Dear DPS Community,
Many of you may have seen Wednesday’s 9News story on the plans for DPS to consolidate some schools. 9News reporter Cole Sullivan shared a feature on air and published a story online entitled, “DPS will close some elementary and middle schools due to declining enrollment.” I have received several messages this morning from concerned families and members of Team DPS because of the lists that 9News created and the schools used as background video. I am writing today to reiterate that Denver Public Schools has not yet made any official decisions about school consolidations.
In the 9News story, Mr. Sullivan interviewed Director of External Communications Scott Pribble. Scott provided an overview of the situation, however, he did not provide any data related to this effort and did not provide any list of any kind to this reporter. 9News did report that DPS has not released any specific schools on the closure list, but then 9News generated its own lists based on 9News’ examination of “the criteria and school enrollment data.”
I want you all to know that, even though 9News states that it applied DPS enrollment criteria to come up with the two lists (that include 22 of our schools) that 9News created, enrollment criteria is not the sole factor we are using to determine schools recommended for consolidation. Determining what is best for our students is not a math problem – we have to consider each community’s unique context. As we have shared in prior messages to the community, we will share a school consolidation plan in the coming weeks, and the Board of Education will vote on next steps in November.
School consolidation is about bringing communities together to solve for the enrollment decline, not because of school performance concerns, and we will treat them as such. We are working to do something different that honors our people. We want you to know that we are working to finalize agreements with our bargaining associations to create a process that would guarantee all impacted DPS team members a role in DPS for 2023-24 and plan to share more information as agreements are finalized.
We recognize the difficulty of these decisions and know that the discussion of consolidating schools is very difficult. Please know that we do not take this topic lightly, and that we are grounding this work in what we believe is best for our scholars, and the impact the current state has on our scholars, teachers and leaders.
Dr. Alex Marrero