DENVER (KDVR) — Denver Public Schools has announced the list of 10 elementary and middle schools recommended for closure as the district faces major declines in enrollment.
“Like other school districts in the metro area, Denver Public Schools is facing significant declines in enrollment caused by lower birth rates and a changing housing market,” the district said in a news release. “This situation is causing the school district’s smallest schools to struggle to provide consistent staffing, robust academics, whole-child support and meaningful enrichment programs.”
The recommended closures will affect more than 1,700 students in the coming school year, the district said.
The schools that will be affected face “critically low enrollment” numbers of fewer than 215 students. An advisory committee formed to look at the issue recommended folding the schools into existing schools in the area — a plan the district has billed as the “unification” of schools.
Denver Public Schools closure list
Denver Public Schools announced the following recommended closures for the 2023-24 school year:
- Columbian Elementary will unify with Trevista at Trevista.
- Palmer Elementary will unify with Montclair School of Academics and Enrichment K-5 grades at Montclair and ECE at Palmer.
- Math Science Leadership Academy (MSLA) will unify with Valverde Elementary at Valverde.
- Schmitt Elementary will unify with Godsman Elementary at Godsman.
- Eagleton Elementary will unify with Cowell Elementary at Cowell.
- Fairview Elementary and Colfax Elementary will unify with K-5 grades at Cheltenham and ECE at Colfax.
- International Academy of Denver at Harrington will unify with Columbine Elementary and Swansea Elementary in a new enrollment zone with Columbine and Swansea.
- Denver Discovery School will unify with schools in the Greater Park Hill – Central Park Enrollment zone.
- Whittier K-8 will unify with schools in the Greater Five Points Elementary Enrollment Zone and the Near Northeast Middle School Enrollment Zone.
DPS said the student population has declined by more than 6,000 students in the last five years, and the number is expected to drop by another 3,000 over the next four years. The district linked the lower numbers to a loss of more than $61 million in annual taxes that fund schools, with another $36 million dip expected in the years to come.
The district said school-based staff “will have a guaranteed role.” Meetings will be held in the coming days and weeks so that families can weigh in on the next steps.