Facilities Planning Steering Committee

Collage of reports.

Committee to evaluate data, engage with community

The Facilities Planning Steering Committee will support the district’s long-range planning efforts and address challenges related to PSD’s declining student enrollment. It is charged with evaluating data and engaging the community to develop its recommendation about how PSD should move forward in the years ahead.  

The committee’s charge 

  • Begin meeting in February 2024. It is starting with a “blank slate.” This means that that committee is not required to move forward with the scenario initially presented by the district in fall 2023. 
  • Develop two to three scenarios and present these to the PSD Board of Education. They must address: 
    • Modification to school attendance areas, including consolidation of schools, 
    • Buildings in which PSD should not invest more capital dollars, and 
    • The placement of educational programs.
    • No changes will go into effect before the 2025-26 school year.    
  • Provide public updates on its work in Board of Education meetings in March and April 2024. Its members will then make a recommendation to the board in May 2024, with the board planning to take action on the committee’s recommendation in June 2024. 

Update 2: Feb. 13 Meeting

Emailed to the PSD community Feb. 14. To see all updates and communications, visit the Long-Range Planning Communication web page

Feb. 13 Key Takeaways:   

  • GIS firm models possible options: FLO Analytics, an outside GIS firm hired by PSD, modeled the committee’s preliminary boundary changes and school consolidation options and presented those to committee members Tuesday. 
  • Identifying, refining options: The committee will be identifying which possible options to move forward with and then identify modifications and additional, alternative options. Additional discussion will take place at the committee’s next meeting. 
  • School board vote coming in June: The Board of Education is scheduled to vote in June 2024 about how to proceed, after considering the committee’s 2-3 recommendations. 

Understanding PSD  

This video series is designed to help our community to learn more about the district’s long-range planning process, the district budget, and more, as our community grapples with declining student enrollment. The first two episodes were released in previous editions of the PSD Now community newsletter, and we thought it was potentially helpful to share them again here.  

EPISODE 1 | What problem is PSD trying to solve? Learn about student enrollment trends 

 

EPISODE 2  | Fact or fiction: When my property taxes go up, PSD gets more money, right?  

 

Committee's guiding principals and rubric

Rubric to assess possible scenarios

The committee plans to use this rubric to assess the possible scenarios that it develops. The rubric is aligned with the guiding principles from the PSD Board of Education. The charge of the committee is to put together two to three recommendations, and its members have expressed a desire to have scenarios align with the rubric criteria as closely as possible. However, our community should be prepared that not all scenarios will meet all criteria, as there are many competing interests the committee is charged with considering.

 

Guiding principals from the Board of Education

During a Long-Range Planning discussion at their Jan. 23, 2024, meeting, the Board of Education established these principles to frame the committee’s work, as it develops recommendations:  

  • Start discussion about consolidation with school buildings that have building utilization around 60-70%.  
  • Aim for enrollment optimization to minimize the budget size factor. On average, that is about 400 students in an elementary school and 700 students in a middle school, with an average class size of 25. These enrollment totals do not fit all schools or programs.  
  • Maximize access for all students to schools and academic programs. Consider physical access and proximity to other schools, geographic location, ADA, and curricular demand.  
  • Maximize program continuity K-12 in terms of school location and at each level. 
  • Consider data about current and previous school waitlists and be curious about why those waitlists exist. Keep in mind, the reasons a family chooses a school are vast and varied. Consider whether there is potential for program expansion. 
  • Consider all creative grade configurations (i.e. K-6, K-8 or other school models) to address program demand, create greater building efficiency, and address growing enrollment on the east side of the district. 
  • Using data from the McKinstry studies, PSD, and other sources, consider all aspects and costs associated with continued use of current district facilities (i.e. efficiency score, ADA compliance, overall condition, operations and maintenance needs, cost to install air conditioning, early childhood, flexibility of space inside building).  
  • Consider how existing schools, particularly on the west side of the district, can be used in a way that increases their building utilization.  
  • Consider how boundary modifications could address growing enrollment on the east side of the district, now and in the next five years in lieu of constructing new facilities, which takes time and requires passage of a ballot measure. Ballot measures are outside the scope of this committee. 

