Davis School District remains the fastest-growing district in Utah and one of the highest in the United States, adding more than 1,500 students to its rolls this year.

Enrollment figures released to the school board at its meeting Tuesday night in Clearfield High School showed that the number of students increased by 3 percent to a total enrollment of 51,438. The new figure does not include about 350 students enrolled in special school programs like Mountain High, an alternative high school, Assistant Superintendent Stephen Ronnenkamp said."Davis's percentage of growth is even higher than Jordan School District's," said board President Sheryl Allen. "We haven't had the problems they have had because of planning and preparation."

This year's enrollment increase follows a dramatic six-year trend during which more than 9,400 students have been added to school rolls.

"That represents a 22.5 percent growth over those years from 1983 to 1988," Ronnenkamp said.

This most pronounced jump in any area came to the district's 13 junior high schools, which had an 8.2 percent increase in students this fall. Senior highs had a 1 percent decrease in enrollment and elementary schools experienced a 2.4 percent increase - up 753 students from 1987's enrollment of 30,209.

"The increase in junior highs should be experienced in the high schools in three years," Ronnenkamp said.

The growth in schools corresponds to Davis County's lead among Utah counties. Projections recently released by the Utah Office of Planning and Budget show that Davis County will be the second-fastest-growing county in the state, behind Washington County in southern Utah, into the year 2010. That is in a state that has consistently led the nation in the percent increase in school-age population. From 1980 to 1986 Utah had a 23.1 percent increase in its school population.

Among the areas hardest hit by the burgeoning population have been schools in north Davis County, particularly Layton. The Census Bureau reported that Layton is the seventh-fastest-growing city in the state. At Adams Elementary School in Layton, for example, in only two years the population has risen from 700 to 1,200 students. Four of the Layton area elementary schools are now on extended-day schedules.