New Davis school board members were quickly initiated as to what will likely be the most dominant and divisive issue of their tenure - where to put an ever-increasing number of school children.
Superintendent Richard Kendell presented to the school board Tuesday night the list of 14 alternatives that, he suggested, could alone or in combination be solutions to school growth problems. The alternatives address specific concerns at elementary, junior high and high school levels."We are narrowing our list of options. At each school level we believe that there are three or four major steps that warrant further investigation," Kendell said.
The superintendent's list includes making boundary changes to eight Layton area elementary schools next fall, building additions to three district junior high schools, creating a secondary magnet school at the Davis Area Vocational Center and having open enrollment at Bountiful and Woods Cross High Schools.
A task force study on the Layton boundary changes is expected to be released Feb. 7. Another study of open enrollment at Bountiful and Woods Cross High is due out Feb. 21. Kendell also asked the board to allow 12 elementary schools to begin studying a change to year-round schedules. All of the plans could be implemented next fall.
In the case of the Davis Area Vocational Center magnet school option, Kendell suggested that a pilot program start in August. A feasibility study is due out Jan. 17. The school board has also scheduled a special meeting Jan. 10 to discuss how decisions about the options will be made.
"We need to decide how now to let the public purchase into this process," Board Chairman Lynn Summerhays said.
No public comment has yet been taken on any the 14 proposals. Several others that were discussed earlier have been abandoned by officials. "The door is open on anything, but we can't study 50 options," Kendell said.
New student population projections released Tuesday night show that the number of district students will grow by 22 percent in the next five years to about 58,000 student. The number of high school students is expected grow by 36 percent, while the number of junior high school students will increase by 26 percent. Elementary student growth should decline in 1992, however.
"We have the capacity to meet those future needs, but the problem is that the growth is not uniform," Assistant Superintendent Stephen Ronnenkamp said, noting the high growth in north Davis County.
Other options for study on the district list include:
-Studying boundary changes at West Clinton Elementary, using more portable classrooms, and turning Monte Vista School in Farmington into a kindergarten center.
-Starting construction on 12 portable junior high classrooms and having some junior highs study boundary changes that could be implemented in the fall. Two other committees are studying changing home economics and shop classes to free specialized classroom space and scheduling changes including split sessions.
-Improving classroom utilization, making schedule changes, remodeling and investigating an early graduation or summer semester plan at the high school level.