Facilities Planning Steering Committee

Collage of reports.

Committee evaluates data, engages with community

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

The district 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. The committee began meeting in February 2024 with a "blank slate," meaning they were not required to focus on the scenario presented by the district in fall 2023. 

The committee’s charge 

  • 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 
    • Placement of educational programs.
    • No changes will go into effect before the 2025-26 school year.    
  • Provide public updates on its work to the Board in March, April and May 2024.

 

May 20 update: Committee's work ends with board vote to end Long-Range Planning process

This update follows the May 15 announcement of changes to the Long-Range Planning process. >>

During a special meeting on May 20, PSD Board of Education voted unanimously to end the current Long Range Planning process. With this vote, the work of the Facilities Planning Steering Committee has also ended and there will be no school closures or consolidations for the 2025-26 school year.  

  • Members of the steering committee will present a debrief and reflection on their work and the long-range planning process at the board’s May 28 meeting. 
  • The one-hour community meetings with board members on June 4 will continue to be offered. 
  • With this decision, the board will not vote on scenarios at its June 11 meeting. 
  • The board voted to ask staff to determine the feasibility of finding another space to house Transitions Pathways/Programs starting in 2025-26. 
  • The board voted to ask staff to determine the feasibility of finding another space to house Poudre Community Academy (PCA) starting in 2025-26. Staff charged with finding new homes for Transitions Pathways/Programs and PCA will bring recommendations as to where these programs might be housed to a Board of Education meeting this fall. 
  • Additional opportunities to engage in conversation with the board will be scheduled in the future.  

Note: All updates from the committee, other communications and definitions of key terms are available on the Long-Range Planning Communication web page.

 

Background

Note: The Board voted May 20 to halt the Long-Range Planning process. The scenarios below are no longer under consideration and are presented to show the work and history of the process.  

Revised Scenarios

Members of the Facilities Planning Steering Committee presented the revised four scenarios for potential boundary modifications and school consolidations to the PSD Board of Education at their May 14 meeting. 

 

In March, the committee presented the board with scenarios labeled A1, A2, B, and C. These scenarios have been revised and are now labeled D1, D2, E, and F. Details of these scenarios are below. 

Revised Scenarios 

Changes included in every scenario:  

  • Close Beattie Elementary School and adjust boundaries to send students currently in Beattie’s attendance area to Lopez and Bennett elementary schools. 
  • Close Blevins Middle School and adjust boundaries to send students currently in Blevins’ attendance area to Lincoln and Webber middle schools. 
  • Close Johnson Elementary School and adjust boundaries to send students currently in Johnson’s attendance area to Olander and McGraw elementary schools. 
  • Balance enrollment among schools east of Interstate 25 by shifting boundaries between Timnath, Bethke, and Bamford elementary schools. 

Scenario D1

Scenario D1

DRAFT Boundary Maps - These are draft boundaries for committee analysis purposes. Exact boundaries still need to be defined.

 Scenario D1 ES Map | Scenario D1 MS Map | Scenario D1 HS Map

 

Details:

  • Close Beattie Elementary School and adjust boundaries to send students currently in Beattie’s attendance area to Lopez and Bennett elementary schools. 
  • Close Blevins Middle School and adjust boundaries to send students currently in Blevins’ attendance area to Lincoln and Webber middle schools.  
  •  Close Cache La Poudre Elementary School and reassign students to Irish, Putnam, and Tavelli elementary schools. 
  • Close Cache La Poudre Middle School and reassign students to Lincoln Middle School. 
  • Close Johnson Elementary School and adjust boundaries to send students currently in Johnson’s attendance area to Olander and McGraw elementary schools. 
  • Close Linton Elementary School and reassign students primarily to Kruse Elementary School. Boundaries for Bacon, Kruse, Werner, and Zach would be adjusted to accommodate this shift. 
  • Keep Irish and Putnam elementary schools’ boundaries the same, but students in kindergarten through second grade could attend either school and have busing to either school. Any new students in grades 3-5 in either attendance boundary would be assigned to Putnam.  
    • Irish would be promoted as a dual language school with guaranteed busing for Spanish-speaking students, who could enroll at Irish year-round.
    • Putnam would become a Core Knowledge school. 
  •  Adjust boundaries so Bamford Elementary students would attend Preston Middle School and Fossil Ridge High School for grades 6-12 instead of Timnath Middle-High School. 
  • Balance enrollment among schools east of Interstate 25 by shifting boundaries between Timnath, Bethke, and Bamford elementary schools. 

