GOLDEN, Colorado — Across the state of Colorado, school districts are scrambling to figure out how to return students to classes next month in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But, Jefferson County Schools face a different challenge with Superintendent Dr. Jason Glass leaving the district on Sept. 13.
"My responsibility right now is to get JeffCo ready and to make sure that the transition is a smooth one and into the hands of a leadership team that's ready to take our plans and execute them," Glass said.
He's the man who led the creation of the 43-page plan to reopen Jefferson County Schools to in-person learning this fall. But, after three years as superintendent, Glass will be heading to his home state of Kentucky to become the state's Education Commissioner.
"The work of leading JeffCo into successfully restarting this fall and the work of going back and serving my home state is a heavy lift for anybody, but it's also energizing work," Glass said.
When he leaves JeffCo in September, the school district will be less than three weeks into the school year.
"I wish the timing had been different," Glass said. "I understand that some people will make that criticism."
He understands the criticism of abandoning ship or perceptions that he is leaving behind the kids he was entrusted to lead at a time when fluid decisions will likely be made.
He said his leadership team will still be in place after he leaves.
"Any one of them is capable of leading this organization," Glass said.
He believes informed decisions will be made when the time comes.
"The conditions keep shifting," Glass said. "No plan is going to be truly final."
The Jefferson County Board of Education is in the process of deciding whether an interim or permanent superintendent will take over once Glass leaves.
He signed a four-year contract to lead a statewide system of more than 650,000 students.
Glass said he plans to work with teachers, principals and parents with the time he has left to prepare for whatever future lies ahead.
"I'm working a lot of late hours and will continue to do that and I'm committed to leaving JeffCo in a great place," Glass said.
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