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FAQ for School Consolidations

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Why is Jeffco Public Schools consolidating schools?

To provide extraordinary learning experiences for every student and extraordinary professional experiences for every staff member in a declining enrollment environment, Jeffco must concentrate its resources into fewer schools. Ensuring that Jeffco provides a world-class education that prepares all Jeffco students for bright and successful futures locally and globally requires both building on our many bright spots and confronting our challenges through the lens of opportunity.

  • Jeffco has seats for 96,000 students and serves 69,000, leaving approximately 27,000 empty seats.
  • Lagging birth rates and unaffordable housing have been steadily shifting demographics and affecting enrollment in Jeffco Public Schools since 2001. Add to that, that during the last three years, Jeffco’s enrollment declined by 5,000 students.
  • Colorado school districts are funded based on how many students they have. While funding is supposed to follow each student to their school, in Jeffco our smallest schools cannot survive on per-pupil funding alone. In order to sustain small schools, Jeffco pulls funding from larger schools. Our investment in an individual students’ education ranges from $13,000 to over $19,000—we are paying the most to educate students in our smallest schools and the funding isn’t for better programming or more services. The funding is simply to supplement the school at the most foundational level so that it can survive.
  • Jeffco’s smallest schools are often unable to provide one classroom per grade level, which results in split grade-level classrooms (e.g., a combined third and fourth grade classroom). And where there is one classroom for a grade level it may be very full because enrollment cannot support two classrooms for that grade. This also means that educators in small schools do not have a colleague to collaborate with around lesson planning and instructional strategies.
  • Jeffco’s smallest schools have fewer full-time service, activities, and clubs than larger schools and may not offer before and after school care because there are too few students to support the program.

What are the benefits of school consolidation?

The vision for school consolidation is that two small schools can become one, more robustly resourced school that will do the following:

  • Offer the services, activities, and peer interactions that will provide extraordinary student experience
  • Operate with a foundational staffing model by 2025 (full time Art Music, and PE Teachers, more resources for students, more full-time staff, etc.)
  • Have two teachers per grade level to provide extraordinary educator experiences
  • Execute an academic success plan, based on the unique attributes of both school communities and aligned with Jeffco Thrives 2025 to ensure a culture of instructional excellence in the new boundary school. This work will start in 2022/23 as schools prepare to set students up for success based on current/future curriculum

What is the current criteria for the August 25, 2022 recommendations?

Specific criteria will be shared publicly on August 25th at the Board of Education Meeting. Per Board Policy FCB, District staff are considering in the process of generating recommendations. Enrollment, building utilization, and proximity of other schools that can serve students are leading factors under consideration. The amount of bond funding invested in individual schools is not being considered in consolidation decisions.

The District has previously shared that it would be identifying schools in two ways:

  • Urgent Priority: The school is unsustainable due to severe under enrollment
  • High Priority, Runway Partnerships: The school is becoming unsustainable due to severe under enrollment. To increase long-term sustainability, two school communities will consolidate.

Jeffco is currently only focusing on consolidation recommendations and decisions for Jeffco district-managed elementary schools (K-2, K-5, and K-6).

When will consolidation decisions be made?

District staff recommendations will be shared with the Board of Education on August 25, 2022. The Board of Education has the exclusive authority to close schools. The Board will vote on the staff recommendation on November 10, 2022. Decisions will be effective for the 2023-2024 school year or the 2024-2025 school year.

How will students and staff be supported when the recommendations are made on August 25, 2022?

This will be an incredibly emotional and difficult time. Each school will have a plan in place to provide social-emotional support to staff and students on 8/26 and the week of 8/29 supported by the District’s Employee Assistance Program and Student Services Crisis teams. Plans are being customized to each schools’ needs.

What happens if the school my student attends is recommended for closure and consolidation with a nearby school?

All schools will remain open for the 2022-2023 school year. The incredibly dedicated staff and principals at schools named for closure and consolidation will keep the focus on students, their experiences, and their learning throughout this school year.

In most cases, consolidations contemplate moving all students from one school to another, allowing them to remain with their peers in their existing articulation area in the 2023-2024 school year. Following a November 10, 2022 decision, the District will support families on school selection next school year in advance of EnrollJeffco, which opens on December 6, 2022.

What happens if the school my student attends is named as the new boundary school for a nearby school that is closing?

If the Board approves the consolidation, school communities will be supported to come together to begin planning to become one strong and sustainable school community. The focus will be on the District’s value of Belonging. In Jeffco, we cultivate environments where all students, staff, families, and members of our community are safe, accepted, respected, included, encouraged by others, and feel that their voices and perspectives are valued. New boundary school leaders are committed to creating opportunities to ensure that students and families whose buildings are closing feel that they belong.

What will happen to the principal, teachers, and staff in my school if it is recommended for closure and consolidation with another school?

Jeffco is committed to supporting administrators, educators, and classified staff in exploring employment options both at the new boundary school and throughout the district for the 2023-24 school year.

If my student’s school closes, how will my student get to their new school?

Eligibility for transportation in 2023-24 will be determined by the distance students live from the school (one mile for elementary students) and safety concerns unique to their attendance area (policy EEA)

What support will be provided to impacted families to navigate the 2023-24 EnrollJeffco process?

Following the November 10, 2022 vote of the Board of Education, there will be a designated support person in place for each impacted school to help families navigate the Round 1 EnrollJeffco choice process, which will open on December 6, 2022 and close January 13, 2023. Families will be assisted in enrolling in the school of their choice.

If my student’s school closes, what will happen to school-based Center Programs?

Your student’s continued success is crucially important to the District. Center Program locations for the 2023-24 school year will be identified in the recommendations made by the District.

What are you going to do with the facility if the school closes?

We will begin to explore options for facility use in partnership with our community in Phase 2 of Regional Opportunities for Thriving Schools, which begins in January 2023.

Are you considering consolidating secondary schools?

Jeffco will begin considering secondary schools (including K-8 schools) in Phase 2 of Regional Opportunities for Thriving Schools, which begins in January 2023. Consolidation criteria for Phase 2 will be different from consolidation criteria set for elementary schools in Phase 1.

How will school consolidations affect school boundaries and articulation areas?

Jeffco will begin considering changes for school boundaries and articulation areas district wide in Phase 2 of Regional Opportunities for Thriving Schools, which begins in January 2023.

How can I voice my perspective?

Learn more about school FCB committees, the District’s plan for community conversations, and public hearings before the Board of Education for each school recommended for consolidation on the other tabs on this page.

What do I do if the current school my student attends has a PK but the recommended receiving school does not have a listed PK site?

Preschool sites will be publicly published by articulation area by November 1 as part of a districtwide PK plan for the 2023-24 school year that considers Colorado’s Universal Preschool legislation.

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