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Boundary Study

The 2023-24 Jeffco Public Schools boundary study looks at enrollment trends, school choices, and programs to find ways to operate more efficiently and provide equal, high-quality education throughout the district.

Why is Jeffco conducting a boundary study?

School districts occasionally review their boundaries to adjust to population changes and best use resources for student education.

The boundary study, which is part of the Regional Opportunities for Thriving Schools Phase II  resolution, will allow the district to better understand long-term enrollment trends and what factors influence the educational choices Jeffco families make.

Similar to regional and national trends, Jeffco has fewer students now than 20 years ago. Also, more than 40% of families choose schools outside their assigned area. As the school-age population has shrunk, some District schools have become significantly under-enrolled, and buildings underutilized, while others are full. Better understanding these patterns will help guide decisions on facilities, resources and school boundaries.

What are the goals of the boundary study?

The boundary study will increase Jeffco’s understanding of:

  • Current school boundaries, articulation patterns, and historical and projected enrollment trends
  • What matters most to families when choosing a school
  • Potential boundary adjustments and choice enrollment management policies that can support sustainable levels of enrollment across Jeffco.

What have we learned so far?

FLO Analytics, Jeffco’s boundary study consultants, presented the first set of findings from the boundary study at the Sept. 14, 2023 Board of Education meeting. Additional findings analyzing school choice and enrollment projections, along with analysis from a family school choice survey, were presented at the Feb. 15, 2024 Board of Education meeting. Major findings from reports to date include the following:

  • Families are choosing Jeffco, but enrollment is continuing to decline. 
    • 90.6% of children who live in Jefferson County are enrolled in Jeffco schools
    • Enrollment has declined due to fewer school-aged children living in Jeffco. Declining enrollment: Jeffco’s enrollment declined by 10.4 percent since 2013-14 across nearly every articulation area
    • The decline in school-age population in the last ten years (4.1 percent) was even greater than the decline in enrollment in the district, suggesting that the decline was caused by population loss, not by enrollment in private schools or net transfers
    • There are fewer households with children in Jeffco now, and the pace of housing development is slowing down.
    • There are a few extremely large, single-family-detached housing developments that are planned or already in development. These could result in enrollment increases in specific geographic areas, but the impact will not be widespread.
  • Boundary changes are most likely to be impactful in areas where there are high levels of growth.
    • In the last 10 years, moving boundaries has only helped address enrollment issues about half the time
    • More than 4 out of every 10 Jeffco families chooses a school other than their neighborhood boundary school
  • Families make choices about which schools to attend for a wide variety of reasons
    • Families who took the school choice survey in Fall 2023 shared that they are largely satisfied with current programmatic offerings and families’ ability to access them
    • While some trends in the choice survey emerge, they vary significantly based on families’ characteristics and circumstances

This webpage will be updated with more findings from the boundary study as they are published.

Completed Reports and Presentations

Expected Timeline

The boundary study will take place throughout the 2023–24 school year and will conclude with a final report in June 2024. Community engagement through focus groups will take place in April 2024.

How can families, students, and the community get involved?

Thank you to the many families who participated in  a fall 2023 districtwide survey, sharing what influenced their school enrollment decisions and the programming that is important to them and their child(ren). Follow-up focus groups to dig more deeply into families’ decision factors will take place in spring 2024.