Emory Elementary holds final public hearing on Jeffco District consolidation plan

Andrew Fraieli
afraieli@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 11/7/22

Emory Elementary, slated for closure along with 15 other elementary schools if the Jeffco Board of Education votes to pass the District's plan on Nov. 10, had its final individual opportunity to speak out Nov. 3.

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Emory Elementary holds final public hearing on Jeffco District consolidation plan

Posted

Emory Elementary, slated for closure along with 15 other elementary schools if the Jeffco Board of Education votes to pass the District's plan on Nov. 10, had its final individual opportunity to speak out Nov. 3.

This was also the final public hearing before the vote, and parents and teachers alike spoke out against the consolidations. 

Many families and teachers at Emory see the possibility of consolidations as a broken promise from the District, as they have faced consolidations before when Rose Stein Elementary originally closed, pushing families to what is now Emory.

“I’ve been at Emory forever, since my girls were at Rose Stein,” said Ana Porras, a parent who spoke at the hearing. “We were told to leave, ‘it’s going to close’ — but it’s still there. We’re at it again.” 

“It was really tough for us to move from Stein, and the community felt it, and they said, ‘We are going to make this a viable dual-language program at that particular school,’" explained Emory teacher Kendra Smith. Now, she said, “I feel like the community is being retraumatized again.”

The dual-language program is another major concern for Emory families, as much of the school and community is Hispanic. The District has said that the dual-language program will move to Lasley, but parents are still worried. Porras began to cry when she tried to express the stress of finding another dual-language school nearby, wishing the District had given parents more time so they weren’t rushing.

“You’re not giving us another way to see the District as liars. You’re not,” she continued, going on to say, similar to parents in past meetings, that it feels like the decision has been made before it even came up for parents to speak out.

One parent, Christian Rubi, spoke specifically about Emory’s community being welcoming compared to other schools where his kids were bullied for speaking Spanish. “The difference is just tremendous (at Emory),” he said.

As this was a public hearing, the Board did not respond to community members’ comments, only listened. The final vote is at 5 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Board's regular meeting.

“Let’s be thoughtful about this decision and not have the same ripple effects that happened when they moved us from Stein over to O’Connell,” said Smith, referring to Emory’s previous name. “We don’t necessarily care about the walls that we are in, we want to make sure that our community is not ripped apart.”

Emory, Lasley, Elementary closures, consolidation, schools, Jeffco

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