What is Blueprint APS?

Aurora Public Schools is a district of momentum, opportunity and impact. As we build on our momentum, we have an exciting opportunity to look to the future together. All of us want to ensure that our students have the educational opportunities and school facilities necessary to shape successful futures. We also recognize that Aurora is changing and growing in a way that will impact our schools and community. 

Over the past year, stakeholders have helped imagine and design our new comprehensive, long-term educational and facilities plan: Blueprint APS. It was developed through an extensive community engagement process that included Board presentations, surveys, community forums, focus groups, interviews and more. 

Blueprint APS is not a new strategic plan. Rather, it is a plan focused on our facilities and educational systems that will support the ongoing and existing implementation of our current strategic plan, APS 2020, and future strategic plans.

APS is beginning Phase 3 of Blueprint APS, which is the Implementation Phase. Please review the latest materials below that detail the priorities, framework and initial district analysis.

Latest News

Blueprint APS Update and Upcoming Board of Education Presentation

Posted 6/14/2019
I would like to keep you updated on our Blueprint APS process. As I shared with you a few weeks ago, the Board of Education directed staff to begin planning what implementation could look like to achieve our community’s vision for future planning. Staff presented the first steps toward an implementation framework and planning process to the Board on June 18.

Blueprint APS Planning Update and Next Steps

Posted 5/24/2019
I would like to keep you updated on our important and ongoing Blueprint APS process to develop a new, long-term education and facilities plan for APS.

Blueprint APS Phase 2 Open Houses and Online Survey Completed

As part of Phase 2 of Blueprint APS, the Aurora Public Schools Board of Education asked for your feedback on five community-developed scenarios. Each has a unique approach to how APS could serve its community in the future.

Thank you for sharing your views at one of the community open houses below:

  • Saturday, Feb. 23 10 a.m. @ Aurora Central H.S.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 27 4:30 p.m. @ Rangeview H.S.
  • Tuesday, March 12 6 p.m. @ Murphy Creek P-8

View the handouts with scenarios that were used at the community open houses.
(or choose one of the other languages below)

For those unable to participate in a Community Open House, we also offered an online survey in February and March of 2019.


Blueprint APS Phase 1 Final Report

The Blueprint APS: Phase 1-Scenario Development Final Report details the background research, analysis and community engagement that was completed in Phase One. It also outlines the five community-developed scenarios that present unique paths to serving the APS community. You may view and/or download the full report below.


Blueprint APS Scenarios Presented to APS Board of Education

The Blueprint APS scenarios were presented to the APS Board of Education on Dec. 18, wrapping up Phase 1 of the process. The proposed scenarios address many key aspects of how our school and district structures and programming should support student learning, provide choices for families and most effectively make use of the district's limited funding. Each scenario overview presented included some implementation considerations along with pros and cons. You may view the presentation below. An additional detailed report will be released in mid-January.

Phase 2 Scenarios


View detailed discussions of the five proposed scenarios that were developed in Phase 2 from extensive community feedback gathered in Phase 1:

The Board gathered extensive community feedback on these proposed scenarios from the APS community in February and March of 2019. The Board used this feedback to help them develop a proposed scenario for Phase 3 and has asked district staff members to begin planning what implementation could look like to achieve this long-term community vision.

How Can I Provide Input?

As part of Phase 2 of Blueprint APS, the Aurora Public Schools Board of Education asked for your feedback on five community-developed scenarios. Each has a unique approach to how APS could serve its community in the future.

Thank you for sharing what you would be most excited about! Do you prefer smaller elementary schools and larger secondary schools? What about more charter schools? Arts-focused or STEM-focused programs? Are sports or magnet schools important to you? How should APS work with local businesses to shape learning opportunities for students?

Thank you for sharing your views at one of the community open houses we offered below:

Phase 2 Community Open Houses

  • Saturday, Feb. 23 10 a.m. @ Aurora Central H.S.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 27 4:30 p.m. @ Rangeview H.S.
  • Tuesday, March 12 6 p.m. @ Murphy Creek P-8

View the handouts with scenarios that were used at the community open houses.
(or choose one of the other languages below)

Phase 2 Online Survey

Those who were unable to participate in a Community Open House could take an online survey in February and March of 2019. Thanks for your online feedback!


 

 

Archived Information from Phase 1

The Aurora community has multiple opportunities to provide input in Phase 1 of Blueprint APS. The input collected will be used to inform the development of the possible scenarios by the "What IF" Task Force.

Community Forums

Thanks to those who joined us at the recent Blueprint APS community forums. We appreciate your input!

    • Sept. 5 @ Rangeview H.S.
    • Sept. 6 @ Vista PEAK Preparatory
    • Sept. 15 @ AWCPA
    • Sept. 17 @ Mrachek M.S.

Language services and child care were provided. Each community meeting began with a large group presentation and poll to gauge opinions on topics related to APS’ future. Following the large group polls, participants were invited to break out into small group discussions to offer additional input in an informal setting. The community meetings were professionally facilitated by MGT Consulting.

