Despite several weeks of citizen protests and demonstrations, the five-member Davis School Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to change boundaries to redistribute student enrollments at four high schools.
The school board anticipated an overflow crowd and held the meeting in the Woods Cross High School auditorium, but only about 75 people attended. The sparse crowd was quiet throughout the three-hour meeting.The new boundaries were drawn to help solve overcrowding at some schools and were tentatively approved at the board's regular meeting Sept. 18.
They go into effect at the beginning of the 1991-92 school year at Davis, Viewmont, Bountiful and Woods Cross high schools, but board members said students who are in ninth grade now will have the option next year of going to the schools they would have attended before the change.
The board said this choice will not be open to students who are in eighth grade now. At the beginning of the 1992-93 school year, observing the new boundaries will be mandatory, board members said, and, several added, they hope all those in ninth grade now will abide by the boundary changes next year.
"If they don't, though, we can handle it just the first year," Superintendent Richard E. Kendell said.
The new boundaries will send students in south Farmington, who traditionally have gone to Davis High, to Viewmont. West Bountiful students, who have gone to Viewmont, will go to Bountiful High.
Students who live in a small wedge-shaped area of Bountiful between 1800 South and 2200 South and between U-106 and Orchard Drive, who would have gone to Bountiful High, will now go to Woods Cross.
That is a change from the original proposal two weeks ago, which would have shifted a much larger wedge area, extending to 600 south, to Woods Cross.
And students in an L-shaped area at the southwest corner of the Viewmont district will now go to Bountiful High.
Many West Bountiful residents were, and still are, upset that their children, who can easily walk to Viewmont, will have to be bused to Bountiful High.
Several proposed that south Farmington students, who will have to be bused to Viewmont anyway, just stay on the bus a little longer and go to Bountiful High. That was an option the school board considered but did not adopt.
Some parents of Bountiful High students in the wedge area are upset that their children, who live only a few blocks from Bountiful High, will now have to go a much longer distance to Woods Cross.
Most parents in the so-called L area say they don't care about the board's decision since, under any of the options studied by the school board, their children would be moved to Bountiful High.
Gary and Dorothy Barlow, who live in the wedge area north of 1800 South, told the Deseret News they were happy the board changed the boundary to 1800 South.
"We live on 1400 South. That means our children can continue going to Bountiful High and won't have to change to Woods Cross," Gary Barlow said. He and his wife have 12 children, eight at home, and five would have been affected had the wedge extended to 600 South.
Karen Smith, Centerville, who headed a Viewmont High School citizens group concerned about the boundary changes, said the option given ninth-graders next year "will certainly help soothe the pain of these changes. Anybody who really feels strongly about the boundary changes can at least have that one year to go to the school of their choice."
She said West Bountiful parents are the most upset "because their children will have to go to `rival Bountiful' instead of Viewmont. A lot of West Bountiful people moved where they live just so their children could go to Viewmont."
Board members explained Tuesday that Davis County is one of the fastest-growing school districts in Utah and perhaps even the nation, and most of the growth is in the northern part of the county. Davis High, particularly, is overcrowded now.
"Some schools will be underutilized if we don't change the boundaries now," Kendell said.
School board members said they expect to change the boundaries of schools in the northern part of the county, including Clearfield and Layton high schools, within the next few years.