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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.

It’s going to take all of us putting together great ideas to imagine and design our new comprehensive, long-term educational and facilities plan: Blueprint APS

Blueprint APS will be developed through an extensive community engagement process to envision how we best serve our students and community moving forward.

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. 

We are engaging in a multi-phase process to develop Blueprint APS.  We are excited to hear the voices of our students, families, staff and community members as we look to the future!

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 will develop a series of possible scenarios for how APS can best serve our community moving forward. These scenarios will identify 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 will also be accompanied by a high-level plan for implementation of each possible scenario.

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

APS has 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 will be 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 will be 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 , will serve as the work groups for Phase 1:  1) the What IF Task Force, and 2) the What THEN Task Force, will be responsible for the development of the possible scenarios and high-level implementation plans based on community input.

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

The What THEN Task Force will be 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 will consider the scenarios developed in Phase 1 and work to determine the scenario that best aligns with the community’s dreams, hopes and aspirations for its students. More details will be provided as they become available.

Phase 2 will occur 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. The timeline for Phase 3 is anticipated to begin in Spring 2019, with additional details available once a scenario is selected in Phase 2.






How Can I Provide Input?

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

Please click here or the button above to participate in the survey.

Please make sure to submit responses before Sept. 24.

For languages other than English, choose your language below:

Spanish translation of the Blueprint APS survey.Amharic translation of the Blueprint APS survey.Nepali translation of the Blueprint APS survey.Somali translation of the Blueprint APS survey.Burmese translation of the Blueprint APS survey.Arabic translation of the Blueprint APS survey.Vietnamese translation of the Blueprint APS survey.Karen translation of Blueprint APS surveyFrench translation of selected Blueprint APS surveyOromo link to Blueprint APS survey

 

Community Forums: Schedule and Childcare

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

Please click here or the button above to participate in the survey.

Please make sure to submit responses before Sept. 24.

For languages other than English, choose your language below:

Spanish translation of the Blueprint APS survey.Amharic translation of the Blueprint APS survey.Nepali translation of the Blueprint APS survey.Somali translation of the Blueprint APS survey.Burmese translation of the Blueprint APS survey.Arabic translation of the Blueprint APS survey.Vietnamese translation of the Blueprint APS survey.Karen translation of Blueprint APS surveyFrench translation of selected Blueprint APS surveyOromo link to Blueprint APS survey

 

Task Forces

Two task forces, comprised of community stakeholders and staff, will serve as the work groups for Phase 1: 1) the What IF Task Force, and 2) the What THEN Task Force. Together, the task forces will develop possible future scenarios for APS and high-level implementation plans for each. Their work will be informed by input collected through community forums, the online survey, focus groups and interviews.

The task forces will meet monthly from August to December 2018.  

 

Learn more about the two task forces:

WHAT IF Task Force

The “What IF” Task Force will focus its work on developing possible scenarios for how APS can best serve our students moving forward. It will take into consideration: input provided by the community, data and information on Aurora/APS and national trends and best practices in education and facilities. 

What If Task Force Members

This task force is comprised primarily of Aurora community members who represent a wide range of Aurora stakeholders. 

    • Jessica Cuthbertson, Teacher and Parent, APS
    • Amber Drevon, Parent and former Board of Education President, APS
    • Josh Hensley, Planning Coordinator, APS
    • Vanecia Kerr, Executive Director, College Track Colorado
    • Miguel Lovato, Senior Grants Program Officer, Daniels Fund and APS Alumnus
    • Robert McGranaghan,  Director, CU Anschutz Medical Campus Community-Campus Partnership
    • Tamara Mohamed, Director of Community Relations,  Aurora Chamber of Commerce
    • Omar Montgomery, President, Aurora Branch of the NAACP
    • Skip Noe, Chief Financial Officer, Community College of Aurora and former Aurora City Manager
    • Amy Schwartz, Executive Director, Build Strong Education
    • Starla Sieveke-Pearson, Executive Director Curriculum and Instruction, APS
    • Jocelyn Stephens, Executive Director of Education, Public Education and Business Coalition and APS Parent
    • William Stuart, Former Deputy Superintendent, Parent and Alumnus, APS
    • Linda Witulski, Member, Rotary Club of Aurora and former Principal, APS

Additional members are still being confirmed.