    Scenario D2

    Scenario D2

    DRAFT Boundary Maps - These are draft boundaries for committee analysis purposes. Exact boundaries still need to be defined.

     Scenario D2 ES Map | Scenario D2 MS Map | Scenario D2 HS Map

     

    Details:

    • Close Beattie Elementary School and adjust boundaries to send students currently in Beattie’s attendance area to Lopez and Bennett elementary schools. 
    • Close Blevins Middle School and adjust boundaries to send students currently in Blevins’ attendance area to Lincoln and Webber middle schools.  
    • Close Boltz Middle School and reassign most students to Preston Middle School, with some parts of the attendance area being absorbed by Lesher Middle School. The dual language program at Boltz would move to Lincoln Middle School.  
    • Close Johnson Elementary School and adjust boundaries to send students currently in Johnson’s attendance area to Olander and McGraw elementary schools. 
    • Close Linton Elementary School and reassign students primarily to Kruse Elementary School. Boundaries for Bacon, Kruse, Werner, and Zach would be adjusted to accommodate this shift. 
    • Relocate Polaris into the vacated Johnson Elementary building (see Johnson above). 
    • Relocate Irish to the vacated Polaris building (formerly the Moore Elementary School building). Irish would continue to have a dual immersion model in its new location but would become a 100% choice school with no neighborhood attendance boundaries. The Irish attendance boundary area would be absorbed by Cache La Poudre and Putnam elementary schools, with adjustments to the boundaries for Dunn and Tavelli. 
    • Adjust boundaries so Bamford Elementary students would attend Preston Middle School and Fossil Ridge High School for grades 6-12 instead of Timnath Middle-High School. 
    • Balance enrollment among schools east of Interstate 25 by shifting boundaries between Timnath, Bethke, and Bamford elementary schools. 

      Scenario E

      Scenario E

      DRAFT Boundary Maps - These are draft boundaries for committee analysis purposes. Exact boundaries still need to be defined.  

      Scenario E ES Map | Scenario E MS Map | Scenario E HS Map

       

      Details: 

      • Consolidate Harris and Linton elementary schools into a three-track dual immersion school to be located at the Linton elementary building. Linton would retain some of its current neighborhood attendance area. Current Harris students could choice into Linton or Irish. 
      • Close Preston Middle School and change Kinard Core Knowledge Middle School from a 100% choice school to a neighborhood school.  
        • Bacon, Bamford, and Zach students would attend Kinard for middle school. Students from other elementary schools in Preston’s current attendance boundaries would go to Boltz for middle school.  
        • Bethke and Timnath Elementary students would continue to attend Timnath Middle-High School for middle and high school.  
      • Relocate Polaris into the vacated Johnson Elementary building (see Johnson below). 
      • Relocate Irish to the vacated Polaris building (formerly the Moore Elementary School building). Irish would continue to have a dual immersion model in its new location but would become a 100% choice school with no neighborhood attendance boundaries. The Irish attendance boundary area would be absorbed by Cache La Poudre and Putnam elementary schools, with adjustments to the boundaries for Dunn and Tavelli. 
      • Close Beattie Elementary School and adjust boundaries to send students currently in Beattie’s attendance area to Lopez and Bennett elementary schools. 
      • Close Blevins Middle School and adjust boundaries to send students currently in Blevins’ attendance area to Lincoln and Webber middle schools. 
      • Close Johnson Elementary School and adjust boundaries to send students currently in Johnson’s attendance area to Olander and McGraw elementary schools. 
      • Balance enrollment among schools east of Interstate 25 by shifting boundaries between Timnath, Bethke, and Bamford elementary schools. 

      Scenario F

      Scenario F

      DRAFT Boundary Maps - These are draft boundaries for committee analysis purposes. Exact boundaries still need to be defined.

