Aurora is proposing everlasting college closings as district plans for enrollment relocation

Two Aurora schools could close by the end of this school year, and a third would stop accepting sixth graders if the school board approves new recommendations.

Recommendations to close Lyn Knoll Elementary School and convert Century Elementary and South Middle Schools into distance learning centers will be discussed in meetings with the community over the next few weeks. The school board, which has not always seen the district administrators at eye level in long-term planning, is asked to approve the recommendations in January.

The closings are part of the district’s blueprint, a three-year process of creating a long-term facility plan to accommodate the district’s changing enrollments. When looking at facilities, Blueprint also considers educational models that use specific programs in different regions of the district to make decisions about school location.

Enrollment at Aurora Public Schools has been going down for years, but this year the decline has accelerated and the district has had to speed up some of the work. To make matters worse, the eastern aurora is growing rapidly, with more than a dozen housing projects currently being carried out despite the pandemic. The district plans to build new schools to accommodate expected student growth in these areas.

Citing the pandemic, the district has delayed blueprint work for a few months, which has resulted in a shorter period of time between an expected board vote and the school’s closure. Research has shown school closings can negatively impact students, but Munn said no research into school closings was conducted during a pandemic.

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