AURORA, Colo (KDVR) — The Aurora Public Schools Board of Education voted 4-3 Tuesday to close two elementary schools after the 2023 school year.
The schools impacted are Paris Elementary and Sable Elementary. The decision was made following a recommendation from Superintendent Rico Munn, citing trends in the district and a decline in enrollment at the schools.
The board meeting lasted late into the night. Members raised concerns such as criteria for figuring out which schools should close and the process of determining how they’ll repurpose those school buildings.
A member of the audience could be heard speaking out immediately after the vote, questioning the decision and claiming it would “fail a community.”
The vote is a contrast to a previous decision made by the board. In March, members decided they would not close the two elementary schools. Some parents say this new decision will have negative impacts on families and students.
“It took a long time for them to get comfortable in this school and now they have to transfer somewhere else. For a lot of kids it’s hard to make friends and be comfortable in a brand new school,” said Shannon Scaggs, a Paris Elementary parent.
Scaggs says many Paris Elementary students walk to school. Moving farther from the immediate neighborhood raises safety and logistics concerns, she says.
Aurora Public Schools sent FOX31 the following statement after the decision was made:
“With input from the community, Blueprint APS was developed starting in 2018 as a way to respond to sharp enrollment declines in Aurora Public Schools. The plan also creates new, engaging learning opportunities for students while ensuring that our facilities are aligned to future enrollment projections. Like many school districts across the metro area, these dramatic enrollment shifts have and will continue to negatively impact our budget. The vote the APS Board of Education made last night to approve the recommendations for Region 1 reflects this reality. While it is never easy to close and repurpose schools, Blueprint APS will provide equitable support to our educational resources into the future. We are confident that these difficult decisions will have a strong impact on long-term student success.”