       Scenario F ES Map | Scenario F MS Map | Scenario F HS Map

       

      Details:

      • Close Beattie Elementary School and adjust boundaries to send students currently in Beattie’s attendance area to Lopez and Bennett elementary schools. 
      • Close Blevins Middle School and adjust boundaries to send students currently in Blevins’ attendance area to Lincoln and Webber middle schools. 
      • Close Johnson Elementary School and adjust boundaries to send students currently in Johnson’s attendance area to Olander and McGraw elementary schools. 
      • Close Linton Elementary School and reassign students primarily to Kruse Elementary School. Boundaries for Bacon, Kruse, Werner, and Zach would be adjusted to accommodate this shift. 
      • Close Putnam Elementary School and reassign students to Dunn, Irish, Tavelli, and Cache La Poudre Elementary School.  Students in kindergarten through second grade in the expanded Irish attendance area could choose between Irish and CLPE and receive busing to either school. New students in grades 3-5 in the expanded Irish attendance area would be automatically assigned to CLPE. 
      • Make Timnath Middle-High School a high school only and reassign middle school students in TMHS boundaries to Preston Middle School. 
      • Balance enrollment among schools east of Interstate 25 by shifting boundaries between Timnath, Bethke, and Bamford elementary schools. 

      Guiding principles, criteria and equity guidelines 

      Criteria and Equity Guidelines: The Facilities Planning Steering Committee has identified criteria and equity guidelines to guide their work in developing and evaluating scenarios for change.

      Rubric to assess possible scenarios: The committee will 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 want 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 - Board Resolution for Guiding Principles

      During a Long-Range Planning discussion in January, 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. 

       

      Why we are doing this and why it's necessary

      We can’t wait any longer to do something. PSD has been experiencing declining student enrollment for multiple years and is projected to lose about 10% of enrollment in the next several years.  

      That translates to a roughly $40 million problem over the next five years – or a loss of about $8 million per year. In a district where roughly 85% of the budget goes to pay for people, that is significant.  

      A good portion of that $8 million currently goes to support schools that are underenrolled. We must right-size our school district now to remain healthy and sustainable for years to come. 

      This isn’t the only way PSD is addressing this financial reality. Schools and departments are looking for possible efficiency as part of the annual budgeting process.  

       

      Frequently Asked Questions

      What were the first possible options presented March 19, 2024?

      The Facilities Planning Steering Committee presented the first possible options for boundary modifications, school consolidations and educational program changes to the PSD Board of Education March 19, 2024. 

      These first options are available here to show the history of the process. Revised versions were announced May 10. The revised versions are also no longer being considered with the board's May 20 vote to end the current Long-Range Planning process. 

      The committee gathered feedback about these options through public listening sessions held in March and April and through a questionnaire. Listening Sessions and Community Engagement >>

      Drafts of first options and boundary maps for schools

      Why do we need to consolidate schools?

      • PSD  is facing a decline in student enrollment. PSD has 256 fewer students in the current school year than it did in the previous year. This is a decades-long trend and is estimated to continue. Our enrollment may decline by as much as 10% over the next several years. 
      • Like other school districts, our budgets are primarily based on the number of students who attend our schools. With 10% fewer students, the district will lose 10% of its overall funding. This translates to a $40 million deficit over five years, or about $8 million each year. School consolidations can play an important role in addressing the projected annual budget shortfall. 
      • Running smaller and smaller schools with less and less funding means that schools will not be able to provide the same services and supports for students. This could mean that schools no longer have full-time specials teachers (i.e. art, music, physical education, etc.), counselors and other positions. Other aspects of district operations may also be altered including, for example, bussing, athletics, extracurricular activities, and more. 
      • By consolidating schools, we can make our schools more efficient and minimize the number of staff and budget dollars that must be cut as a result of declining student enrollment. It’s also important to remember that keeping buildings and repurposing them for uses other than educating students still saves money.

      Why do we have fewer students in our district? 

      Empty seats are due to a combination of factors, but are primarily due to people having fewer children (declining birth rates). The trend of having fewer children has been happening for decades across Colorado and the nation. 
      Additional information is available on the Long-Range Planning web section of the PSD website, which has content including this presentation by the state demographer: https://youtu.be/3jYStzBkN9s

       

      If communities across the region are growing, why do we need to consolidate schools?

      • Despite population growth in our communities, there are about 2,000 fewer students enrolled in PSD now than there were in the past. At its peak, PSD's enrollment exceeded 30,000 students.
      • The population growth in our community is also largely occurring in older age demographics, not among school-aged children. 
      • Communities across the district are growing at different rates. We are seeing more families with school-aged children moving to Timnath and Wellington, and fewer families with school-aged children on the west side of Fort Collins. Some areas may require new schools while others will have to consolidate. 
         

