Update 1: Feb. 2-3 meetings of Facilities Planning Steering Committee


Thank you for taking the time to follow the work of the PSD Facilities Steering Committee, which started its work Friday and Saturday to sustain the vibrancy of PSD schools – today and into the future – and address declining student enrollment, smaller budgets, and aging facilities.  

Following guiding principles from the school board and considering community input, the committee will develop 2-3 recommended scenarios with changes to educational program placement and boundary modifications, including school consolidations. Presented with the committee’s recommended scenarios, the PSD Board of Education is scheduled to decide in June 2024 about how to move forward. The committee is leading this work, and the board is the decision-maker. 

Meeting for the first time on Feb. 2 and 3, members of the committee: 

  • Met one another and discussed participation agreements for their work, 
  • Reviewed and discussed information about:  
    • Jeffco and Denver public school districts, which have consolidated schools to address declining enrollment; and the idea of “rightsizing” a school district,  
    • PSD educational programs to serve diverse needs, including International Baccalaureate (IB), Core Knowledge, Project-Based Learning, Leader in Me, Expeditionary Learning, Dual-Language Immersion, Early Childhood Education, STEM, and Alternative High School Programming, as well as the programming and supports provided by Integrated Services, Language, Culture, and Equity, and Student Services. 
    • The Equity Framework, which includes a decision-making tool to assess intent and impact on groups of students, including those who are most marginalized, 
    • The Board of Education’s Guiding Principles, discussed Jan. 23, and a draft rubric with criteria against which the committee could evaluate the scenarios it develops based on the principles. The goal is that the committee use a tool to assess whether its scenarios meet criteria. 
    • FLO Analytics, an outside GIS firm hired by PSD to analyze the district’s boundaries, school capacity, and placement of educational programs. All reports are on the Data and Reports web page on the Long-Range Planning web section. 
    • The committee will develop scenarios. FLO Analytics will develop models to show how these scenarios would unfold, supported by data from PSD staff about related possible financial and operational impacts. 
    • Numerous data, which are on the PSD website and will be used by the committee for its work. These include but aren’t limited to historical and current student enrollment; waitlist totals; capital maintenance estimates for facilities for the next 1-20 years; school capacity; and more. 
  • Discussed questions generated by members of the committee about topics like facilities, finances, communications, equity, and educational programs and school choice. 
  • Received information about the “domino effect” of changing boundaries, also known as school attendance areas. As one boundary is shifted, there is a ripple effect on many other boundaries and, potentially, all other school boundaries.  
  • Discussed initial ideas for potential solutions that might be worth further exploration; this was NOT about determining the merit of any idea or fully fleshing out solutions because it is too early in the process. No draft ideas or possible solutions will be shared now, to preserve the integrity of the group’s work, but preliminary scenarios will be shared publicly at the spring listening sessions. 
    • The committee will discuss possible scenarios. Outside GIS firm FLO Analytics will model those scenarios so the committee can assess how each could unfold. District staff will also provide the committee with associated data for scenarios – think estimated potential costs, educational program and busing impacts, and more. 
  • Brainstormed how the committee should gather input from students and the community. 
  • Discussed next steps, which include:  
    • Listening sessions for the committee to get input on preliminary scenarios.  
    • Representatives of the committee presenting two updates about the work to the Board of Education on March 19 and April 23.  
    • Representatives of the committee presenting the 2-3 recommendations to the Board of Education on May 28.