Sixty-nine Utah schools in 24 districts have been granted first-year Centennial School status.
The Utah State Board of Education, meeting Tuesday in Logan, approved the school names and more than $1.4 million in funding for the new schools.The Legislature had provided funding for 100 new schools but only 69 schools were chosen. The districts selected include Alpine, Box Elder, Cache, Carbon, Davis, Grand, Granite, Iron, Jordan, Nebo, North Sanpete, Ogden, Park City, Provo, Salt Lake, San Juan, Sevier, South Sanpete, Tintic, Tooele, Uintah, Wasatch, Washington and Weber.
Grand, Tintic and Wasatch received their first-ever Centennial Schools funding, said Larry Horyna, coordinator of strategic planning and information services in the Utah State Office of Education.
Centennial Schools were initiated by the Leavitt administration in 1993 to assist schools with innovative educational programs. The program encourages site-based management, parental involvement and school-to-careers counseling.
On Tuesday, the state school board also approved administrative rules for "modified" Centennial Schools. A bill passed by the 1996 Legislature establishes a pilot program for 10 schools or clusters of schools that have completed three years of Centennial School status. Selected schools will elect boards of directors. Local school boards shall determine the power imparted on the school directors, however.
The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Brian Allen, R-Salt Lake, is "a very nice experiment. It's a compromise. It's one step back from the charter schools," Horyna said.
Some charter schools across the country have boards of directors that are authorized to hire and fire staff, select curriculum and implement school policies. Gov. Mike Leavitt has said he is intrigued by the idea of charter schools but prefers to look at the experience of other states before committing to the concept in Utah.
"As you go around the country and talk to people, our Centennial Schools, for whatever their weaknesses, are doing far more than charter schools in other states," Horyna said. "Looking at the research over time, we're finding moving away from the system isn't the answer."
Horyna said 57 schools had applied for funding under the pilot program. The modified Centennial Schools recipients will be selected later this summer.
According to a report in November, more than 262 schools have taken part in the program.
The new Centennial Schools, listed by district, are:
Alpine: Cascade, Aspen, Grovecrest, Dan W. Peterson, Sharon, Manila and Forbes elementaries; Lakeridge Junior High.
Box Elder: Bunderson Elementary and Alice C. Harris Intermediate.
Cache: River Heights Elementary and North Cache Middle.
Carbon: East Carbon High and Castle Valley Center.
Davis: East Layton, Orchard, Sarah Jane Adams, Vae View and Windridge elementaries; Centerville and Sunset junior highs.
Grand: Grand County Middle.
Granite: Robert Frost Elementary, Eisenhower Junior High and Central High.
Iron: Parowan Elementary.
Jordan: Draper, East Midvale, Midvale, Monte Vista and Riverside elementaries; Albion, Crescent View and Indian Hills middle schools; Alta, Bingham and Copper Hills high schools; and Jordan District Technical Center.
Nebo: Grant, Larsen, Mapleton and Sage Creek elementaries.
North Sanpete: North Sanpete High School.
Ogden: Horace Mann Elementary and Mount Ogden Middle.
Park City: Treasure Mountain Middle.
Provo: Farrer Middle.
Salt Lake: Edison, Rosslyn Heights and Uintah elementaries.
San Juan: Monticello High School.
Sevier: Ashman and Salina elementaries.
South Sanpete: Ephraim Elementary.
Tintic: Callao and Eureka elementaries; West Desert High.
Tooele: Tooele High.
Uintah: Vernal Middle and Vernal Junior High.
Wasatch: Midway Elementary.
Washington: Bloomington Elementary and Hurricane Middle.
Weber: North Ogden and Riverdale elementaries; North Ogden, Sandridge, South Ogden and Wahlquist junior highs.