JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Many Schools in Jeffco are now preparing for major changes after the board of education voted to shut down 16 schools.

More than 2500 students will be heading to new schools next year, even after major opposition.

Shutting down so many elementary schools at once can be described as a massive undertaking. A wave of new students will come from Parr Elementary, a half mile away which will shut its doors at the end of this school year.

It’s one of the schools Jeffco’s board of education decided to close.

Little Elementary’s principal says the growth means more opportunities and extra full-time teachers here.

“We’ll be able to go back to full time art music PE and get better resources. We are looking forward to connecting as one unit rather than having so many people spread so far,” Little Principal Julie Waage said.

The declining enrollment of school-age children is being blamed for the shrinking district and the closures. Not enough students to fill big school buildings — resources were being spread thin said the district.

There was still plenty of opposition.

One school leader said underpopulated schools were also under resourced. A parent said she was “devastated and heartbroken.”

Jeffco schools tell us nearly 2600 students and more than 420 staff members will be impacted by the closures.

The board president acknowledge the change would lead to heartbreak and grieving but that the shift was unavoidable.