What is Blueprint APS?

APS as well as districts across the Denver metro area are experiencing sharp enrollment declines. Enrollment declines negatively impact school district budgets. In order to address its significant enrollment shift, APS proactively began planning for the future with Blueprint APS

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.  

Community Voice, Community Need, Community Choice
Aurora community members voiced strong support for more choice when it comes to their children’s education. In addition, it is critically important for students to have more real world experiences at school that make learning exciting and engaging. Blueprint APS provides new choice options through a regional system, offering both magnet schools and boundary schools. In addition, APS will focus on creating more P-8 schools that serve students from preschool through 8th grade. Thanks to Blueprint APS, students will be able to choose to attend a specialized magnet school or a boundary school. A magnet school has a specific academic focus or program that engages students to learn in new ways and develop unique skill sets. A boundary school offers more traditional education programs, sports and activities, serving all students within their boundaries. 

Blueprint APS also focuses on improving the district’s educational facilities through building, remodeling, and repurposing schools and buildings to meet the needs of our students and community. Addressing the future needs of our facilities will allow APS to direct more funding to choice options and strengthen educational programs for students. 

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 currently in Phase 3 of Blueprint APS, which is the Implementation Phase. Please review the latest materials on this site that detail the priorities, framework and process for Phase 3.

Latest News

Blueprint APS Update: Planning for Repurposing and Building Recommendations for Regions 1 and 5 are Next (10/11/2021)

The important work of our long-term facilities and educational programming plan, Blueprint APS, continues. Due to the most urgent upcoming enrollment shifts, Regions 1 and 5 will be next for repurposing and building recommendations.

Blueprint APS Magnet Schools Update (8/31/2021)

We are excited to share that planning for the first two Blueprint APS magnet schools is underway! We have hired leaders for both the Region 3 and Region 6 magnet schools.

Blueprint APS Specializations and Magnet Schools Update (5/7/2021)

We are continuing to implement Blueprint APS, our long-term education and facilities plan. Our initial focus areas are regions 3 and 6. We are excited to announce specializations for those regions and our plans for transitioning or repurposing buildings in those regions.

Blueprint APS Magnet Schools Survey Link & Town Hall Meetings (4/5/2021)

We'd like to remind you about the upcoming feedback opportunities to share your views on the most desired features of our future magnet schools. The online survey is now available and virtual town halls begin April 8.

Join Us in Designing our New Magnet School! (4/1/2021)

As part of Blueprint APS, we are focusing on the magnet school that will be located in Region 6, the southwest part of the district. As we plan for these opportunities for students, it is critical for us to hear from our students, parents and staff.

APS Board Approves Blueprint APS Recommendations for Regions 3 & 6 (1/20/2021)

During its meeting on Jan. 19, the Board approved the following Blueprint APS recommendations for Regions 3 and 6. The plan seeks to bring intentionality and equity to how APS directs its resources to serve families. To accomplish this, APS will need to repurpose buildings throughout the district.

Read more news about Blueprint APS in the Resources section.

Provide your Feedback

Since the beginning of Blueprint APS, our long-term educational and facilities planning process, we have been focused on: Community Voice, Community Need, Community Choice. Our community has repeatedly voiced a strong need for students to have more ways to engage in learning that opens doors to college and career success. Below are some of the most recent community engagement activities. To view all of the engagement opportunities that have been provided to the Aurora community in the design and implementation of Blueprint APS, please visit the Blueprint APS Resources section.

In-Person and Virtual Information Meetings about Planning Efforts in Regions 1 & 5
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.

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 
11 a.m.

APS Professional Learning and Conference Center
15771 East 1st. Ave,
Aurora, CO 80011
​​​​​​​Masks will be required.

Wednesday, Nov. 10
5:30 p.m.

To access this meeting, click on one of the links below:
Zoom Webinar:  https://zoom.us/j/97384886950
YouTube Livestream:   https://youtu.be/DZec46MyiqI

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 interpretation@aurorak12.org. We ask that you request interpretation at least 48 hours prior to the meeting that you plan to attend.

