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If you keep building, where will our kids go to school?

Thursday, May 21, 2009 Leave a Comment

Our Stapleton school overcrowding problem is a bigger problem, apparently, than we thought.

According to the Denver Post today, "They'll barely have enough seats in August and will far exceed capacity by 2010. The 11 kindergarten classes slated for next year double the number from two years earlier."

Denver Public Schools blames Forest City for not giving accurate projections. Forest City blames the economy. Since 25% of Denver's newborns are Stapleton residents, we can blame the Forest City marketing machine that promised us schools and a sustainable new community. They keep selling more and more homes to young families, and our schools can't keep up with the demand. That's not sustainable.

Those of us with preschoolers have already experienced the overcrowding, with lots of kids not getting into the ECE programs at our public schools. My 3 year old son was #19 on the BOYS waitlist. That's crazy.

When we were considering moving here -- and spending top dollar to do so -- we were hoping for better quality schools. One of our friends who lives here said, "If the schools here fail, it's our own fault."

In just two years, it's clear the quality of the schools is top-notch -- if only all our kids could get in. My 3 year old has two good friends from the neighborhood, and next fall, they will all go to different preschools. Only one got into Bill Roberts, because he has siblings there. That's crazy.

I say it's a good time to start a great private school in this part of town.

6 comments »

  • Anonymous said:  

    From what I understand, the Odyessy Charter school only takes 3% of its students from Stapleton, but occupies 50% of Westerly Creeks building. I say that we look into moving Odyssey somewhere else and using those classrooms for Stapleton residents.

  • Anonymous said:  

    Stapleton Schools Community Meeting Planned for August 5

    There will be a community meeting hosted by DPS for the Stapleton Community on August 5, 2009 at 6:45 PM at William Roberts School.

    DPS will share information regarding potential plans for addressing the need for additional school options in Stpleton, gather community input, and respond to community questions.

    Stapleton residents are strongly encouraged to attend this meeting as it will be a productive way to get detailed information directly from DPS, to give input directly to DPS officials, and to get specific questions answered.

  • Liz said:  

    Odyssey may be moving out of Westerly Creek's building
    see http://abettereducation.blogspot.com/2009/05/expeditionary-learning-interview-with.html

  • Anonymous said:  

    Also a mom here with hopes of ECE but it is a privelege not a right. Not all districts even offer such programs. Yes yes, we pay high taxes, but thats the price for new infrastructure.

  • Anonymous said:  

    If I were to solve the school problem I would:

    1) Move Oddysey out of Westerly Creek to free up those classrooms - for maybe another 150-220 kids?

    2) Move the middle school kids at Bill Roberts to another school. Most of them are not from the neighborhood, and their behavior at school (using the "f" word and making out in the halls) is not an example I want my kids to see. And you?

    3) Consider eliminating the ECE classes. They are a "nice to have" but we "must have" kindergarten spaces over ECE spaces. I have heard that DPS can easily build a primary center for ECE in Stapleton, so if the demand is there lets address ECE needs that way. But Kindergarten must come first.

  • Anonymous said:  

    i think the 'primary center' option includes kinder - as it is part of the dps tuition based programs. i'd rather kinder stays with each school.

    what do we do with the middle schoolers then in another year or two when we do need space for them too? build? bus to other schools? what are the options??