Dear LPS Community Members:
The Board of Education made impactful decisions this past year that will have a positive effect on our district and community for generations. Decisions related to boundaries, declining enrollment, and the replacement of aging facilities are all connected and will take a few years to realize. The result will be fewer, larger elementary schools that allow for more efficient use of resources during a time of declining enrollment locally, across Colorado, and across the nation. Larger schools also provide more opportunities and services for students.
In August 2020, after a three-year study, the Board approved the Long Range Planning Committee’s recommended boundary changes. The new boundaries, which impact all grade levels, are in effect for the 2021–2022 school year. It was important that affected families would have all of the previous school year to plan for the changes this fall. Families also had the option to apply for open enrollment to the school of their choice. The boundary changes address the growing transportation challenges resulting from increased traffic. Students will spend less time on the bus, and fewer students will be bussed past schools. The changes also help keep neighborhoods together as we build new neighborhood elementary schools to replace our aging facilities and combine small schools to form larger, more efficient schools that maximize opportunities and services for students.
Multi-year plan for early childhood education and elementary schools
LPS has been challenged financially by declining enrollment for the past 15 years. Throughout the spring of 2021, the Board took action on a series of recommendations made by administration and vetted by the LPS Long Range Planning Committee. The actions address declining enrollment and make the most of the opportunities to build three new, larger elementary schools with 2018 bond dollars and premium bond dollars. LPS will move from having 13 elementary schools to a total of 10 elementary schools, three of which will be brand new schools.
Combining small schools
This past spring, the Board took action to close Peabody and Twain elementary schools effective the fall of 2022. Both schools had experienced low enrollment for a number of years. Combining Peabody with Lenski in the fall of 2022 and combining Twain with Franklin and Highland in the new school on the Franklin campus in the fall of 2022 allows more efficiency and program opportunities to students. Twain and Peabody will remain LPS property, and they will be repurposed in future years to best serve the district.
Last spring, the Board also took action to combine the East and Ralph Moody school communities and to build a new school for them on the current Raph Moody campus. The new school will open in the fall of 2023, and East Elementary will close at that time. We look forward to working with our city and county partners, local non-profits, our parents, and all interested parties to transform the East Elementary building into a community center to support the East community as well as the community at large.
Returning to one early childhood education center
The Village preschool program has also experienced a sharp decline in enrollment over the past few years, including a decline in the number of low-income families who qualify for state funding through the Colorado Preschool Program or federal funding through Head Start. In an effort to best serve low-income families, the Board made the decision to move forward with Colorado Preschool Program funding and no longer take federal Head Start funding, as the compliance mandates tied to Head Start funding have become too inefficient and are no longer financially viable. The Board also took action to return to one, robust early childhood education center for the district by combining The Village North Preschool and The Village at Highland Preschool. This change will occur beginning in the fall of 2023, after the Highland facility is renovated with preschool-specific classrooms, restrooms, and outdoor play spaces. Making these decisions keeps the Board’s long-standing commitment to early childhood education and to every preschool-age child LPS serves.
New construction is on time and within budget
Dr. Justina Ford Elementary and Newton Middle School will open this fall on time and within budget. Work continues on the LPS Junior Stadium, the new elementary school on the Franklin campus, and other bond work at schools across the district, including installation of new furniture. Planning for the new elementary school on the Ralph Moody campus will begin this year.
Passing the gavel
On June 10, then-Board President Mr. Jack Reutzel passed the leadership role to Dr. Robert Reichardt for the remainder of Mr. Reutzel’s term. This is a common practice in LPS to help ensure a smooth leadership transition in advance of the Board President leaving the Board and while he or she is still available to serve as a resource. Please join us in our heartfelt thanks to Mr. Reutzel for his six years of leadership during some challenging times and in wishing Dr. Reichardt well as he assumes the leadership role.
Upcoming Board election
Thank you to all who have expressed interest in serving on the Board of Education. Mr. Reutzel and Kelly Perez are finishing their second terms on the Board and cannot run for a third due to term limits; Angela Christensen was appointed by the Board in early March to complete the remainder of Carrie Warren-Gully’s term. Ms. Warren-Gully resigned from the Board last December after being elected to the Arapahoe County Commission. Seats currently held by Mr. Reutzel, Ms. Perez and Ms. Christensen will be up for election in November 2021.
It continues to be a privilege and an honor to represent you on the Board. Thank you for placing your trust in us, and for your unwavering support during a challenging year. A great deal of important work is ahead of us, and we look forward to serving you and your children to the very best of our abilities. We are hopeful and confident as we prepare for the 2021–2022 school year.
