On Nov. 10, the Jefferson County School Board voted to close 16 elementary schools in the district, including Molholm Elementary, at the end of the 2022-23 school year. The closures are largely a result of a county-wide, school-age population decline of nearly 30,000 over the past 20 years. The school is officially consolidating with Lumberg Elementary next year and it is expected that several Molholm students will attend Edgewater Elementary as well.
At an October public hearing regarding school closures, I heard passionate testimony from parents and educators about how important Molholm Elementary is to the Two Creeks neighborhood. The school, which opened in 1954, has been more than just a place of learning; it has been a community center, a home to many of its students, and a place of consistency for children receiving foster care. I heard touching stories of incredibly committed staff who go above and beyond to help their students succeed.
Molholm Elementary, as part of the Jefferson Articulation area (schools that feed up to Jefferson Junior/Senior High School), has always had a strong connection with Edgewater. While Molholm can never be duplicated outside the neighborhood, the city and I are committed to helping all 205 students, their families and school staff succeed in Edgewater.
Since the school district released its plan for school closures in late August, the city has been thinking about transportation safety (especially for students crossing Colfax to get to school). We are working with the City of Lakewood, area nonprofits and the school district to ensure all students can reach their schools safely and easily next fall; this is a top priority for Edgewater.
The school closure also increases the need to help inform the Two Creeks community about the unique programs and offerings at Edgewater’s two schools. Lumberg follows an expeditionary learning model (students learn by conducting “learning expeditions”), and Edgewater Elementary offers a two-way dual language program (students receive 50 percent of their instruction in Spanish and 50 percent in English, regardless of native language). Recently, City Council approved a $10,000 grant for the Edgewater Collective to help update the elementary schools’ logos and better inform the community of their programming. Expect to see more digital media, printed materials and open houses with information about the schools.
School closures are never easy, but I am optimistic that the strong bonds shared by Two Creeks and Edgewater will help students succeed during this transition. Finally, I would like to recognize the generations of people who made the Molholm Elementary community a special place over the past 68 years.
Contact Edgewater Mayor John Beltrone at firstname.lastname@example.org or 720-643-6077.