WHAT IF TASK FORCE MEETING DATES

    • Wednesday, Aug. 29
      4:30-6:30 p.m.
      Tollgate Elementary
    • Monday, Sept. 17
      4-6 p.m.
      Mrachek Middle School
    • Wednesday, Oct. 10
      4:30-6:30 p.m.
      Vista PEAK Exploratory
    • Wednesday, Nov.14
      4:30-6:30 p.m.
      Aurora Central High School
    • Monday, Dec. 3 - Joint Meeting with "What THEN" Task Force
      4-6 p.m.
      Aurora Public Schools Professional Learning and Conference Center






WHAT THEN Task Force

The “What THEN” Task Force will be charged with identifying the implementation steps necessary to bring each scenario into reality.  This task force is comprised primarily of APS personnel who represent various functions within the organization such as finance, human resources and curriculum and instruction, and therefore will be responsible for executing a future scenario once selected.

What Then Task Force Members

    • Lamont Browne, Executive Director, Office of Autonomous Schools, APS
    • Margee Cannon, Neighborhood Liaison Coordinator, City of Aurora
    • Steve Clagg, Chief Information Officer, APS
    • Brandon Eyre, Legal Counsel, APS
    • Jennifer Gutierrez, Director of Exceptional Student Services, APS
    • Josh Hensley, Planning Coordinator, APS
    • Dianne Lewis, Communications Coordinator, APS
    • DJ Loerzel, Director of Accountability and Research, APS
    • Shawn Smith, Director of Transportation, APS
    • Amy Spatz, Director of Construction Management and Support, APS
    • Kathleen Shiverdecker, Executive Director of School Performance, APS
    • Kristen Stueber, Director of Human Resources, APS
    • Julia Teska, Budget Director, APS
    • Lisa Toner, Principal, APS
    • Bruce Wilcox, President, Aurora Education Association

Additional members are still being confirmed.

WHAT THEN TASK FORCE MEETING DATES

    • Tuesday, Aug. 30
      3:30-5:30 p.m.
      Aurora Public Schools Professional Learning and Conference Center
    • Thursday, Sept. 20
      3:30-5:30 p.m.
      Aurora Public Schools Educational Services Center 1, Suite 206
    • Thursday, Oct. 11
      3:30-5:30 p.m.
      Aurora Public Schools Professional Learning and Conference Center
    • Thursday, Nov. 15
      3:30-5:30 p.m.
      Aurora Public Schools Professional Learning and Conference Center
    • Monday, Dec. 3 - Joint Meeting with "What IF" Task Force
      4-6 p.m.
      Aurora Public Schools Professional Learning and Conference Center






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 as a result of all the changes Aurora is experiencing. There have been significant demographic and economic changes in Aurora. After many years of rapidly increasing enrollment, APS has started to see a decline in overall enrollment for the past few years. This decline may be attributed to a number of factors including declining birth rates and the sharp increase in Aurora's cost of living. More specifically, APS has seen declining enrollment in Northwest Aurora. Simultaneously, the district is seeing increased enrollment in the eastern part of the district with the building of new housing developments along the E-470 corridor and even more developments projected. APS has also experienced shifts in the types of schools in which students are enrolling. While neighborhood schools have historically been the defining paradigm for APS, a growing percentage of students 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 how the school system moves forward. Stakeholders have the opportunity to provide input on how APS should continuously improve its facilities and educational offerings in a way that meets the needs and interests of the community. By engaging internal and external stakeholders in this conversation, APS envisions that Blueprint APS will be the guide that provides direction for the district’s 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 you provide input?

The Aurora community will have multiple opportunities to provide input in Phase I of Blueprint APS.

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

Second, there will be an online survey through which students, families, staff and community members can provide input. The survey will run in September, 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 will be developed by community members on the Task Forces based on input gathered from students, families, staff and community members. The Board of Education will consider this input when determining which scenario APS should move forward with during Phase 2.

 






Why is APS planning to work with an external support partner for 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 has 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 are being conducted in Phase 1?

Small focus groups of approximately 10-15 people are being conducted 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 bring together a range of perspectives that represented different school types, school grade spans, geographic regions of the district and roles.

 






Who is being interviewed in Phase 1?

MGT Consulting is interviewing 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.

 






Next Steps: Phases 2 and 3

During Phase 2 of Blueprint APS, the APS Board of Education will consider the scenarios developed in Phase I. Working in conjunction with community stakeholders, the APS Board of Education will determine the scenario that is best for APS' future. Phase 2 will occur in Winter/Spring 2019, with more details to follow.

In Phase 3, the APS Board of Education and school and district leaders will implement the selected scenario. Phase 3 will begin following Phase 2, with an anticipated launch in Spring 2019.