Parents, students calling for clarity after departure of beloved Hallett Academy principal

In a message to parents, the school district announced that the interim principals will remain in place through the end of the school year.
Hallett Academy
Posted at 10:27 PM, Mar 22, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-23 00:27:46-04

DENVER — Parents and students at Hallett Academy are calling for clarity after Denver Public Schools announced the departure of beloved Principal Dominique Jefferson Friday.

"It is our priority to keep you informed about events that impact our school. Principal Dominique Jefferson will not be returning as principal of Hallett Academy. Please know that personnel information is confidential therefore, we cannot provide additional details," DPS officials said in a message to parents Friday.

A spokesperson told Denver7 that the district could not comment on personnel information.

The message goes on to say that the interim principals will remain in place through the end of the school year.

Chalkbeat Colorado reported in September 2023 that Hallett Academy earned the state's highest school rating based on student progress on state tests for the first time in nearly a decade under Jefferson's leadership.

Parents told Denver7 Jefferson has been absent from campus for much of the school year. However, she is still listed as principal on the school website as of the publication of this article.

Dominique Jefferson

Kali Caldwell, whose child attends the school, said parents never received straight answers on Jefferson's whereabouts.

"We're trying to find out. Where's Ms. Jefferson?" said Caldwell.

Student Masiyah Coburn said even her peers were asking questions.

"When she wasn't coming for a while, I started to, like, get worried about her and all that. And I was like, when is she gonna come back?" said Coburn.

Caldwell said many parents were hoping for Jefferson's return.

"Ms. Jefferson is loving, she's caring, she's nurturing. And she would stick her neck out for you," she said.

Caldwell was among several concerned parents who attended a DPS Board of Education meeting Thursday to share their concerns and press for answers. Thursday's board meeting agenda listed an item titled, “Presentation of Teacher Dismissal Recommendation." The name of the employee at the center of the presentation was not named.

If Jefferson was dismissed for cause, Caldwell said the district should tell parents the reason.

"What did she do wrong? If she did something wrong, us as parents need to know who's been with our children for the last five years," said Caldwell. "We deserve to know what's going on with the personnel at our school."

Denver7 reached out to a number listed for Jefferson but did not hear back as of the publication of this article.

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