Virtual Town Hall Meetings on Blueprint APS Regional Specializations
In November and December of 2020, we held several town hall meetings to share more information about Blueprint APS regional specializations and our building and repurposing plans for regions 3 and 6. The meetings were held virtually using Zoom. You may view a recording of the virtual town hall meeting that took place on Nov. 30.

  • Monday, Nov. 30, 2020
  • Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020
  • Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020

Virtual Meetings with a Focus on Regions 3 and 6
Our initial focus for repurposing recommendations has concentrated on regions 3 and 6. We shared our recommendations with parents/guardians and staff members from affected schools in these regions. We also provided virtual meetings for schools in these regions. 

  • Region 3: Aurora Central, Lyn Knoll, Peoria, Sixth Avenue, South
    • Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020
    • Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020
  • Region 6: Century, Wheeling
    • Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020
    • Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020

Spanish interpretation was provided at these town hall meetings. 

To view all of the engagement opportunities that have been provided to the Aurora community in the design and implementation of Blueprint APS, please visit the Blueprint APS Resources section.


Long Range Facilities Advisory Committee Charge

The Long Range Facilities Advisory Committee (LRFAC), which is made up of a diverse group of community members, will be serving as a steering committee over Blueprint APS implementation. The LRFAC will oversee the work of the seven Regional Design Teams (RDTs) and make recommendations to the Board of Education about repurposing and use of buildings. Below is the charge of the LRFAC:

  • To monitor and advise Regional Design Teams as they evaluate regional strengths and areas of focus and as they make recommendations for use or repurposing of facilities;
  • To evaluate and coordinate the recommendations of the Regional Design Teams from a District perspective;
  • To analyze the feasibility of the Regional Design Teams’ recommendations or other options as the Committee sees fit and to provide such analysis to the Board of Education and/or the District Leadership Team for consideration;
  • To hold the Regional Design Teams accountable to their scope of work within the Blueprint APS process; and
  • To make final recommendations to the Board of Education after consultation with the District Leadership Team.
  • Monthly meetings scheduled specifically for the Blueprint APS charge.

Learn more about the LRFAC.

How Were the Seven Regions and Specializations Determined?

  • Aurora community members voiced strong support for more college and career choice options through seven regional specializations.
  • It is critically important for students to have more real world experiences at school that make learning exciting and engaging and that foster unique skill sets. Blueprint APS provides these new choice options through a regional system that offers specializations and a magnet school within each region.
  • Regions were developed to incorporate current elementary school attendance areas and align with established geographic features such as major roads and neighborhoods.
  • A high priority was made to keep elementary schools within reasonable proximity in order to provide more viable options for school choice.
  • We wanted the regions to have similar school-age populations. Again, this was not adhered to perfectly, but planning areas have similar numbers as much as possible. Thus, one region is not serving a much higher number of students than another region.

Blueprint APS Regional Specializations

  1. One Health: Examines the interconnection between people, animals, plants and their shared environment to achieve optimal health outcomes by studying multiple disciplines and promoting collaboration across sectors (e.g. human healthcare, animal healthcare, environmental science, policymakers, etc.)
  2. Business Management and Hospitality: Focus on the hospitality industry and businesses such as restaurants, lodging, travel and events
  3. Visual and Performing Arts: Art and art-related disciplines, from dance to theater, music to visual arts
  4. Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM): Students will use these disciplines to engage their studies through inquiry, critical thinking and investigation
  5. Technology, Engineering, and Design: Gain 21st Century communication and design skills studying languages, technologies, sciences and engineering
  6. Entrepreneurship and Invention: Focus is on learning through investigation and response to engaging and complex questions or challenges
  7. Project-based Learning: An engaging curriculum to gain understanding and skills through investigation and experiences with hands-on, case-based studies

Blueprint APS Regions

Regional Design Teams

Seven Regional Design Teams (RDTs) are made up of current parents, community members, secondary (grades 6-12) students or recent alumni, school leaders, teachers and other school staff members. An APS Board of Education member may also be assigned to each Regional Design Team. The teams will work collaboratively to develop three proposals for regional specialization to present to the Long Range Facilities Committee.

