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Department Contact

Legal Counsel

Will Trachman
General Legal Counsel

Paula Teel
Paralegal
303-387-0275

Ioana Marin
DCSD Records Assistant

303-387-0032

620 Wilcox St.
Castle Rock, CO 80104
Phone: 303-387-0275
Fax: 303-387-0107

Legal Counsel provides, manages, and coordinates all legal services for the Douglas County School District, representing the Board of Education, Superintendent and District administrators.

Our Focus
Legal Counsel strives to continually serve Douglas County employees, students, parents and community in these three areas:

Confidence
Providing trusted, objective and confidential advice and legal representation to the leaders of the Douglas County School District in matters ranging from truancy cases to the defense of DCSD’s policies.

Integrity
Making sure that our actions reflect our values, by ensuring legal compliance across all District operations. This also diminishes potential liability.

Advocacy
Advocating for the best interests of our students. In concert with the District’s lobbyist, Legal Counsel works to write policies that support the work of our employees and students, while also pushing for new laws at the local, state and national level that coincide with the values and efforts of the Douglas County School District.

Our Role
While the role of Legal Counsel varies from day to day, the following is a list of topics we handle or have influence in:

  • Ethics Policy Compliance
  • School Board Operations
  • Open Public Meetings Act Compliance
  • Litigation Management and Tort Claims
  • Facilities and Capital Projects
  • Contracting and Procurement
  • District and School Operations
  • Policy and Procedure Development and Compliance
  • Property Management & Property Sales
  • Legislative Analysis
  • Labor and Employment Issues
  • Educational Operations Issues
  • Student 504 Accommodation
  • Special Education
  • Student Issues
  • Public Records and Student Records Compliance
  • Risk Management (Risk and Loss Prevention)
  • District Safety and Security
  • Constitutional Issues

The Board of Education and Superintendent Policies have been aligned with Policy Governance. Policies indicated as Board File are policies needing approval of the Board of Education. Policies indicated as Superintendent File need the approval of the Superintendent.

E-Support Services

EBAB - Hazardous Materials
         EBAB-R - Hazardous Materials
EBB/EBBB - Accident Prevention and Procedures/First Aid/Accident Reports
EBBA - Prevention of Disease/Infection Transmission
         EBBA-R - Prevention of Disease/Infection Transmission
EBCA - Disaster Plans
EBCB - Fire Drills
         EBCB-R - Fire Drills
EBCE - School Closings and Cancellations
         EBCE-R - School Closings and Cancellations
ECA/ECAB - Security/Access to Buildings
         ECA-R - Video Surveillance Equipment
ECAC - Vandalism
ECD - Custodial Services
ECE - Traffic and Parking Controls
ECF - Energy Policy
EDB - Maintenance and Control of Materials and Equipment
         EDB-R - Maintenance and Control of Materials and Equipment
EEAA - Transportation Eligible Students
EEAC - School Bus Scheduling and Routing
         EEAC-R - School Bus Scheduling and Routing
EEAE - School Bus Safety Program
EEAEA - Bus Driver Requirements, Training and Responsibilities
EEAEAA - Controlled Substance and Alcohol Testing
         EEAEAA-R - Controlled Substance and Alcohol Testing
EEAEAB - Controlled Substance and Alcohol Testing for Employees Without Commercial Driver's License
EEAF - Special Use of School Buses
EEAFB - Use of School Buses by Community Groups
         EEAFB-R - Use of School Buses by Community Groups
EEAG - Student Transportation in Private Vehicles
EF - Food Services
EFC - Free and Reduced-Price Food Services
EFF - Food Services for the Elderly
EGAD - Copyright Compliance
         EGAD-R - Copyright Compliance
EGAEA - Public Electronic Mail Records
EGD - Use of Electronic Signatures
EI - Insurance Management