Were you unable to attend a Community Forum? Please take the survey below!

Online Survey for Phase 1
Thank you for your survey responses for Phase 1. Our survey window closed on Sept. 24.

Open Houses: Schedule and Childcare

Phase 2 Community Open Houses

  • Saturday, Feb. 23 10 a.m. @ Aurora Central H.S.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 27 4:30 p.m. @ Rangeview H.S.
  • Tuesday, March 12 6 p.m. @ Murphy Creek P-8

View the handouts with scenarios that were used at the community open houses.
(or choose one of the other languages below)

Food, childcare and interpretation was provided.

Phase 2 Online Survey

In addition, those who were unable to participate in a Community Open House could take an online survey in February and March of 2019. Thanks for your online feedback!


 

Archived Phase 1 Community Forum Information

Thanks to those who joined us at the recent Blueprint APS community forums. We appreciate your input!

    • Sept. 5 @ Rangeview H.S.
    • Sept. 6 @ Vista PEAK Preparatory
    • Sept. 15 @ AWCPA
    • Sept. 17 @ Mrachek M.S.

Language services and child care were provided. Each community meeting began with a large group presentation and poll to gauge opinions on topics related to APS’ future. Following the large group polls, participants were invited to break out into small group discussions to offer additional input in an informal setting. The community meetings were professionally facilitated by MGT Consulting.

Were you unable to attend? Please complete our online survey to share your views! 

Online Survey
Thank you for your survey responses. Our survey window closed on Sept. 24.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Blueprint APS?

Blueprint APS is a process to engage the Aurora community in developing a long-term educational and facilities plan that responds to the changing demographics of the district and educational programming needs. Blueprint APS is not a new strategic plan. Rather, it is a plan around our facilities and educational systems that will support the ongoing and existing implementation of APS 2020 and future strategic plans.






Why do we need it?

APS' operational facilities plans are now outdated and Aurora is changing. After many years of rapidly increasing enrollment, APS has started to see a decline in overall enrollment for the past few years especially in Northwest Aurora. Many factors are causing this enrollment shift including declining birth rates and the rising cost of living that is forcing families to move out of the area. Simultaneously, the district is seeing increased enrollment in the eastern part of the district with many new housing developments along the E-470 corridor.

APS has also experienced shifts in the types of schools in which students are enrolling. While neighborhood schools have historically been the top choice for families, a growing percentage are choosing other options. In light of these now outdated plans and the changing district, the APS community has an opportunity to intentionally and proactively plan for the future.

 






What questions might Blueprint APS explore?

Below is a list of overarching questions Blueprint APS may explore. These questions provide a foundation for the work of Blueprint APS

  • What does the system of schools that serve students within APS boundaries look like to ensure equitable opportunities for all our students?
  • What does the system of traditional schools look like to ensure equity of educational opportunities across the entire district in service of the APS 2020 goals and goals of future strategic plans?
  • How should APS meet the demands of growing enrollment in some parts of the district, particularly in areas with new developments?
  • How should APS respond to schools that are seeing declining enrollment as a result of a number of factors?
  • What types of instructional opportunities should the district offer for students?
  • How should APS plan for and fund new facilities or modify existing facilities to support that system and in light of anticipated and unanticipated changes?
  • What is the relationship between APS and charter schools?






How can I provide input?

During Phase 2, the APS Board of Education asked for your feedback through three different ways. First, board members met with various school and community groups throughout the district to hear from stakeholders about the community-developed scenarios. There was also an online survey that was available on the Blueprint APS website in February and March of 2019. Lastly, Board members hosted three open houses to hear from community members.


The Aurora community was provided with multiple opportunities to provide input in Phase I of Blueprint APS.

First, there were four community meetings in September. Each community meeting began with a large group presentation and poll to gauge opinions on topics related to APS’ future. Following the large group polls, participants were invited to break out into small group discussions where participants ofered additional input in an informal setting. The community meetings were professionally facilitated and the input informed the work of the “What IF” Task Force.

Second, there was an online survey through which students, families, staff and community members provided input. The survey ran in September 2018, about the same time as the community meetings.






Who will decide on what paradigm or scenario APS moves forward with?

In Phase 1, the possible future scenarios for APS were developed by community members on the Task Forces based on input gathered from students, families, staff and community members. The Board of Education considering this input when determining which scenarios APS should move forward with during Phase 2. In Phase 2, the Board gained feedback on the five proposed scenarios through February and March 2019 from students, families, staff and community members. The Board then considered the feedback on these scenarios in developing their own initial draft scenario to begin Phase 3 and has asked district staff members to begin planning what implementation could look like to achieve this long-term community vision.

 






Why are there not cost estimates attached to every scenario?

Each scenario contains high-level implementation requirements that will need further analysis and planning prior to estimating costs. Implementation requirements may include policy changes, curriculum development, reconfiguring buildings, etc.

 






What are the next steps?