Why regional specializations? In our community-developed plan, stakeholders voiced a strong need for more district-managed choice options. We heard over and over again that our community wants more opportunities for students to prepare for successful futures. Specializations will allow us to increase opportunities for students to be engaged and develop unique skill sets. With specializations, we will have more magnet schools and opportunities for students to learn in new ways.

RDTs meet twice monthly from October 2019 to February 2020. Please note that Regions 2 and 3 will also be meeting regularly from April to June to complete work on Charge 2.

View RDT Meeting Dates and Locations

  • One regional design team in each of the seven regions.
  • Members on each team include:
    • Parents with students currently attending schools in the region
    • Additional Community Members
    • Secondary Students (Grades 6-12) or Recent Alumni
    • School Leaders (at least one elementary and one secondary)
    • Teachers
    • Classified Employees

Regional Design Team Members

Region 1

Ali Abdullahi - Parent / Guardian in APS
Margarita Alamillo Barrios - Classified Employee in APS
Shay Carter - School Leader in APS
Elizabeth Casillas - Parent / Guardian in APS
Brad Colburn - Community Member in Aurora
Ashlie Farias - Parent / Guardian in APS
Ran Jung - School Leader in APS
Aimee Justice-Lundt - Teacher in APS
Jennifer Pavlovich - Parent / Guardian in APS
Linea Reed-Ellis - Teacher in APS
Heather Stewart - School Leader in APS

Region 2

Patty Daugherty - Community Member in Aurora
Kelly Forrest - School Leader in APS
Maria Loma - Parent / Guardian in APS
Elideth Ortiz - Classified Employee in APS
Amy Schwartz - Community Member in Aurora
Jamie Stephens - Teacher in APS

Region 3

Deborah Abbott - Teacher in APS
Samantha L Butler - Teacher in APS
Tamika Coleman - Parent / Guardian in APS
Arlene Garcia - Parent / Guardian in APS
Alem Makonnen - Classified Employee in APS
Dawn McWilliams - School Leader in APS
Dominique Nevarez - Parent / Guardian in APS
Alicia Newton - Classified Employee in APS
Sarah Pearlstein - School Leader in APS
Phillip Raskin - Teacher in APS
Hayley Reddish - Community Member in Aurora
Lisa Toner - School Leader in APS
Vanessa Valencia - School Leader in APS

Region 4

Lariza Amon- Classified Employee in APS
Chelsea Audin - School Leader in APS
Tony Contento - Community Member in Aurora
Melissa De La Trinidad - Parent / Guardian in APS
Jeremy Hamm - Parent / Guardian in APS
Robert Hubbard - School Leader in APS
Dulline Ibarra - Parent / Guardian in APS
Stephanie Iverson - Community Member in Aurora
Pastor Vernon Jones Jr. - Community Member in Aurora
Michele Ming - Parent / Guardian in APS
Amy Osborn - Teacher in APS
Bicky Santistevan
- Classified Employee in APS
Denise Tarpley-Ezell - Teacher in APS
Lane Warner - Teacher in APS

Region 5

Charlene Atkins - Classified Employee in APS
Laura Borja - Parent / Guardian in APS
Deborah Butler - School Leader in APS
Papa Dia - Parent / Guardian in APS
Ron Leff - Parent / Guardian in APS
Howard Payne - Parent / Guardian in APS
Gloria E. Reynolds - Classified Employee in APS
Yvonne Varela - Parent / Guardian in APS
Vathsala Venugopalan - Community Member in Aurora
Patrick Wright - Teacher in APS

Region 6

Ann Atencio- School Leader in APS
Anne Bell
- Community Member in Aurora
Aaliyah Berry - Student in APS
Mar Che Bishop - Student in APS
Ramone Carson - School Leader in APS
Stella Cypher - Teacher in APS
Elizabeth Meza - Teacher in APS
Kim Pippenger - School Leader in APS
Saba Teklu - Community Member in Aurora

Region 7

Patrick Aniniba - Classified Employee in APS
Danisha A. Allen - Parent / Guardian in APS
Gregor Avison - Parent / Guardian in APS
Debbie Brown - Classified Employee in APS
Christina L. Camp - Parent / Guardian in APS
Rudionna Garza Armstrong - Parent / Guardian in APS
Bertha Moran Ornelas  - Parent / Guardian in APS
Fernando Rodriguez - Student in APS
Jessica Schwartz - Teacher in APS
Mary Winterbottom - School Leader in APS

Regional Design Teams Flowchart

Blueprint APS Process and Timeline

Blueprint APS includes a multi-phased process that incorporates extensive community input. 

