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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Facing thousands of empty seats across its campuses, Colorado’s second-largest school district may lose 16 public elementary schools next school year.

Jeffco Public Schools suggested the change to the Board of Education on Thursday.

“Barring unforeseen circumstances that further accelerate enrollment declines,” the district said it does not expect any more elementary-level consolidation “in the near future.”

Public hearings will be scheduled for each school that could close. The school board is scheduled to vote on the recommendations on Nov. 10.

Here are the schools that could close and consolidate:

School closureNew neighborhood school
EmoryLasley, with addition of dual-language program
CampbellFremont, Vanderhoof
Green MountainFoothills
Bergen Meadow2024-2025: Bergen Valley PK-5 (with building addition)
Glennon HeightsBelmar
Sheridan GreenRyan
KullerstrandProspect Valley

See a map of the proposed school changes below.

Why is Jeffco considering school closures?

Jefferson County has lost more than 5,000 students since 2019 in a pandemic-fueled trend that’s impacting schools around the country.

That exacerbated a trend that was already underway in the county. Since 2000, the district has lost more than 30,000 school-aged children, even though the population has grown by nearly 56,000 people. Births are at a 15-year record low.

Right now, the school district has a capacity for 96,000 students. The consolidation plan would reduce capacity to 89,000. Enrollment this year is just 69,000.