It appears that there have been ongoing violations of the Improper Relationships: Nepotism policy that Jefferson County Public Schools (Jeffco) has adopted to maintain public trust (see policy GBEA). Nepotism is the practice of people in power favoring relatives or friends, especially in the workforce- something that can be very detrimental to any educational environment. Jeffco declares that nepotism “disrupt(s) the work environment, subject(s) the district and its employees to unnecessary legal exposure, and give(s) rise to perceptions of favoritism. For these reasons, they create inherent conflicts of interest and are forbidden.”
According to Montessori Peaks Academy’s (MPA) charter renewal application signed by Principal Char Weaver 11/18/2014, Principal Weaver has directly supervised and evaluated her husband Dave Weaver, a teacher at MPA, since 2004. According to the findings of MPA’s Board of Directors (MPA BoD meeting minutes 2/17/2015), Principal Weaver has long been in violation of Jeffco Policy GBEA by conducting Dave Weaver’s reviews, which potentially could have influenced his raises and performance ratings.
Based upon their renewal application, MPA has presumably been grandfathered into a waiver that allows for tolerance of GBEA.3.B (Supervisor-Supervisee Romantic Relationship), but there has been no waiver of authority to review the performance of a relative (performance evaluation).
By the MPA Board’s own admission, their Administrator, Principal Char Weaver, and her husband Dave Weaver have been in violation of Jeffco Policy GBEA due to the relationship conflicts introduced by their chosen evaluation process. While the MPA Board motioned to name a position to supervise and evaluate Dave Weaver in the future, it is clear that there has been ongoing and unchecked nepotism at MPA.
Before the close of the 2015 school year, inquiries from concerned parents were made to MPA governance and Principal Weaver regarding these concerns, but MPA leadership refused to participate in open communication but instead turned to their attorney. As indicated by MPA and their attorney’s response “there is no general right of a member of the public to interrogate public bodies,” it appears that MPA and their Board of Directors do not believe that they should answer questions from families of this school, members of the community, or the taxpaying public.
Jeffco has also been asked if the MPA Board of Directors reported these violations to Jefferson County Public Schools, but there has been no clear response. Jeffco was further asked what, if any, actions have been taken? To date, Jeffco has failed to produce a written waiver for the nepotism reported at MPA.
After much attention was brought to this situation, Dave Weaver resigned his teaching position from MPA before the beginning of the 2015-16 school year. His resignation, however, does not undue or answer the questions attached to the decade of clear nepotism that has been supported with tax dollars.