Tollgate StudentThe Board discussed next steps for Phase 2 of Blueprint APS at its March 19 meeting at the APS Professional Learning and Conference Center at 6 p.m.

At the end of Phase 2, the Board made a decision on the best scenario for the district moving forward. This does not necessarily mean they picked one scenario. The Board decided to take some elements of one and combine it with others.

After Phase 2, APS staff will begin implementation as part of Phase 3, which may require extensive policy, budget and staffing changes as well as reconfiguring buildings and changing transportation routes.

 






Why did APS work with an external support partner for Phase 1 of Blueprint APS?

APS has followed similar engagement processes to successfully execute projects with this level of public engagement and complexity, such as the strategic budget redesign and the APS 2020 strategic plan development. In developing APS 2020, the district worked with a consultant to lead the process and synthesize the input, while the ideas and resulting strategic plan ultimately came from the community.

APS hired MGT Consulting to support APS in Phase 1 of this process. MGT consulting brings: 

  • Necessary capacity to develop and facilitate the Blueprint APS process
  • Expertise in public engagement, facilitating work groups and driving similar processes around the country to answer critical planning questions
  • Content expertise in the areas of educational programming, facilities and systems thinking
  • A neutral perspective that allows the voice of the community to drive Blueprint APS

 

 






What focus groups were conducted in Phase 1?

Small focus groups of approximately 10-15 people were conducted during Phase 1 to gather the perspectives of the following groups:

    • Students
    • Parents
    • Licensed employees (e.g., teachers, special service providers)
    • Classified employees
    • Administration and Professional Technical employees
    • Community Partners
    • Realtors, Developers and Builders

The focus groups brought together a range of perspectives that represented different school types, school grade spans, geographic regions of the district and roles.

 






Who was interviewed in Phase 1?

MGT Consulting interviewed leaders from across Aurora including from: Colorado State Legislature, City of Aurora, Aurora City Council, APS Board of Education, Buckley Air Force Base, Community College of Aurora, University of Colorado-Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora Chamber of Commerce, CSU-Global and Colorado League of Charter Schools.

 






Blueprint APS includes a multi-phased process that incorporates extensive community input. View details by hovering over the three phases below:

Engage the community in identifying potential scenarios for how APS can best serve students moving forward by aligning its educational vision and facilities plan

Consideration of all possible scenarios from Phase 1

AND

Determination of the best scenario for APS moving forward to Phase 3

Implement APS’ approach to best serving its students moving forward, including making any adjustments in policies and practices to align with the selected scenario

Phase 1: Paradigm Development (May-Dec. 2018)

In collaboration with APS stakeholders, Phase 1 of Blueprint APS developed a series of possible scenarios for how APS can best serve our community moving forward. These scenarios identified potential paths for aligning our educational vision with our physical environment by taking into account the voices of our community, the district’s recent and projected enrollment data and the changing Aurora landscape. Each scenario was also be accompanied by a high-level plan for implementation of each possible scenario.

Phase 1 did not produce a recommendation for any one scenario. Instead, it created a range of scenarios for consideration in Phase 2. Phase 1 culminated with a report to the Board of Education in December 2018.

APS hired MGT of America Consulting, LLC, a national public-sector consulting firm, that works with districts nationwide on facilities plans, paradigm development and educational systems planning to facilitate Phase 1 of Blueprint APS.

Community Input

Possible scenarios were based on input and information collected from students, parents, staff, and the community on its values, the current state of Aurora and APS and how APS can best serve students moving forward. These perspectives were collected through many different channels including community forums, an online survey, focus groups, interviews and task forces.

Task Forces

Two task forces, comprised of community stakeholders and staff, served as the work groups for Phase 1: 1) the What IF Task Force, and 2) the What THEN Task Force, were responsible for the development of the possible scenarios and high-level implementation plans based on community input.

The What IF Task Force developed possible scenarios on how to meet our future educational and facility needs. The What IF Task Force examined local community data, national educational trends and input from community stakeholders to develop the scenarios.  

The What THEN Task Force was responsible for identifying the steps necessary to bring each possible scenario to reality. 

Click the diagram above to enlarge






Phase 2: Paradigm Selection (Winter / Spring 2019)

During Phase 2 of Blueprint APS, the APS Board of Education considered the scenarios developed in Phase 1 and work to determine a series of scenarios that best aligns with the community’s dreams, hopes and aspirations for its students. After considering extensive feedback from the APS community on the five proposed scenarios, the Board developed an initial proposed scenario combining elements from the Phase 2 scenarios and has asked district staff members to begin planning what implementation could look like to achieve this long-term community vision.

Phase 2 occurred in Winter/Spring 2019.






Phase 3: Paradigm Implementation (Spring 2019)

In Phase 3, the APS Board of Education and school and district leaders will work together to implement the selected scenario developed from the feedback gathered in Phase 2 and its five proposed scenarios. The timeline for Phase 3 is anticipated to begin in Spring 2019, with additional details available once a scenario is selected or developed in Phase 2.






Resources