      What are the benefits that come with consolidating schools?

      • Schools that are operating at low capacity are less able to serve student needs because they are not able to sustainably provide resources like full-time specials teachers, counselors, among other positions. By optimizing enrollment in schools across the district, we can reduce the district’s financial burden while providing more comprehensive services and supports to students that result in better educational outcomes. 
      • Based on the work of principals and district finance staff a couple years ago, the optimal student enrollment of an elementary school is a minimum of 400, and the optimal middle school enrollment is a minimum of 700. 
      • Emptied buildings can be repurposed for beneficial uses including earthly childhood centers, better facilities for existing alternative and Integrated Services support, and staff training facilities, among other possible uses. 

      What else is the district doing to save money? 

      • As enrollment continues to decline in our schools, school and central budgets are being reduced. This means that the number of staff across PSD are also being reduced.
      • The district has also more aggressively pursued grant funding in recent years, bringing in millions of additional dollars over the years. The challenge with grant dollars, however, is that they eventually need to be replaced or phased out.

      What happens if we don’t take action? 

      If schools are not consolidated, PSD would need to continue reducing staff, including teachers, and support staff. Cost savings to reduce the number of staff reductions are made most possible through consolidations. 
       

      When will changes go into effect?

      • The School Board will vote on changes proposed by the steering committee in June 2024. 
      • Changes will go into effect for the 2025-26 school year. 

       

      Steering Committee

      Who is serving on the committee?

      There are 37 members on the committee, including 14 parents/guardians, 18 PSD staff, two community-at-large members, and three representatives from employee associations. 

      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)      

       

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

        How were committee members selected?

        • 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).

        What is the committee’s role?

        • The committee is charged with developing 2-3 viable scenarios, with community input, that include districtwide options for school consolidations, boundary revisions, and educational program placement.  
        • The Board of Education offered a set of Guiding Principles to orient the committee’s work. 
        • The committee was provided with extensive data and information and was charged with developing scenarios. District staff and consultants have been providing support, data, and analysis to the committee as they complete their work. All data is available on the PSD LRP Data and Reports web page.  
           

        Who did PSD hire to facilitate 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

        How did the committee come up with scenarios and how were they modeled?

        • The committee met for two full days in early February to learn about enrollment issues and begin to strategize around possible solutions. 
        • Committee members submitted initial ideas to FLO Analytics, an outside GIS firm, that specializes in school district modeling for consolidation and boundary revisions. 
        • FLO presented modeling results to the committee. Members used this information to generate a second and third round of scenarios, which were then modeled. 
        • The committee has met numerous times throughout spring 2024.
        • The committee will use a rubric to assess the possible scenarios that it develops. The rubric is aligned with the guiding principles from the PSD Board of Education. Information about the guiding principles and rubric is available higher up on this web page. 

        How will possible options, also known as scenarios, be finalized?

        • Draft scenarios, also called possible options, were presented to the entire PSD community (students, parents, teachers, administrators, staff, and the Board of Education) through a series of online and in-person presentations and listening sessions. An online questionnaire was used to help gather community input, particularly for those unable to attend an in-person listening session. 
        • The Committee announced updated revised scenarios on May 10 and community members may share feedback about those in a questionnaire, available May 10-19.
        • The committee presented the revised scenarios to the Board of Education at their May 14 meeting.
        • PSD staff will present board-requested information at the May 28 Board of Education meeting.  
        • The Board will host multiple listening sessions on June 4 and is still scheduled at this time to vote on potential scenarios on June 11.

        What are the committee's guiding principals and criteria and equity guidelines while developing possible scenarios and rubric for assessment?

        Criteria and Equity Guidelines

        The Facilities Planning Steering Committee has identified the criteria and equity guidelines included in this document to guide their work in developing and evaluating scenarios for change.

        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 in January, 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. 

         

        Equity Impacts

        How are at-risk students being taken into account?

        • The district is committed to prioritizing equitable engagement and outcomes for at-risk and marginalized students. 
        • The steering committee created Equity Guidelines as part of their work by reviewing articles and best practices from other school districts facing school consolidations.  
        • The committee has actively considered data on demographics, including household income, race and ethnicity, language, housing status, and special education needs. 
           

        How can we be sure the outreach process is equitable?