Your LPS Board of Education
Robert Reichardt, President
Kelly Perez, Vice President
Jack Reutzel, Secretary
Lindley McCrary, Treasurer
Angela Christensen, Assistant Secretary
It’s an Exciting Time to be in LPS
Dear LPS Families and Community Members:
I cannot stress enough how excited we are to welcome all students back to school in August to a schedule that feels pretty normal again. All students will be back in our schools every day, and we plan to resume school clubs, enrichment activities, and field trips. We also plan to resume out-of-state travel and all normal athletics and activities schedules in accordance with the Colorado High School Activities Association. We are eager to welcome our parents and volunteers back to our schools as well! We will continue to update our community with specific information as we get closer to the start of the school year, and schools will share more detailed plans with their families.
I want to thank all of you once again for your support during the pandemic. Thanks to passage of the $12 million mill levy override last November, the LPS budget is in better shape than it has been in recent years. This will ensure LPS can continue to provide the very things our community values most: excellent teachers, quality programs, and a variety of support systems for all students.
Thanks to this community’s passage of a bond election in 2018, LPS continues to replace its aging facilities with new schools. LPS has not opened a brand new school in 40 years, and so we are truly looking forward to opening two new schools this fall. Dr. Justina Ford Elementary School and a new Newton Middle School will welcome students August 12! These are beautiful, state-of-the-art schools that will provide improved learning environments and opportunities for our students for decades to come.
Construction of the new elementary school on the Franklin campus for current Highland, Twain, and Franklin students will really start to take shape this year; the school will open in the fall of 2022. Highland will become home to a robust, preschool-specific early childhood education center for LPS in the fall of 2023, after undergoing renovations. Planning and preparation for the new elementary school on the Ralph Moody campus for current East and Ralph Moody students will continue; that school will open in the fall of 2023.
Those who drive Arapahoe Road will see the construction of the new LPS Junior Stadium on the Newton campus this year; it will open in the fall of 2022. Planning continues for the renovation of the property south of Littleton High School, the future home of the LPS Career Exploration Center, which will open in the fall of 2023. We will share additional information about this exciting facility and the programs/career paths it will house in the weeks and months to come.
Thank you to the staff, parents, and larger LPS community for your continuous support during some of the most challenging times we have ever faced. I also want to thank the LPS Board of Education for making tough decisions during a difficult time, always keeping the best interests of students as its true North Star.
I look forward to seeing you all in August. Enjoy the rest of your summer, and have a wonderful fall semester.
Board approves 2021–2022 budget; District budget in better shape than it has been in recent years
During its regularly scheduled June 10, 2021 meeting, the LPS Board of Education approved, by a 5-0 vote, the budget for the upcoming 2021–2022 school year.
The budget is in better shape than it has been in recent years, due to a variety of factors:
The 2020–2021 budget was challenging even before COVID due to the increase in the state’s Budget Stabilization Factor, which forced LPS to make $4.2 million in cuts for the 2020–2021 school year. Then COVID hit, and COVID-related expenses in LPS totaled more than $5 million.
“I want to thank LPS voters once again for their tremendous show of support last November by passing a mill levy override during a pandemic. Colorado continues to rank at or near the bottom in per pupil funding in the nation, and the toll that it takes has been evident the last few years,” said LPS superintendent Brian Ewert. “Our community helped ensure we can continue to build upon the kinds of quality programming our students deserve with the very best employees in Colorado.”
Thank you to LPS voters for the opportunity to make exciting improvements throughout Littleton Public Schools! Investment in our educational infrastructure enables us to provide all students with the best possible opportunities and experiences.
Dr. Justina Ford Elementary School and Newton Middle School
This year, bond work has progressed enough for LPS to open two new schools this fall: Dr. Justina Ford Elementary School and a brand new Newton Middle School. Both of these buildings will be delivered on time and under budget thanks to the outstanding work of the contractors and construction companies who have worked so diligently. Buildings will be open in time for school, but some projects on the grounds might not be completed for a few weeks. There will be ribbon cutting events for both schools on September 24, 2021.
LPS Junior Stadium
With the brand new, state-of-the-art Newton Middle School opening this fall, plans are underway for the demolition of the old Newton Middle School to make room for the new LPS Junior Stadium. The Junior Stadium will provide an additional lighted field and track with spectator seating for both school and community sports teams to use. The Junior Stadium is scheduled to open in late 2022.
New Elementary School on the Franklin Campus
There will be another new elementary school opening on the Franklin campus in the fall of 2022, and there is currently foundation work happening at the construction site. This new elementary school serving the Highland, Franklin, and Twain communities will provide more opportunities for programming and flexibility while functioning as a true neighborhood school. Students from both Highland and Franklin are attending school at Highland Elementary School for the 2021–2022 school year. They, along with students at Twain, will take an active role in choosing a name, mascot, and school colors this year in anticipation of their new school opening next fall.
