Denver Public Schools on Thursday partially reversed its proposal to close 10 schools by removing five of them from its recommended list.
The district’s Board of Education is expected to vote on the school closure plan on Nov. 17, but the proposal has drawn scrutiny from parents, community leaders and several school board directors because of lack of community input. All but one of the 10 schools initially recommended for closure enrolled a higher percentage of students of color than the district overall.
The schools that the district is no longer recommending for closure are:
- Columbian Elementary
- Palmer Elementary
- Colfax Elementary
- Whittier K-8
- Eagleton Elementary
The schools the district is still recommending for closure are:
- Denver Discovery School
- Schmitt Elementary
- Fairview Elementary
- International Academy of Denver at Harrington
- Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy
DPS, the state’s largest district, announced its decision Thursday evening just after neighboring Jeffco Public Schools’ Board of Education voted to close 16 schools in Denver’s suburbs. Both districts are facing declining enrollment, which they say is because of falling birth rates and shifting populations.
Board Vice President Auon’tai Anderson said Thursday evening that he still does not support the district’s plan.
“I’ll be candid, the votes weren’t there to close schools and I will not vote to close these (five),” he tweeted. “The process is flawed regardless of how many…”
“Throughout this two-year process, the district remained committed to engaging with impacted school communities – not only to gather feedback, but also to share information on how the unification efforts will benefit all students,” said Superintendent Alex Marrero in a letter to parents. “As such, I will be modifying the unification recommendation, prioritizing five schools that have received the largest budget assistance.”
“The five schools still being considered for closure “account for more than two-thirds of the nearly $5 million that DPS provides to subsidize the original list of ten schools,” the district said in a news release.