Population and Boundary Study
PAGE UPDATED: November 20, 2023
At the Board meeting on November 20 (which can be viewed on the district YouTube channel), the district shared its initial recommendation on school closures and boundary adjustments. The district also shared, in the event the Board votes to approve school closures, the locations for special district programs, as well as initial information about transition plans.
Below is an overview of the district’s initial recommendations. A more in-depth analysis and rationale can be found here.
As a result of what we learned throughout the further study process, we made several foundational decisions that guided the shaping of our recommendations for Board consideration:
Closing all schools identified for further study presents too many challenges.
Our aim is to close more schools rather than fewer.
Given school proximity, it is not in the best interest of students to close two schools in the same area of the city.
Student safety and maintaining walkable neighborhood schools are priorities.
Special district programs will be placed equitably throughout the district to create greater access for students and families.
At most, one special district program will be located at any given elementary school.
The district will provide busing to special district programs if students live more than 1.5 miles from their assigned school.
All current faculty and staff of impacted schools will be offered equivalent employment opportunities within the district in the event of school closure.
Recommendation on School Closures
The district is recommending closing four elementary schools.
- Hawthorne Elementary
- M. Lynn Bennion Elementary
- Mary W. Jackson Elementary
- Riley Elementary
Recommendation on Boundary Changes
If the Board votes in favor of school closures, we have worked to make recommendations on how to best adjust elementary school boundaries across the district. In total, the district is recommending boundary changes for the following 14 elementary schools:
- Backman Elementary
- Edison Elementary
- Emerson Elementary
- Ensign Elementary
- Franklin Elementary
- Liberty Elementary
- Mountain View Elementary
- Newman Elementary
- Parkview Elementary
- Rose Park Elementary
- Uintah Elementary
- Wasatch Elementary
- Washington Elementary
- Whittier Elementary
Recommendation on Program Placement
The placement of district programs was a strong topic of discussion among district leaders, employees, and our parents and families. If the Board of Education votes in support of school closures, the district will place special district programs in the following schools to broaden access for students and families across the district (new programs and placements are bolded).
Dual Language Immersion (Spanish)
- Mountain View Elementary (existing program)
- Newman Elementary (moved from Mary W. Jackson Elementary)
- Nibley Park School (new, open access program)
Dual Language Immersion/Magnet Gifted and Talented
- Nibley Park School (moved from Emerson Elementary)
Magnet Gifted and Talented
- Edison Elementary (new program)*
- Indian Hills Elementary (moved from Hawthorne Elementary)
- Washington Elementary 4th-6th grade (existing pilot program)
- Whittier Elementary (existing program)
* - For years, our community has asked for a Magnet Gifted and Talented program to be placed on the west side of our city. We are especially thrilled to recommend the opening of a new Magnet program at Edison Elementary.
Special Education Self-Contained Program
- Backman Elementary (existing HUB)
- Emerson Elementary (existing HUB)
- Franklin Elementary (existing HUB)
Student Enrollment in District Programs
- Students currently in a program that remains open may continue to attend that program even if it is out of their area.
- If a student lives more than 1.5 miles from the program, busing will be provided for three years.
- If a student attends a program that is relocated or at a school that is closed, that cohort will move to the location where the program has been assigned.
- If the family would prefer to attend a program at a different school, they can make that request through the ELP department for Magnet programs or the open enrollment process for DLI programs.
Recognizing the challenges of uncertainty and disruption if schools are closed, boundaries are realigned, and families create new routines for attending school, we dedicated part of the further study period to starting to plan for any potential transitions. If the Board votes to close schools and adjust boundaries, our goal is a successful and smooth transition for students, families, and employees that may be joining a new school community in 2024-2025. Rather than requiring new families and staff to fit into existing schools, our goal is to build new, welcoming school communities where all students, families, and staff can thrive. If the Board votes to close schools, details for transition planning will be finalized after we know which specific communities may be impacted by changes.