Dear APS Community,
The important work of our long-term facilities and educational programming plan, Blueprint APS, continues. As a reminder, Aurora Public Schools as well as districts across the Denver metro area have been experiencing sharp enrollment declines. Enrollment declines negatively impact school district budgets. In order to address this significant enrollment shift, APS proactively began planning for the future with Blueprint APS starting in 2018.
Blueprint APS is about providing our children with the necessary resources, schools and learning opportunities to meet the challenges of the future. This long-term plan focuses on strengthening Aurora’s educational programs and ensuring the community has the right buildings and resources to serve students into the future. Blueprint APS has been shaped with community voice and input starting in 2018. The APS Board of Education directed implementation of the plan starting in 2019 with regions 2, 3 and 6.
Due to the most urgent upcoming enrollment shifts, Regions 1 and 5 will be next for repurposing and building recommendations. As shared starting in 2019, district staff put together an initial draft of school facilities to consider for repurposing as well as a list of schools to potentially serve bigger boundaries of students.
For region 1, the list of school facilities to consider repurposing include: Crawford, Paris, Park Lane and North. Please remember repurposing does NOT mean school closure is the only consideration. Rather, it may include:
- Reconfiguration of grade levels that a school building serves to emphasize APS’ P-8 model,
- Using repurposed buildings for magnet schools, community centers, other choice offerings, or other district uses,
- Consolidation of school buildings, and/or
- Closing of school buildings
For region 5, APS does not currently have enough schools available to serve the anticipated enrollment that is expected with the new developments in east Aurora.
During its October 19 meeting, the Board of Education will be provided with additional information about planning efforts that will continue in the coming weeks. To begin, the Regional Design Team (RDT) for region 1 will be reconvened to identify the region’s priorities for how repurposed facilities could be best used into the future. To be clear, the RDT will not be discussing WHICH specific buildings to repurpose, but rather identifying the community’s priorities on HOW repurposed buildings could best be used. Region 5’s RDT will convene to prioritize future use of new buildings.
After the RDTs have finalized their recommendations, the Long-Range Facilities Advisory Committee (LRFAC) will convene to review the recommendations and make final recommendations about repurposing and building to the district’s Leadership Team. District leaders will take enrollment projections, facilities concerns and the recommendations into account. This will ultimately culminate in next step recommendations related to repurposing and building for regions 1 and 5.
We recognize these are difficult discussions and we will continue to engage our community throughout the process.
JOIN US FOR AN INFORMATION MEETING TO LEARN MORE!
We know that you may have questions about the process. We will be holding two informational meetings to share more about planning efforts in Regions 1 and 5 and to answer your questions. Please join us at one of the meetings below.
Tuesday, Nov. 9
APS Professional Learning and Conference Center
15771 East 1st. Ave,
Aurora, CO 80011
Spanish interpretation will be provided at both meetings. If you require assistance in another language, please call the APS Central Languages Services Office at 303-365-7805 to make the request or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We ask that you request interpretation at least 48 hours prior to the meeting that you plan to attend.
PLEASE COMPLETE THE NAMING SURVEY FOR OUR NEW MAGNET SCHOOLS
We are excited to share that planning for our districtwide magnet schools continues. School design teams for both magnets have been meeting regularly and engaging in design work. Please complete this survey to provide your input on naming no later than Monday, Oct. 18.
As a reminder, the magnet campus located in Region 3 will be focused on Visual and Performing Arts. It will open for the 2022-23 school year and will include Peoria Elementary School, Educational Services Center 4 and Aurora Central High School, ultimately serving students in grades K-12 from throughout the district. The campus will focus on arts-related disciplines including dance, music, theater and visual arts. Please note that Aurora Central High School will remain a comprehensive neighborhood boundary school and will strengthen its Visual and Performing Arts Pathway.
The magnet school located in Region 6 will open at Wheeling Elementary School for the 2022-23 school year and will focus on Entrepreneurship and Invention. The school will ultimately serve students in grades K-8 from throughout the district. Students at the school will learn through investigating and responding to authentic, engaging and complex questions or challenges. Students will work on these questions or challenges through project-based learning with support from community partners. Students will also need to collaborate and create solutions in team environments. Many postsecondary institutions are now offering entrepreneurial programs and certificates to prepare students to launch their own businesses and/or new technologies.
Both magnet schools will serve students districtwide and more information on how to enroll students in these schools will be available in Spring 2022. Since Wheeling and Peoria will no longer have students assigned to them based on where they live, we will begin boundary processes for current Wheeling and Peoria elementary school families in the coming weeks. This will determine which boundary schools will serve those families into the future.
We will continue to share information and updates about Blueprint APS as they become available. We thank you for your continued support and interest in this critical work to plan for our future.
- Superintendent Rico Munn