure a school culture that prioritizes safety for all students so they can continue to thrive.
Become More Tech Savvy: Embracing Educational Technology, AI and ChatGPT Becky Shorey, Manager of Educational Technology, Students Technology Services; Ashley Ferraro, Ed Tech Teacher on Special Assignment Get ready to embark on a fun adventure through the world of Educational Technology (Ed Tech). Join us for an engaging presentation where we'll reveal the secrets behind the tools that teachers use and why they're important. You'll learn how Ed Tech resources help students prepare for the world beyond school. We'll also dive into how our district is keeping up with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and ChatGPT.
Family Response Service Team: Working Towards Productive Partnerships Janace Fischer, Asst Director Family, School Community Partnership, Nathan Cabrera, Asst Director, Family School Community Partnership In this session you will learn about the Family Response Service Team (FRST) and how they work together with families, schools, and community members to have purposeful conversations that support students throughout the school year. We will discuss lessons learned from our 1000+ calls and provide tips for making calls and meetings with schools positive and productive.
Special Education in Jeffco Schools Maria Messer, Executive Director, Special Education Curious about Special Education services in Jeffco? You’ve come to the right place. In this session, you will hear about our continuum of services, how we are recruiting staff to serve our students, and the basics of the IEP process.
Suicide Prevention Training for Families Deb Gobstein, Counselor on Special Assignment With education and tools, each of us can make a difference during a mental health crisis. During this 90-minute session, you will learn signs, risks and how to ACT to support your Jeffco student or peers in crisis. You will receive a certificate for completing this session.
BeSMART: Secure Gun Storage Program Kia M. Ruiz, Jeffco Be SMART Educator Lead Be SMART is a program developed by the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund to bring together parents and all adults concerned about kids, guns, and safety. Together we can take action in our homes and our community to keep our kids safe by learning how to Be SMART with guns: Secure, Model, Ask, Recognize, and Tell.
Strategies for Supporting Your Student's Well-Being

Paris Corredera Carroll, VP of Mental Health Clinical Services, Hazel Health

We all know that students are experiencing more stress and anxiety post-pandemic. However, it’s not always easy to know when your student might need support coping with their feelings —and that’s normal. 

Join us for a workshop focused on how to emotionally support your student by:

  • Identifying if and when your student may need help with their feelings.
  • Engaging your student in discussions about their mental well-being
  • Modeling healthy behaviors by supporting your own well-being

Photos from previous Summit Jeffco events

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