        • The steering committee has been working with staff from the Language, Culture & Equity Department to ensure that the outreach process is equitable. 
        • Interpretation services are available at all listening sessions, with one listening session being conducted in Spanish and another in Arabic. 
        • At the request of the committee, three new engagement opportunities have been added: an online listening session to improve accessibility, plus two sessions where community members can share their thoughts directly with the Board of Education. 
           

        What about alternative school programs?

        • It is possible that some alternative programs will be asked to relocate to a new space, share their space with other programs, or consolidate with other programs. 
        • The committee recognizes that alternative programs serve some of our most marginalized and at-risk students, so it is crucial to optimize the facilities and resources available for these programs. 
           

         

        Calculations: Size Factor & Building Utilization 

        What is the “size factor” and why is it an issue?

        • Each year the district provides additional funds to schools that have lower enrollment so that those schools are able to provide the same level of education and services as schools with higher enrollments. This is called a “size factor adjustment.” 
        • For the 2023-24 school year, the district allocated about $6.6 million of additional funding to smaller schools to compensate for their lower enrollment numbers. 
        • These schools aren’t doing anything wrong. They’re not “failing” or underperforming. We have high-performing schools across PSD that are below, at, and above the target student enrollment totals. 
        • The committee aims to reduce the “size factor” through school consolidation. The size factor will not entirely go away, but even a partial reduction would be a huge help in addressing the district’s financial challenges.
           

        How did the district get to the target enrollment numbers (400 and 700)?

        • Each year, principals are responsible for creating their school budget based on the number of students enrolled in their school. Several school principals participated in a budgeting exercise to determine how many students were needed to provide full, well-rounded educational services. 
        • Through this process, it was determined that keeping school enrollment at or above approximately 400 students for elementary schools and at or above approximately 700 students for middle schools provides sufficient funding to support comprehensive programming, resources, and support staff. 
        • Not all schools will be able to meet these enrollment numbers due to limitations on their building size and location. However, the goal of school consolidations is to bring enrollment totals at more schools closer to the target enrollment numbers.
           

        Why are we using building utilization as one way to evaluate options?

        • Building utilization is a helpful metric because it sets a baseline for the number of students that can occupy our spaces. Building utilization calculations also help us to see ways to improve building use efficiency and/or ways to change how buildings are used. 
        • Building utilization is tied to enrollment and budgets. 
        • Some buildings are being utilized at less than 50% of their calculated capacity, which means that space is not being used effectively. As stewards of taxpayer dollars, we want to ensure that we’re using our resources as effectively and efficiently as possible and maintaining our community’s assets.
           

         

        Implementation

        Is transportation a consideration?

        • Yes. The committee has been considering walk zones, driving time, and access to public transportation as part of this process.
        • The committee is especially attentive to drive times for rural communities. 
           

        What happens to a building if a school is closed?

        • The district aims to repurpose empty buildings for alternative and transitional programs, Early Childhood Education, and office space for staff. 
        • If a building goes from being a school to a professional development space, for example, the maintenance and long-term operating costs will decrease. PSD would defer maintenance on these buildings to instead prioritize more immediate investment in buildings that are being used by students more regularly. 
           

        How will the changes affect families’ school of choice options? 

        The district acknowledges that maintaining school of choice is important to families; about 30% of PSD students today use school of choice. School choice is also a part of state law in Colorado.
         

        How will PSD staff be impacted by consolidations?

        As schools are consolidated, it is likely that there are currently more licensed, classified, and administrative/professional staff than will be needed. Human Resources will lead a process of placing employees in open positions, to the extent possible, across the district in accordance with our Employee Agreement. It is likely that we will see reductions in staff across the district as consolidations occur. 
         

        Is the committee responsible for implementing the changes that are adopted by the Board of Education? 

        No. Although the committee is considering things like transportation, equity and more, the committee is not responsible for implementing the changes ultimately adopted. 
        This will be the second step in this process, likely taken on by one or multiple groups, including staff. They would work through things such as: What will it look like for a school to finish out its last school year in 2024-25? What is the long-term plan to support students, staff, and families in impacted school communities? What needs to happen to move XYZ educational program to a different location? 
         

        Contact Information

        Have a question or idea you want to share?

        Email
        longrangeplanning@psdschools.org

        Chief of Staff
        Lauren Hooten| lhooten@psdschools.org  

        Chief Information Officer 
        Madeline Novey | mnovey@psdschools.org