Adams 14 Board of Education Votes to Merge Schools Amid Declining Enrollment
Feb. 15, 2023, COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — In a 3 to 2 vote on Tuesday evening, the Adams County School District 14 (Adams 14) Board of Education made a decision to merge Hanson Elementary School (Hanson) students and Monaco Elementary School (Monaco) at the Monaco building, and relocate Lester Arnold High School (LAHS) students to the former Hanson building by August 2023. The decision also calls for the construction of new lab classrooms in the Hanson building to accommodate the Health Professions and Human Services Academy at Adams City High School. The merger allows the district to continue providing students with a high-quality education while mitigating the adverse financial and educational effects of lower student enrollment.
In addition, the board directed Adams 14 Superintendent Dr. Karla Loría to develop a PK-6 or K-6 curriculum for all elementary schools by August 2024; have each elementary school adopt an academy theme by 2025; and begin the planning process of a phased merging of the district’s two middle schools, Adams City Middle School and Kearney Middle School, into one junior high school serving grades 7-8 by the 2027-2028 school year.
Consistent with statewide trends, Adams 14 has seen its share of declining enrollment at its schools, with Hanson and Monaco being the two schools with the lowest enrollment. The board’s decision comes after several community feedback meetings that started last school year and careful analysis. The merging of the two schools, Hanson and Monaco, will be the first step in the district’s 10-year strategic plan, which is academically robust, helps to achieve equity for all students, and is financially stable.
“We know that tonight’s decision will be heartbreaking and difficult to understand for some of our families,” said Reneé Lovato, Adams 14 Board of Education president. “We just hope that our families trust that this long-term vision is in the best interests of our students, community, and district – providing an equitable high-quality education and additional programs and services to support all of our students’ needs.”