I-Instruction

IGA - Curriculum Development
         IGA-E - District Course Proposal Form
         IGA-R - Curriculum Development
IHBA - Programs for Students with Disabilities
IHBD - Compensatory Education (Title I)
IJ - Textbook and Instructional Materials Selection and Adoption
         IJ-E - Textbook and Instructional Materials Selection and Adoption Request Checklist
         IJ-E1 - Proposal to Adopt a Textbook
         IJ-E2 - Proposal to Adopt A Novel/Book-Length Work (Fiction, Non-Fiction, Drama)
         IJ-R - Textbook and Instructional Materials Selection and Adoption
IJA - Selection of Controversial Learning Resources
         IJA-E-3 - Guest Speaker Permission Form
         IJA-R - Selection of Controversial Learning Resources
IJB - Instructional Use of Media Resources
         IJB-R - Instructional Use of Media Resources
IJC - Instructional Resources
IJL - Library Materials Selection and Adoption
IJOA - Field Trips and Excursions
IK - State-Mandated Assessments
IKA - District Assessment Policy
IKAB - Student Progress Reports to Parents/Guardians and Students
         IKAB-R-1 - Student Progress Reports to Parents/Guardians and Students
         IKAB-R-2 - Student Progress Reports to Parents/Guardians and Students
IKE - Promotion and Retention of Students
IKF - Graduation Requirements
         IKF-R-1 - Diploma and Graduation Requirements
         IKF-R-2 - MS HS Credit Policy
         IKF-R-3 - Graduation Competencies (beginning with the Class of 2021)
IKFA - Early Graduation
IKFB - Community Service
IKFC - Physical Education Waiver
         IKFC-E - Physical Education Waiver Form
IMBB - Exemptions from Required Instruction
         IMBB-R - Exemptions from Required Instruction
IMDB - Flag Displays

J-Students

JBA - Nondiscrimination/Non-Harassment of Students
JBB - Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability
         JBB-R - Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability
         JBB-R-1 - Section 504 Due Process Hearing Procedure
         JBB-E-1 - Section 504/ADA Form A
         JBB-E-2 - Section 504/ADA Form B
         JBB-E-3 - Section 504/ADA Form C
JCA/JFB - Assignment of Students to Schools, School Choice and Open Enrollment
         JCA/JFB-R - Assignment of Students to Schools, School Choice and Open Enrollment
JC - School Attendance Areas
JEB - Entrance Age
JECBA - Admission of Foreign Students
JF - Student Admissions and Denial Of Admissions
         JF-R-1 - Procedures For Denial Of Admission
         JF-R-2 - Admission and Denial of Admission (Procedures for Students in Out-of-Home Placements)
JFAB - Admission of Nonresident and Homeless Students
         JFAB-R - Student Residency
JH - Student Attendance
         JH-R - Student Count Documentation for Online Schools
JHA - Student Withdrawal From School/Dropouts
JHCE - Medical Emergencies
         JHCE-R - Responding to Receipt of a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Directive
JHD - Exemptions from School Attendance: School Release Permits
JI/JIA - Student Rights and Responsibilities/Due Process Rights
JIC/JICDA - Student Conduct
JICA - Student Dress
JICB - Prevention of Bullying
JICC - Student Conduct on School Buses
         JICC-R-1 - Student Conduct on School Buses (Procedural Guidelines)
         JICC-R-2 - Student Conduct on School Buses (Student Safety and Rules of Conduct)
         JICC-R-3 - Student Conduct on School Buses (Bus Passes)
JICEA - Student Publications Code
JICF - Gang-Related Behaviors and Dress
JICG - Smoking and Other Uses of Tobacco by Students
JICH - Student Involvement Regarding Drugs and Alcohol
         JICH-R - Student Involvement Regarding Drugs and Alcohol
JICI - Weapons in School
JICJ - Student Use of District Information Technology
         JICJ-R - Student Use of District Information Technology
JIH - Searches
JIHA - Student Possession and Use of Portable Electronic Devices (Including Cellular Phones)
JJA - Student Organizations (Secondary Schools)
JJF - Student Activities Funds Management
JJI - Interscholastic Athletics
JK - Student Discipline
JKA - Corporal Punishment/Use of Reasonable Restraint by Employees
         JKA-R - Use of Physical Intervention and Restraint
         JKA-E - Student Restraint Incident Report
JKC - Discipline of Habitually Disruptive Students
         JKC-R - Discipline of Habitually Disruptive Students
JKD/JKE - Student Suspension, Expulsion, and Classroom Removal
         JKD/JKE-R - Student Suspension, Expulsion, and Classroom Removal
JLCC - Communicable Diseases and Long-Term Illnesses
JLCD - Administering Medicines to Students
         JLCD-E-1 - Student Medication Request and Release Agreement
         JLCD-E-2 - School Medication Record
         JLCD-E-3 - Permission to Carry/Self-Administer Medication
         JLCD-E-4 - Contract to Carry/Self-Administer Medication
JLCDA - Students With Food Allergies
         JLCDA-E - Allergy & Anaphylaxis Action Plan
JLCDB - Administering Medical Marijuana, Hemp Oils and/or Cannabinoid Products
JLDA - Student Psychological Services
         JLDA-R - Student Psychological Services
JLDAC - Screening/Testing of Students
JLF - Reporting Child Abuse
         JLF-R - Reporting Child Abuse
JQ - Student Fees
         JQ-E - Student Fees, Appendix A
         JQ-E - Student Fees, Appendix B
         JQ-R - Student Fees
JRA/JRC - Student Education Records
         JRA-R/JRC-R - Student Education Records
         JRA/JRC-E-1 - Authorization to Release Student Records
         JRA/JRC-E-2 - Request to Inspect and Review Student Ed Records
         JRA/JRC-E-3 - Request to Other Educational Agencies for Release
 

