EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Salt Lake City School Board to get list of possible elementary school closures Tuesday

Jul 10, 2023, 8:00 PM | Updated: Aug 13, 2023, 7:56 pm

Image of Salt Lake City School District offices. The district and UTA announced the return of free ...

FILE: Salt Lake City School District offices are pictured in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021. (Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Members of the Salt Lake City School Board will get presented a list Tuesday of how many schools in the district might need to close.

The district has been working on a population and boundary study. The Options Committee will report their findings and make recommendations at Tuesday’s board meeting.

“It doesn’t mean that those schools are all going to close,” said Salt Lake City School District Spokeswoman Yandary Chatwin. “It doesn’t mean anything definitive until the board takes a vote in December or January.”

Chatwin said the report will simply present a list of schools that should be studied further.

“On the other hand, for the parents whose schools are not going to be on that list, you can at least move forward with the knowledge that your school is not going to close. But your boundaries might change,” she said.

Chatwin said this study has been in the works even before last year’s legislative audit was quite critical of the district’s handling of declining enrollment and low capacity, estimating that cost taxpayers $3.6 million. That audit recommended six schools close to get the district’s remaining schools to 75% capacity.

Potential elementary school closures

She could not confirm any details of how many schools could close.  She was also asked whether the potential schools were on the east or west sides of the city, or both.

“The committee has been looking at all elementary schools, which means they have been looking broadly across the city,” she said.

Chatwin said the Board likely won’t take any action at Tuesday’s meeting, rather will vote whether to approve this “study list” in August.

“The overarching goal of all of this isn’t to cause disarray in the community, it’s to make sure that we’re providing a high-quality seat for every student in this city,” Chatwin said.

There will also be time for public input, with a board decision on any final school closures or boundary changes coming in late 2023 or early 2024.

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Salt Lake City School Board to get list of possible elementary school closures Tuesday