Once the students move into the new school on the Franklin campus, Highland will be fully repurposed as the district’s Early Childhood Education center to serve LPS’s youngest learners.
Career Exploration Center
The property just south of Littleton High School is currently in the design phase for a new Career Exploration Center to serve LPS students, and planning for the various programming pathways is underway. The Career Exploration Center (CEC) is scheduled for a fall 2023 opening.
Here is a look at what the CEC could look like, but this rendering does not reflect the final design.
30 Years of Making A Difference in LPS!
What. A. Year. Not only did we traverse a pandemic, we joined together, hand-in-hand, in providing a wide variety of assistance for LPS students, educators, and families. We rallied to make a difference, and we did - THANK YOU for joining us!
The Littleton Public Schools Foundation’s mission is to raise funds to support each student’s unique path to success. We can’t fulfill our mission without YOU. Because of your generosity and belief in the work we do to support the educational journey for our kids and aid in their preparation for life beyond high school, we allocated $580,000 to LPS. These funds aided the district with crisis relief, mental health resources, innovative educational experiences, grants for teachers, and support for schools.
We welcome the 2021-2022 school year with open arms and warm hearts as students return to school to learn, grow, and prepare for life alongside educators who are eager to get back to inspiring, supporting, and connecting. We will be there to support them every step of the way.
This year marks our 30th year of making a difference in Littleton Public Schools. We look forward to sharing stories that express the spirit of generosity that helped pave the way for kids today as well as stories of impact and success that will help us continue to build the path forward toward the future. Anything is possible, especially with you by our side.
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” - Benjamin Franklin
We have a great year ahead and ample ways for us to stay connected.Please keep watch for events that have become a tradition for LPS families like The Stride, Colorado Gives Day, The Spirit Celebration, LPS Nights with the Nuggets, Avalanche, and the Rockies. There will also be campaigns to join where you can invest in the best thing possible, our kids and their education.
You Invest. We Connect. Students Thrive.
Follow the LPS Foundation on social media!
Free Meals are Back for the 2021–2022 School Year!
The nutrition services department is dedicated to ensuring students are fueled for success throughout the school day. With flexibilities provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the district is able to provide all reimbursable meals for the 2021–2022 school year free of charge! Due to these flexibilities, breakfast will be added to many elementary schools' schedules right before the first bell. Taking advantage of free meals at school not only saves families money and time, it also helps support the nutrition services department. To learn more about the program you can visit www.lpsnutrition.com.
Did you know that we have over 25 scratch-made recipes on our menus? While the 2020–2021 menu had a few more packaged items due to COVID, we are excited to be going back to scratch with many of our recipes. We are proud to say our meals are taste-tested and kid-approved. We incorporate local ingredients, whole grains, and the colors of the rainbow in our fruits and vegetable choices. Menus can be found at www.lpsnutrition.com.
Our Online Menu and Payment Portal
Do you want to see what your student is eating? Do you want to add money to their account for them to pick up one of our nutritionally regulated Smart Snacks? Head over to family.titank12.com or download the Titan Family Connect app to check out their purchasing activity, see menus, and apply for free and reduced lunch.
Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer (P-EBT)
The P-EBT program was created as part of the U.S. government response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Summer P-EBT benefits are intended to provide assistance over the summer months to any student who qualifies for free- and reduced-price meals. Families are required to submit a 2021–2022 free and reduced application to qualify for these benefits. Specific application deadline dates will be forthcoming. Applications can be filled out at family.titank12.com.
Follow LPS Nutrition Services on social media!
For more information, call 303.347.336 or visit www.lpsnutrition.com
LPS was able to provide expanded summer school offerings for students of all ages this June. The program was open to last year’s kindergartners through 11 graders. All summer school classes were taught by licensed LPS teachers, special educators, mental health professionals and administrators. Students had the opportunity to interact with peers in person and benefited from a variety of social/emotional learning and activities. General social/emotional support, counseling and crisis intervention was also available for students.
In a year like no other, LPS seniors were able to adapt and persevere through numerous challenges. They didn’t get to have the senior year they expected; instead, LPS students built and strengthened skills, like resilience and flexibility, that will serve them well for the rest of their lives.
Despite (and because of) everything that happened in this school year, LPS is so very proud of our Class of 2021! This outstanding group includes:
An amazing benefit of this school year requiring everyone to flex their tech muscles is that senior recognition events were presented virtually and were able to be recorded. You can view details about the 2021 graduates below.
Congratulations to the Class of 2021! May your futures be bright and filled with wonderful opportunities!
Parent Portal: Parents & Guardians: Please verify your contact information and contact preferences in your Parent Portal account in Infinite Campus. You can choose which phone numbers and email addresses receive messages from your school and the district. Thank you for helping us communicate with you in the ways you prefer!