Resolutions

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

Financial

Coming Soon

Charter

Coming Soon

Election

Coming Soon

Operational

Coming Soon

Position Statement

Coming Soon

2011

Financial

Coming Soon

Charter

Coming Soon

Election

Coming Soon

Operational

Coming Soon

Position Statement

Coming Soon

Choice Grant Program ended, legal defense of Choice Scholarship Program continues

Citing concerns regarding the cost of defending two versions of the same program, the Douglas County School District (DCSD) Board of Education voted on November 15, 2016 to rescind the Choice Grant Program. The program approved by the Board in March 2016, was a revision of the Choice Scholarship Program, which would have served 500 DCSD students, providing their families a grant that can be used to offset the cost of non-religious private schools. It, however, was halted in August by Denver District Judge Michael Martinez, who ruled that the Grant Program is not substantially different from its predecessor program.

DCSD seeks U.S. Supreme Court ruling
The legal defense of the original Choice Scholarship Program continues. The Choice Scholarship Program was heard by the state’s highest court in December 2014 and the decision was released on June 29, 2015. The Colorado Supreme Court's ruling overturns the February 2013 decision by the Colorado Court of Appeals, when a three-judge panel ruled in favor of the District, finding that the program was constitutional under Colorado’s basic law and did not violate state law. 

The Colorado Supreme Court’s sharply divided ruling relies on Article IX, Section 7, otherwise known as the Blaine Amendment, which states that no public funds can be used to aid or support any “sectarian” institution. 

While the Colorado court held that the portion of the program that allows for participation by religious private schools was unconstitutional under the Colorado Constitution, the ruling validated several of DCSD’s arguments, opening the door for DCSD students and parents to be able to use a portion of DCSD per pupil revenue to offset the costs of non-religious private schools.

DCSD still disagrees with the Colorado Supreme Court’s ruling regarding religious schools. On October 28, the District filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari and is awaiting response from the Court. Additionally, at the time, district leaders believed that the ruling, which upheld many key elements of the Choice Scholarship Program, opened an opportunity to move forward with a modified version of the program, allowing students to receive scholarships for attending secular private schools, which lead to the creation of the Choice Grant Program. Again, the Grant Program has since been rescinded.

