Due to enrollment growth over the last seven years, APS has experienced overcrowding at many of its schools. Nearly one-third of APS schools are at or above 90 percent of total capacity, even with mobile classrooms on site. APS has engaged stakeholders on a variety of options and solutions to address this challenge for more than two years.
On Nov. 10, the APS Board of Education provided direction to address projected school enrollment and capacity challenges. Prior to determining next steps, the Board considered feedback from nearly 1,600 stakeholders as part of a community engagement process on school capacity options that started in spring 2015.
The district has strategies in place, including utilizing remaining funds from the 2008 Bond Program, to meet capacity and academic program needs through the 2016-17 school year.
To address projected enrollment capacity and academic program needs beyond 2016-17, the Board directed staff to move forward with the following:
- Continue community engagement efforts with all stakeholders.
- Continue to address the most critical facility and enrollment capacity needs from the Support Services Capital Projects budget.
- Deploy additional mobile classrooms at overcrowded schools as needed.
- Direct the Long Range Facilities Advisory Committee (LRFAC) to present the five-year Facility and Technology Needs Report to the Board of Education by May 2016.
- Direct staff to explore the feasibility of placing a bond question on the November 2016 ballot to fund building improvements and new school construction. Provide staff direction regarding a bond question by August 2016.
- Direct staff to develop a process to potentially transition the following schools to a four-track year-round calendar beginning in July 2017: Aurora Frontier P-8, Aurora Quest K-8, Clyde Miller P-8, Edna and John W. Mosley P-8, Murphy Creek P-8 and Vista PEAK Exploratory P-8. Provide a progress report to the Board by June 2016.
- Direct staff to develop a process to potentially transition overcrowded high schools to alternative schedules or split sessions beginning in August 2017 or August 2018. Provide a progress report to the Board by June 2016.
APS will continue to provide stakeholders with enrollment and capacity updates throughout the planning process. To learn more and view a timeline of the process, visit aurorak12.org/capacity.