Creating a Sustainable D51


Elementary Declining Enrollment Committee

On March 16, the District 51 Board of Education approved a resolution to move forward with forming a committee to address declining enrollment at the elementary school level in District 51.

Click the button below to read about more about the committee's responsibilities, their progress, and updates regarding their biweekly meetings. 

Elementary Declining Enrollment Committee IconElementary Declining Enrollment Committee Report      

About Declining Enrollment in D51

Over the past couple of months, District 51 has been engaged in various planning and budgetary discussions regarding the declining enrollment in the district due in part to the COVID-19 Pandemic and other demographic factors affecting birth rates and school populations. During a January Board meeting, Shannon Bingham, who serves as our demographer, presented an overview of our current student enrollment numbers and where those numbers are projected to head in the coming years. This topic has been front and center in the state and national media as of late, as the trend of declining student enrollment is a reality across the country. A report released by CDE in January noted that the state of Colorado is down over 3,000 students this year compared to last year, and we are down over 1,300 students since the 2018/2019 school year. Following the research that has been presented by the district’s demographer, D51 is proactively considering various strategies to address our district’s enrollment numbers.

Our Path Forward

As we explore options for Creating a Sustainable D51, we encourage our community to actively engage and participate in conversations surrounding this issue. As our enrollment continues to decline, it leads to inefficient and unsustainable staffing, difficulties with providing adequate services for students, such as special education services and multiple course offerings, underutilization of facilities, and increased safety risks. This topic ties in with our Strategic Plan Focus Areas of having Prepared and Supported Students & Staff and our Strategic Plan Priority Area of modeling Transparent & Effective Resource Allocation.

Follow along for the latest news, updates, and information regarding the process and where we are at.

Key Issues Regarding this Topic

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Creating a Sustainable D51 

Latest News, Updates, and Resources

In seeking community involvement and input regarding this process, District 51 hosted two community town hall meetings during the first week of February to share information with our stakeholders regarding declining enrollment. Following those town hall meetings, our demographer presented to the Board of Education on Tuesday, February 7th to discuss initial survey data collected from the two community surveys that were sent out.

The first survey was a general enrollment survey and addressed declining enrollment and strategic options for addressing the issue, re: replacing old buildings and combining smaller programs. The second survey focused on the grade configuration of our Fruita area schools. The surveys were closed on Thursday, February 9th, after receiving nearly 4,000 surveys between the two options.

Data Collection from D51 Enrollment & Fruita School Configuration Surveys

Financial Enrollment Data Demographer Enrollment Presentation Demographer Recommendation Presentation CO State Demographer Presentation Icon FAQ 

Open House

School District 51 is continuing to address declining enrollment at the elementary school level and we want to ensure that all voices from our staff, students, families, and community are involved in that process.

We are inviting you to the Elementary Declining Enrollment Committee Open House on Thursday, June 29, at Orchard Mesa Middle School from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. And Wednesday, July 12 (Location TBD) from 5:30 - 7:00 p.m. There will also be a community discussion through Facebook Live on July 5 at 5:30 p.m. We want everyone to come and participate in asking questions, learn about the process, and express their thoughts.

If you have questions or would like more information you can call (970) 254-5872 or email [email protected]


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Changing Demographics Small School Size Building Condtions Fruita Grand Configuration Financial Implications Enrollment Survey