READ MORE: DCSD Press Release on Colorado Supreme Court Ruling
WATCH: DCSD holds press conference following Colorado Supreme Court ruling
READ MORE: Colorado Supreme Court Opinion

 



About the Choice Scholarship Program
Passed in March of 2011, the Choice Scholarship Program would provide up to 500 Douglas County students with grants to be used for private partner school of their choice. In order to be eligible, students must be Douglas County School District residents who are currently attending a DCSD school and have been in the District no less than one year. In the event that the number of applicants exceeds 500 a lottery would be conducted to select scholarship recipients.

The program was patterned after similar programs upheld by the Colorado Supreme Court, the U.S. Supreme Court or other state courts. Grants will be provided to parents, who may choose whichever secular private partner school they wish.

 

Choice Scholarship School
The Board of Education created the program so that the District will provide 85% of the per pupil revenue as a grant to the students’ families. Those families then choose private-partner school that best fits their educational needs.

The Choice Scholarship School will be accountable for the student’s success. In fact, the district will closely monitor each student’s progress—through DCSD administered assessments and close communication with private partner schools.

Private-Partner Schools
In 2011, prior to the injunction, the Douglas County School District accepted applications from all interested private schools in area. Each school had to submit to a rigorous analysis of its academic programs and financial records. Under the recent Colorado Supreme Court ruling, religious schools will not be eligible to participate in the Grant program. Schools are not required to alter their admittance requirements as a part of applying to partner with DCSD.

Potential Private-Partner Schools

School

Address

City

Zip Code

Approved

Accelerated Schools

2160 South Cook Street

Denver

80210

 

Alpine Valley School

4501 Parfet St

Wheat Ridge

80033

 

Aspen Academy

5859 S. University Blvd.

Greenwood Village

80121

 

Beacon Country Day School

6100 E. Belleview

Greenwood Village

80111

 

Colorado International School

4100 E. Iliff Avenue

Denver

80222

 

Denver Academy

4400 E Iliff Ave. Denver 80222  

Denver Waldorf School

940 Fillmore Denver 80206  

Devereux Colorado

8405 Church Ranch Blvd. Westminster 80021  

Escuela Tlatelolco Centro De Estudios

2949 Federal Blvd. Denver 80211  

Fountain Valley School of Colorado

6155 Fountain Valley School Rd.

Colorado Springs

80911

 

Foothills Academy

 4725 Miller St. Wheat Ridge 80033  

Garland Country

55 Clermont St. Denver 80220  

Humanex

2700 S. Zuni Street

Englewood

80110

 

Hillspring Learning Center

2776 Janitell Rd Colorado Springs 80906  

Joshua School

2303 E Dartmouth Ave

Englewood

80113

 

Mackintosh Academy

7018 S Prince Street Littleton 80120  

Stanley British Primary School

350 Quebec Street Denver 80230  

The Colorado Springs School

21 Broadmoor Ave. Colorado Springs 80906  
The Logan School 1005 Yosemite Street Denver 80906  

 


CHOICE SCHOLARSHIP LEGAL FUND
The defense of the DCSD Choice Scholarship Program has been mounted using privately raised funds and no taxpayer dollars. Donations have been accepted via the Choice Scholarship Legal Fund. We greatly appreciate the support of our many generous donors.

Resources

Timeline

March 2011
Board of Education passes Choice Scholarship Program (CSP)

July 2011
DCSD launches
 CSP program, holds lottery for scholarships

August 13, 2011
Denver District Court issues permanent injunction

February 29, 2013
Colorado Court of Appeals overturns Denver District Court ruling

December 10, 2014
Colorado Supreme Court hears oral arguments

June 29, 2015
Colorado Supreme Court overturns Court of Appeals ruling

October 28, 2015
DCSD files Writ of Certiorari wtih US Supreme Court

March 15, 2016
Board of Education approves revised Choice Grant Pilot Program

August 8, 2016
Denver District Court enjoins Choice Grant Pilot Program

November 15, 2016
Board of Education rescinds Choice Grant Program

 

 

Colorado Court of Appeals Documents

Choice Scholarship Pilot Program Documents

Choice Scholarship Legal Fund Documents