Jeffco considers middle school closures as it moves to next phase of consolidations

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Jeffco Public Schools is laying out a roadmap for the next phase of school closures and consolidation in anticipation of fewer students enrolling next year and for several years to come.

Recommendations for middle school closures could come as soon as August under a resolution the school board is expected to approve this week. The resolution would put a moratorium on any high school closures while the district works on other plans around the future of high school.

Jeffco is planning to take a more comprehensive look over the next year at enrollment patterns, school boundaries, and feeder zones, as it considers which schools to close and where to consolidate. The resolution also lays out unsustainable enrollment as a factor for middle school closures, as well as one new factor: the accountability clock.

Being on the state’s accountability clock — the name for when schools have recorded low state ratings for many years in a row — could lead to a school closure. The state gives schools limited time to improve academic performance before it steps in and can order a plan for improvement, which can include turning a school into a charter school or closing it.

Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news site covering educational change in public schools.

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