Dear DPS Community,
Like other school districts in the metro area, DPS is continuing to see declining enrollment at the elementary and middle school levels. Driven primarily by a reduction in birth rates and a changing housing landscape, enrollment in DPS declined by 3,600 students between 2019-2021. Enrollment is forecasted to continue to decline into the future. As we implement our new Strategic Roadmap, DPS Thrives, we know that scholars thrive when they have the supports, consistency and resources of a vibrant school with strong enrollment. The unfortunate reality is, when we lose scholars, we lose some of our ability to serve our students.
To address the issue of how declining enrollment has negatively impacted our school district, the DPS Board of Education directed me to take action. The Declining Enrollment Advisory Committee (DEAC) was formed last academic year to bring many voices and expertise to the table to tackle this complex challenge. I asked DEAC members to come up with criteria to identify schools for possible closure or consolidation due to declining enrollment. In June, the DEAC delivered a robust recommendation to me and my team. We are now resuming this work. And, over the next few weeks, we will work to determine how we apply those criteria to create recommendations that we will deliver to the Board of Education. Board members will vote on next steps in November.
We know that change can be challenging. Still, this work must be done and will result in what we all want for our students — better educational opportunities so that Every Learner Thrives here in Denver Public Schools.
Dr. Alex Marrero