Committee Members and Representation

Committee members represent: 

  • Alternative and Expeditionary Learning programs (Polaris, PCA, Centennial) and Transitions Pathways (Integrated Services, which supports PSD students with disabilities) 
  • Fort Collins High School feeder schools 
  • Fossil Ridge High School feeder schools  
  • Rocky Mountain High School feeder schools  
  • Poudre High School feeder schools 
  • PSD Central Office  
  • Timnath feeder schools 
  • Wellington feeder schools 
  • Community members without students in PSD schools 

Members are listed by: name, role/representation (feeder, if applicable). 

  • Aaron Vogt, administrator (Alternative)      
  • Amy Hoseth, parent (Fossil)     
  • Andrew Spain, parent (Alternative)
  • Bobby Decker III, classified staff (Fort Collins)
  • Bonnie Jacobi, parent (Fossil)  
  • Conrad Crist, administrator (Rocky)     
  • Donald Kotnik, administrator (Fort Collins)      
  • Eliot Parks, parent (Rocky)      
  • Jacqui Walz, licensed staff (Alternative)      
  • Janet Mann, classified staff (Rocky)     
  • Jeni Cross, parent (Alternative)      
  • Jesse Morrill, administrator (Timnath)    
  • Jessica Kuhn, parent (Wellington)  
  • Jodie Riesenberger, parent (Fort Collins)      
  • John Robinson, Poudre Education Association (N/A)  
  • Joni Baker, Association of Classified Employees (N/A)   
  • Josh Richey, Poudre Association of School Executives (Fort Collins)     
  • Kaitlyn Folmer, parent (Wellington)
  • Kara Harbison, administrator (Fossil)      
  • Lindsay Ex, parent (Poudre)      
  • Lynne Scalia, community            
  • Marc Buffington, administrator (Wellington)      
  • Maria Ortiz, classified staff (Central)      
  • Martin Johns, parent (Fort Collins) 
  • Matthew Liberati, community          
  • Melissa Hodson, licensed staff (Poudre)     
  • Micah Nielsen, licensed staff (Fort Collins)    
  • Michael Witiw, parent (Timnath)
  • Paul Schkade, licensed staff (Rocky)     
  • Rebecca Everette, parent (Poudre)     
  • Rochelle Morse, classified staff (Poudre)      
  • Rusty Quinlan, licensed staff (Wellington)      
  • Steven Apodaca, administrator (Poudre)      
  • Tiffany Danford, parent (Timnath)   
  • Whitney Hersh, licensed staff (Timnath)      
  • Will Cordan, classified staff (Timnath)     
  • Xali Sommers, parent (Rocky)      

 

More about the Committee's composition

There are 37 total representatives: 

  • 34 selected through an application process  
    • 18 staff members  
      • 6 licensed staff 
      • 5 classified staff 
      • 7 administrative staff 
  • 14 parents/guardians  
    • 2 from each feeder, including alternative/transitions programs 
  • 2 community representatives 
  • 3 employee association appointees (Poudre Association of School Executives, Association of Classified Employees, Poudre Education Association) 

NOTE: Four seats were unfilled due to lack of applications (3 classified, 1 licensed). 

 

Committee Selection Process

An application was sent to the entire PSD community in December 2023, and 76 applications were received in the first round.  

Applications for all available seats were not received in the first round. To ensure the greatest representation possible, PSD put out an additional call for applications. Thirty-one applications were received in the second round.  

Applications were reviewed and scored with a rubric by PSD staff and a representative from Colorado State University’s Institute for the Built Environment (the external facilitator working with the PSD Facilities Planning Steering Committee).

An external facilitator will guide the committee  

The district has hired the Institute for the Built Environment at Colorado State University (IBE) to facilitate the Facilities Planning Steering Committee. The organization structures, guides, and facilitates collaborative processes that focus on place-based sustainability, climate transitions, and equity.  

Through a competitive process, PSD contracted services from the Institute for the Built Environment because it is an external, third-party organization with the capacity to facilitate engagement for significant community issues and projects. Staff also felt there was a benefit in working with a local organization that has context around the uniqueness of our communities – within PSD and Northern Colorado.  

Learn more about the IBE on the organization’s website

Contact Information

Chief of Staff
Lauren Hooten| lhooten@psdschools.org  

Chief Information Officer 
Madeline Noblett | mnoblett@psdschools.org