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


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 3 (Current Phase): Paradigm Implementation (Spring 2019 and Beyond)

In the current Phase 3, the APS Board of Education and school and district leaders worked together to implement the selected scenario developed from the feedback gathered in Phase 2 and its five proposed scenarios. The timeline for Phase 3 began in Spring 2019, with Regional Design Teams (RDTs) comprised of students, staff and community members proposing specializations for the seven identified regions. The RDTs worked with the Long Range Facilities Advisory Committee (LRFAC) in developing the proposed regional specializations that the APS Board of Education approved in Spring 2020. 

As of Spring 2021, current construction and academic designs are focused on several regions within APS. The initial focus is in regions 2, 3, and 6. Planning for other regions will take place over the coming years. The following changes are underway, including:

New buildings

  • P-8 School – Green Valley Ranch-Gaylord region – Opening planned for the 2023-24 school year
  • New School (potential magnet) – Horizon Development – Opening planned for the 2024-25 school year
  • P-8 School at Lyn Knoll – Opening planned for the 2023-24 school year

Repurposed buildings

  • Sixth Avenue Elementary School for alternative use – effective for the 2023-24 school year
  • South Middle School for remote learning and alternative use – transition begins during the 2021-22 school year
  • Century Elementary School for remote learning and alternative use – transition begins during the 2021-22 school year
  • Peoria Elementary School, Educational Services Center 4 and Aurora Central High School – transitioning to a Visual Design and Performing Arts magnet campus – opening planned for the 2022-23 school year (Please note that Aurora Central High School will remain a boundary high school and serve all students within its boundary.)
  • Wheeling Elementary School – transitioning to an Entrepreneurship and Invention magnet school – opening planned for the 2022-23 school year

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 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



Archived News

Please Join us for a Blueprint APS Virtual Town Hall Meeting (11/19/2020)

Since the beginning of Blueprint APS, our community has repeatedly voiced a strong need for more college and career options for students. Over the next few weeks, we will be holding several Town Hall meetings to share information about our regional specializations and our proposed building and repurposing plans for regions 2, 3 and 6.

Blueprint APS Update and Next Steps (10/30/2020)

I continue to be in awe of our students, staff and families who have shown incredible resilience and flexibility throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Although it may feel difficult to look to the future and plan ahead in our current context, it is critically important that we continue to do so for our students. The APS community has shared repeatedly over the past several years that APS students need more district-run college and career choice options. That will be the focus of Blueprint APS moving forward.

Regional Design Teams to Present Regional Specialization Proposals to the Board

Posted to APS Connect on 2/20/2020

We are grateful to members of our seven Regional Design Teams (RDTs), which are made up of parents, teachers, school leaders, community members and business representatives. They have been working diligently for months to develop proposals for regional specializations. These specializations will enable APS to provide more equitable college and career choice options for students throughout our district.

Blueprint APS Update - View the What is Blueprint APS Video

Posted to APS Connect on 12/19/2019

We are continuing the implementation of Blueprint APS, our long-range educational and facilities planning process. We initiated the development of Blueprint APS in 2017 through a multi-phased community-driven process. The following video provides an overview of Blueprint APS.

Apply to Join a Blueprint APS Regional Design Team!

Posted to APS Connect on 9/18/2019

During the Sept. 17 APS Board of Education meeting, we presented an initial implementation framework for moving forward with the work of Blueprint APS. This includes putting together a plan for community engagement and a high-level timeline for the 2019-20 school year and creating regional design teams.

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 (view a video playlist of the scenarios here). 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.