This story first appeared in a Colorado Community Media newspaper. Support CCM’s neighborhood news. The Colorado Sun is an owner of CCM.

Just before the first day of school last week, Adams 14 administrators went out knocking on doors looking for students who had not yet registered for school.

New Superintendent Karla Loria was able to reach eight of the 12 students she was searching for, and by the end of the week, she had reached and enrolled all 12.

But despite the efforts, the district is starting the school year with about 5% fewer students than last year, another large decrease adding to a continual decline in enrollment made worse by the pandemic.

Loria has a plan. She is launching a marketing campaign that includes five billboards to advertise the district and help attract students back to Adams 14 schools.

“It’s asking, or inviting, our families outside of our district or inside of our district to enroll so we can start capturing students and attracting students from other districts as well,” Loria told the board.

The school board unanimously approved the $43,500 advertising project. The district will use $10,000 from a state grant that allows marketing of career and technical offerings at the high school and will also use money from the communications budget.