Park City School District may close open enrollment for elementary schools | ParkRecord.com

Park City School District may close open enrollment for elementary schools

Douglas Greenwood, of the Record Staff

Enrollment may not be so open next year among elementary schools in the Park City School District. Even with the new charter school responsible for the dropped enrollment, according to district administrators, all four elementary schools are above the current enrollment threshold.

The threshold sets a standard for how many out-of-district students are able to attend schools within the Park City School District and is determined by the greater of two values: either 90 percent of or 40 students fewer than maximum capacity. The difference between threshold and maximum capacity can be no fewer than 40.

The state outlines maximum capacity, which deals only with open enrollment rather than building capacity based on safety. Individual schools have the option of whether or not they will follow the guidelines, said Patrick Ogden of the Park City School District.

Based on the suggestions, McPolin, Jeremy Ranch, Trailside and Parley’s Park elementary schools may not accept general open-enrollment applications for the 2011-12 school year, said Ogden.

However, because the threshold is a guideline that schools can choose to follow, there may be room for a few exceptions, he said.

District administrators will consider enrollment requests from outside the district based on the number of students in a grade, class or program. Principals have discretion and will administer the final say, Ogden said. The most important factor is maintaining the low student-to-teacher ratio of 23-to-one, he added.

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Park City High School, Ecker Hill Middle School and Treasure Mountain International Middle School, the three secondary schools in the district, reported enrollment resting considerably below the threshold and will keep their doors open for students coming from other areas.

These considerations are preliminary, however, and will not be official until the Board of Education takes action during the next meeting, Ogden said. He added the final decision is likely to reflect the school board discussion from Nov. 9.

With enrollment projections increasing, Ogden said Park City elementary schools would likely not offer open enrollment in the near future.

"If we continue to experience growth and demand for our schools, it may be necessary to consider the construction of a new school," he said. "That would significantly increase capacity."

Of the 129 out-of-boundary students in the Park City School District, 65 live within the boundaries of South Summit School District and 45 come from Wasatch School District. Park City High School and Treasure Mountain International Middle School each have more than 20 students enrolled from outside the district. Trailside Elementary the highest number of out-of-district students with 34.

The Park City School District will accept early applications for open enrollment from Dec. 1, through Feb. 18.

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