Will the teachers from the JeffCo elementary school closures be maintained?

Teachers union president JeffCo said 422 jobs will be affected during the closures.

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — The Powderhorn Elementary School campus will be more crowded next year as Colorow Elementary School students move in next fall.

Colorow is one of 16 schools slated to close following the Jefferson County School Board’s vote Thursday night. Elementary schools in Colorow, Emory, Peck, Thomson, Campbell, Peiffer, Green Mountain, Molholm, Glennon Heights, Parr, Sheridan Green, Witt, Vivian, Wilmore Davis and Kullerstrand will all close at the end of this school year. Bergen Meadow Primary School will close in 2024.

Superintendent Tracy Dorland said all of these schools have either low enrollment or low building utilization relative to capacity. Many of them have both.

But, at Thursday’s board meeting, parents expressed frustration that they believe the closures are having an unfair impact on communities of color and students with disabilities.

“You let us down when you castigated members of our community who dared to give you data on how school closures like this affect the most disadvantaged children in our community,” Mollie Crampton said. , parent of children at Vivian Elementary, school. plank.

RELATED: 16 Jeffco schools to close

Once the vote is adopted, the next phase is preparation.

“They will have a great experience at their new school,” said Tom Szczesny, Principal of Powderhorn Elementary.

Szczesny has met families from Colorow Elementary before.

“I look forward in the coming months to planning for the year ahead so that we have a truly successful transition where all students feel seen, valued, heard and connected every day when they come to school,” Szczesny said.

Szczesny is preparing to add about 200 more displaced children from Colorow.

“It’s a very difficult time and we know you might have questions and we know we’re going to have to build trust with you,” Szczesny said.

Szczesny said that in the long run, he believes bigger schools will be more efficient schools.

“What we’re trying to accomplish with this is to make sure that all students at JeffCo have the same access to the same resources, the same opportunities,” Szczesny said.

He anticipates that Powderhorn will add staff to handle the increase in student numbers.

“We average about 21 to 22 kids per class,” Szczesny said.

But, will the teachers come from Colorow with the students?

“We are losing educators and very, very good educators because of this,” said Brooke Williams, president of the Jefferson County Education Association.

After Thursday night’s vote, Williams said the closure of 16 schools means an impact on 422 jobs.

“It’s really important to me that all of our educators feel valued and supported,” Williams said.

She said the teachers’ union is working with the district to make sure people are placed somewhere in the district in hopes that some can follow their children to new schools.

“We expressed that as a desire,” Williams said.

But, under state law, Williams said if teachers wanted to move with their children, they essentially had to reapply and interview again for their same jobs.

“We will also be negotiating early retirement incentives for teachers who want to retire this year to try to save as many jobs as possible,” Williams said.

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