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Board Statements

Phase I Regional Opportunities for Thriving Schools Board Statement

November 10, 2022

Jeffco Board Reaches a Decision on Phase I Regional Opportunities for thriving schools Elementary School Closures 

Board President Stephanie Schooley issued the following statement on behalf of the Jeffco Board of Education…

In August, Jeffco Superintendent Tracy Dorland put forward a comprehensive recommendation for the closure and consolidation of schools at the request of this Board. That 16 elementary schools were included in the recommendation is telling of both the magnitude and urgency of the pressure that nearly two decades of shifting demographics and a declining school-age population have put on our District. As the Board asks the superintendent to implement a long-term vision to ensure every Jeffco student has the opportunity to thrive, we have no choice but to confront the issues before us and do the hard work to create more equitable learning opportunities.

Tonight, the Jeffco Board of Education voted to approve the District’s recommendation. We believe that this decision is the right one to support the next steps required to provide equitable resources across our schools that will ensure that Jeffco students receive the robust academic, enrichment, and social-emotional programming that challenges them to grow and that prepares them for college, for careers, and for community life.

We believe that the criteria the District used to identify school communities to merge is both clear and fair. However, we acknowledge that for the generations of people who love these schools, there is no criteria or process that would justify their closure. Within a Board made up of current and former Jeffco parents, grandparents, and a former Jeffco teacher, we empathize with the emotion and heartbreak of those who are impacted. We grieve together as a District community. At the same time, we are confident that our District is prepared to care for you—our students, families, and staff—and support communities in making meaningful connections that result in a sense of belonging for all in the 2023-24 school year. We hope that members of these communities will continue to be engaged in opportunities to shape this process.

We would like to express our gratitude to our families, neighbors, and staff who have dedicated a significant amount of time to providing input on school and District plans for the future as we look toward next year. Most of all, we thank our school principals who have led and continue to lead with courage, compassion, integrity, and with an unwavering focus on students during an incredibly challenging time. 

As regretful as we all are that we have come to this point, we are equally optimistic that our District will emerge even stronger. As a Board, we are committed to strengthening this district and will work every day to do our work transparently to gain your trust, and together, see our students have successful opportunities throughout their lives. 

Read the entire Regional Opportunities for Thriving Schools Board Resolution.

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