As we have shared with you over the past several years, Blueprint APS is the district’s long-term plan to create more district-run college and career choice options and optimize the use of our facilities. The plan seeks to bring intentionality and equity to how APS directs its resources to serve families.
In order to bring this plan to life, we will need to make difficult decisions about repurposing buildings throughout our district. APS has experienced significant enrollment declines over the past eight years. This has become even more critical to address in light of the sharp enrollment declines that we have been experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a concerning impact on our enrollment as well as for school districts across the metro area. Our current structure of operating low-enrollment buildings and underutilizing buildings does not allow APS to maximize its resources to serve students and families. We need to continue to address the financial implications as quickly as possible.
As we shared in our next steps in planning with you back in October, Regions 1 and 5 were identified as next for repurposing and building recommendations. Since then, we have convened focus groups in Region 1, collected feedback through a Region 1 survey, and the district’s Long-Range Facilities Advisory Committee (LRFAC) convened to make their recommendations as well.
Included in the repurposing recommendations that we will make to the APS Board of Education in February is to repurpose Paris and Sable elementary schools for an alternate use that would benefit the APS community. If approved, Paris and Sable elementary schools would close in June 2023. If Region 1 recommendations are approved, we will begin a process to determine how the Paris and Sable buildings would be repurposed to best serve our community into the future.
In addition, as part of the Region 1 recommendations, APS is proposing to build a One Health Innovation Center on the North Middle School campus. As part of the Leadership Team’s recommendation, North Middle School would continue to serve as a boundary middle school. The new One Health Innovation Center would include space for P-TECH as well as space for One Health programming for students in grades K-12.
P-TECH is an innovative partnership between a school district, a community college(s), and one or more local high growth industry employer(s). Students begin in ninth grade and continue for up to six years (i.e. high school and two equivalent years of college), and will graduate with both a high school diploma and an industry-recognized associate degree, in addition to gaining relevant workplace skills. Students receive intensive student support services, mentoring, job shadowing, internships, pre-apprenticeships, and other workplace educational experiences. P-TECH is open to all students, with a special focus on encouraging enrollment of students who are socio-economically and racially diverse, first-generation college students, English language learners, and students with disabilities.
Please note that the Long-Range Facilities Advisory Committee’s recommendations will also be presented to the APS Board of Education in February. The LRFAC is recommending that Paris Elementary, Sable Elementary and North Middle School be repurposed. More specifically, they recommend that North be repurposed into a magnet P-8 school. The LRFAC is also recommending transitioning Crawford and Montview elementary schools to serve students in grades P-8. However, these recommendations would not provide enough middle school seats, so Park Lane Elementary would likely need to transition to serve students in grades P-8 as well. Even with three boundary P-8 schools, there may not be enough middle school seats to serve students into the future and there would end up being too many elementary seats in the region. This is why the Leadership Team is recommending that North remain a boundary middle school and that Crawford, Montview and Park Lane remain boundary elementary schools in Region 1.
When considering which buildings to recommend for repurposing, both the LRFAC and Leadership Team took a regional approach. Both groups evaluated long-term enrollment trends, building considerations, physical locations of buildings within the region and what would be best and least disruptive for communities into the future.
JOIN US FOR AN INFORMATION SESSION
We will be holding information sessions to share more information about Blueprint APS and our repurposing recommendations for Region 1. One meeting will be in person and the other will be hosted virtually using Zoom. We invite you to join us on one of the following dates:
Please join us at one of the following meetings:
Wednesday, Jan. 26
View the Jan. 26 virtual information session recording
Tuesday, Feb. 8*
North Middle School Auditorium
12095 E Montview Blvd, Aurora, CO 80010
*Please note that this date has changed. This meeting may be moved to virtual pending district health and safety protocols.
Spanish interpretation will be provided. If you require 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 town hall that you plan to attend.
Throughout this potential transition, we will continue to share information, support families and answer any questions you may have. Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to your partnership in continuing this important community process.
- Superintendent Rico Munn