As described in detail in the 2022 Strategic Regional Analysis, an accumulation of changes over the past decade has influenced the landscape of Denver Public Schools. The overall adult population and demographics of Denver residents have changed. An inflow of young working adults, mostly without children, along with a gap between the demand and supply of housing has led to increased housing costs across the city. This, accompanied by lower birth rates, has resulted in a smaller student-age population in the city. This is not unique to Denver as urban areas across the country are experiencing similar trends but these changes have multiple implications for urban school districts. The strongest recent declines in DPS have been at the elementary level which are starting to cross into reductions at the middle school level, which will eventually lead to drops in enrollment at the high school level in the next five years. This makes for a very uncertain environment for new and existing schools in the district.
Based on the forecasts of the Strategic Regional Analysis, DPS has determined that existing and planned schools have more than enough capacity to meet enrollment needs at least through the 2024-2025 school year in all areas of our city. Under the policies of DPS, the district only makes facilities available on the basis of enrollment or restart/turnaround needs. For this reason, DPS does not plan to make any district facilities available to new school applicants that may choose to apply in spring 2023.
Even in this uncertain environment, DPS honors its responsibility under Colorado law to consider new school applications annually. Below are key dates for the 2023 New Quality Schools process. This webpage will be updated periodically with additional information.
- Between March 10 and March 17, 2023: Application deadline.
- March – June, 2023: District review of new school applications, including separate review by the District Accountability Committee (DAC).
- April 3 – April 14, 2023: District hosted community meetings.
- June 1, 2023: DPS Board Work Session for discussion of new school applications.
- June 8, 2023: DPS Board votes on whether to approve or deny each new school application.
Individuals or teams interested in applying through the New Quality Schools process should contact CNQS@dpsk12.org for more information and to ensure they’re included in all communications and updates about the new schools process.