clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Utah students to be schooled, ready or not

It's back to school this week for most Wasatch Front public schools.
It's back to school this week for most Wasatch Front public schools.
Stock image

SALT LAKE CITY — It's back to school this week for most Wasatch Front public schools.

Salt Lake, Granite, Murray and Alpine schools opened Monday, while Canyons, Davis and Jordan districts are set to start on Wednesday, although some Jordan students in year-round schools returned to the classroom in late July.

More than 660,000 students are expected to enroll in Utah public schools this fall, a slight increase over the previous year, according to Utah State Board of Education estimates.

With the academic year underway, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson said Monday that successful schools rely on the best efforts of multiple stakeholders.

"Parents, teachers and school personnel, and students are all critical factors in creating a successful school environment," she said.

"I wish all of them the best in creating a great school year."

This year's actual enrollment will be determined after the traditional Oct. 1 head count, but projections portend at least 5 percent growth in charter school enrollment, which has been the case the past two years.

Last school year, 75,567 students attended 113 public charter schools in Utah, but numbers of both are expected to increase as more charter schools open their doors this fall and more families elect to attend them.

In Gunnison, students at Gunnison Valley Middle School will get a one-day reprieve from the start of school on Tuesday due to a water pipe that broke over the weekend. School officials tentatively plan to open the school on Wednesday, according to a communication to parents from the school district.

Six of the state's largest school districts are in Salt Lake and Utah counties, with Alpine School District leading the way serving more than 78,800 students.

Utah also has five school districts that serve fewer than 500 students each. Daggett School District is the smallest with 163 students, according to the state's October 2017 head count.

Salt Lake City School District's welcoming message by Superintendent Lexi Cunningham largely focused on school safety, noting every school employee — from food service workers to administrators — has undergone safety training.

"Starting this year, every elementary school and middle school in Salt Lake City School District will feature a security camera/doorbell at the front of each school," Cunningham wrote.

"If a parent or anyone else wants to come into the building during the school day, they'll have to ring the doorbell and be buzzed in by the front office."

A tweet from Granite School District urged parents to "be patient and be kind in our drop-off zones and always utilize marked crosswalks."

One in 5 Utahns is a public school student when compared to census figures that place the state's population at 3 million-plus. These figures do not include school-age children who attend private schools or are home-schooled.