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RISE IN STUDENTS SURPRISES JORDAN DISTRICT

Defying officials' expectations, the number of students attending the Jordan School District's year-round elementary schools continued to climb recently as a new shift of students enrolled for the summer session.

Totals from the fifth day of year-round school show 23,865 students enrolled in the district's elementary schools, just slightly more than the 23,175 enrolled at the same time last year, according to spokeswoman Patty Dahl."We're expecting a drop in enrollment for the first time ever, but it hasn't happened yet," Dahl said. "The growth out in the south - in Draper, Riverton - is keeping the numbers up for now."

Summer session in year-round schools started last week, but officials find enrollment tallies from five days into the term more accurate, she said.

District officials still believe that in early September when traditional schools are factored in, enrollment will drop in the state's second-largest district. Traditional schools are those in which students attend for nine months and not year-round.

High growth started in the northeast part of the district in the Cottonwood, Union and Butler areas, and followed residential development south through the Salt Lake Valley. Now, housing is turning over in the northeast area, where families with fewer or grown children are buying homes.

Because only high-enrollment areas have year-round schools, only one operates on that schedule in the district's Northeast quadrant.

The good news, said Dahl, is the administrative estimates were within 58 students of the district's projections. "There were 58 students more than we thought there would be, which is manageable," Dahl said. "We can hire a teacher and a half. If we had to let one go, then that's a problem."

In the year-round school system, three of four enrollment tracks run simultaneously while one track is on vacation.