With no competition, Westminster cancels its school board election

Competitive school board races are shaping up around the Denver metro area, but in some districts, voters won’t be weighing in — because there is nothing to decide.

Westminster Public Schools on Tuesday canceled its Nov. 5 school board election after just three people filed to run for three open seats.

Also canceling their school board elections due to lack of competition: the St. Vrain and Thompson school districts in northern Colorado.

In Westminster, incumbents Ken Ciancio and Max Math both will continue to serve. Christine Martinez, a parent in the district, will fill the seat currently held by Larry Dean Valente, who is barred by term limits from seeking re-election.

No other candidates filed petitions to appear on the ballot or filed affidavits to run as write-in candidates.

Canceling the election will save $35,000, the district said.

After years of low performance, the Westminster district got off a state watchlist for struggling schools and districts last year. District officials saw the improvements as validation for the competency-based learning model, in use in Westminster schools for the past decade. Students aren’t placed in a class based on their age and corresponding grade level. Instead, students are grouped by their understanding of a certain subject, and can progress to another level as soon as they show that they’ve mastered that class content.

Westminster voters narrowly approved a $9.9 million tax increase last year, the first successful mill levy override in the district since 2002. That money went into teacher raises in a new contract approved last spring.