SALT LAKE CITY—The Granite School District Board of Education might close schools or change school boundaries in certain areas of the district. Spokesman Ben Horsley says both options are up in the air, but the decision would affect about 12 schools.
The board is considering these changes because several schools are getting smaller.
“That limits options for parents, options for students and diminishes our ability for high quality educational outcomes,” said Horsley.
Horsley says three of the schools would have less than 300 students. He says smaller schools means fewer teachers per grade level. He says changing boundaries and bringing more kids to schools gives students more resources and opportunities.
The school district started considering changes last January. In a September meeting, a committee formally recommended two schools be closed — Westbrook Elementary in Taylorsville and Sandburg Elementary in West Valley City.
The committee recommends Westbrook close as UDOT makes updates to the nearby Bangerter Highway. The school currently straddles Bangerter, and as the highway grows and UDOT makes updates, transportation options for school kids are being affected. Primarily, UDOT is getting rid of a walking bridge, meaning students have to take a bus to get to school. The district prefers students walk to school when they can, so the committee recommended closing Westbrook.
Horsley said the committee also wants to combine Sandburg and Jackling Elementary Schools into one school. This is because the schools’ populations are half the size they were 10 years ago.
“When you have one to two teachers per grade level and your kid may be struggling in one class, as a parent, you want to have the option to put them in another class… when you’re in a small school population you don’t have that choice,” said Horsley.
The board will vote on the potential closures and boundary changes at two meetings. The first vote is November 11 at 7 p.m. at Granite Education Center. The second and final vote will be on December 3 after a public hearing.
If the board votes to close any of the schools or adjust school boundaries, this would happen in the fall of 2020.
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