Layton Elementary will likely become the eighth school in Davis County to adopt a year-round schedule, which officials say is gaining in popularity.
For the past four years, Layton Elementary, 319 W. Gentile, Layton, has been on an extended-day schedule, but parents voted in early November to switch to the year-round model, said Principal Dolores Hansen. The vote was 59-41, compared to last year's vote of 52-48 against the year-round schedule."The experience in the other year-round schools has been positive and has filtered out (to our parents)," said Hansen.
The school's capacity of 774 is already surpassed by this year's enrollment of 803. Enrollment next year is estimated at 830 and in 1992 is expected to top 850, said Stephen Ronnenkamp, Davis School District assistant superintendent.
Although parents were in favor of the year-round schedule, about two-thirds of Layton Elementary's 32 teachers voted to keep the extended-day schedule.
"The teachers here like extended day," Hansen said. "It has allowed them to increase their salary and to specialize more, giving them more satisfaction."
The school's planning committee, composed of teachers, parents and the principal, decided that the parents' vote carried more weight in favor of asking the district for year-round status.
Hansen said parents were concerned primarily about overcrowding in the upper-grade "specialty" courses - science, music, art and spelling-handwriting - most of which had 45 to 50 students in them.
The Davis School Board has already given preliminary approval to the year-round request and is scheduled to take final action on Dec. 11.
If the vote is affirmative, Layton Elementary will join Adams, East Layton, King, Columbia, Knowlton, Lincoln and Woods Cross elementaries on the year-round schedule. Under the schedule, each student is placed on one of four staggered "tracks," three of which are in session while one is not. Each track is in school for 45 days then off for approximately 15 days. All tracks are off during July.
Since Columbia and Adams went to the year-round plan in 1988, most parents and educators have embraced the idea, said Ronnenkamp.
"We have found very good success. There's been very little concern or complaint."
Although a recent Utah Foundation study has found that capital spending has decreased as a result of year-round schooling, Ronnenkamp said the Davis District is not sure how much money the schedule is saving.
"We tend to believe we are saving money, but we don't know what the figure is," he said, explaining that year-round schools increase operating budgets because of air conditioning costs during the summer and because of increased wear-and-tear on the buildings.