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Two small Aurora elementary schools will shut their doors for good at the end of this school year after a split Aurora school board voted to approve the superintendent’s recommendations.

The board voted 5-2 to approve closing Lyn Knoll Elementary and Century Elementary and phasing out two other schools, Sixth Avenue Elementary and South Middle School. The changes are part of a yearslong plan for Aurora’s facilities.

“We do not take this lightly,” Aurora Superintendent Rico Munn said. “We also recognize this is what we believe is best for kids.”

Aurora, the fifth-largest school district in the state, has gone through significant enrollment changes in recent years.

Enrollment on the west side of Aurora, where low-income families and many immigrant and refugees live, has been decreasing. That accelerated this school year, and once-packed schools are now below capacity. The district has blamed gentrification for the decline as many families have had to move farther from the metro area to find affordable housing.

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Yesenia Robles, Chalkbeat

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