EDGEWATER, Colo. — Editor's Note: 9NEWS is following the personal stories of four seniors from the first day of school through graduation at Jefferson Jr/Sr High School – a struggling yet transforming school in Edgewater.
Jefferson High School was established in 1955 when the Edgewater Mustangs and the Mountain Wildcats, rivals for years, combined to become the Home of the Saints and Mascot Saint Jeff.
In 2015, Jefferson was reconfigured to include seventh and eighth grade students from Wheat Ridge Middle School, which was closed. That's when the name officially changed to Jefferson Jr/Sr High school housing grades 7 through 12.
For the 2018 school year, the enrollment at Jefferson was 676 students. Eighty percent of the students are Hispanic. The government qualifies 91 percent of the students for the Federal Free and/or Reduced Lunch program.
The National Education Association and the Coalition for Community Schools recognize Jefferson as the first school in the state known as a "Community School," which is defined as a school that partners with community resources to provide all-around services to students.
Support in academics, health and social services are offered to this population of mostly low-income families.
The local teachers unions along with the Edgewater Collective are working with school leadership to implement this model of using the public school as a hub for education and support services for children.
Last year, the graduation rate at Jefferson was 86 percent.
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