NewsLocal News


Jefferson County parents working to raise $550,000 to save Coal Creek Canyon K-8 school

Coal Creek Canyon K-8 School is facing closure, unless parents are able to raise $550,000 to save the school.
Posted at 4:46 PM, Mar 03, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-04 07:49:11-05

COAL CREEK, Colo. — Parents at Coal Creek Canyon's K-8 school are working to raise over $550,000 to save their school.

The Jefferson County School Board voted last fall to close the school due to declining enrollment numbers. The original plan was for the charter school Jefferson Academy to take Coal Creek's place, but that plan is also in doubt.

Supporters of the Coal Creek school are in favor of Jefferson Academy taking it over, but parents were told at a recent board meeting that they need to raise nearly half a million dollars and boost enrollment. Jefferson Academy needs at least 87 enrolled students and an additional 20 in their home-school program.

“If we lose this place, it's going to be very difficult," said Téa Wilkins, a Coal Creek Canyon parent who's helping with efforts to save the school.

Wilkins has multiple children at Coal Creek K-8 and fears the impact losing the school could have on the community. Coal Creek Canyon is a small community in the mountains with limited education options.

"Being a small business owner in this canyon, I know that if the school closes, market values will drop," said Wilkins. "Families won't be moving in, families will be moving out.”

Jefferson County parents working to raise $550,000 to save Coal Creek Canyon K-8 school

The impact of low enrollment is being felt throughout the county. In 2022, Jeffco's board closed 16 elementary schools. District data also showed low enrollment numbers across the board, with only 69,000 students and a capacity for 96,000.

"Every student filling seats here really matters," said Angie Wuelling, a parent at Coal Creek Canyon K-8.

Wuelling and other parents are focused on recruiting new students, earning funding through grants and securing pledge donations from local businesses. The parents are trying to secure a state education grant, for $107,000 and the Daniels Fund grant for $75,000.

“I understand people might think we're crazy," said Wuelling. "But that number is going to come down with larger corporate donations and grants.”

Jefferson Academy's board gave parents just until their next meeting on March 12, to finish raising funds. A GoFundMe was started to help cut into the hefty price tag.

D7 follow up bar 2460x400FINAL.png
The Follow Up
What do you want Denver7 to follow up on? Is there a story, topic or issue you want us to revisit? Let us know with the contact form below.