If current economic and building patterns continue, Jordan District may be able to stop exporting students to Granite District in a few years.
Declining enrollment in the north and east sides of the Jordan District may empty classrooms that could accommodate students now attending Granite schools and others from bulging west-side areas, said Earl Stuker, director of student accounting. He reported to the Jordan board during a Tuesday evening meeting.Jordan's gain could be Granite's loss, however. Some of Granite's east-side schools depend on the overflow of Jordan students to meet the state's 70 percent occupancy law. Closure of schools could be necessary if these students went back to the Jordan District.
Students already crossing the district boundaries have been assured they can attend Granite schools until graduation, if they choose.
Stuker stressed that a change in Salt Lake County's economy could make a significant difference in the projections. If building picks up and people quit leaving the district because of a lack of employment, Jordan could be back to its struggle to house all its students, he said.
A "bulge" of students has now hit fourth grade, and that has implications for secondary education over the next few years, he said. High schools, many already at capacity, soon will be dealing with the super-size classes, making new boundary and scheduling decisions necessary.
Also during Tuesday's meeting, the board approved, on a 4-1 vote, a school calendar for 1990-91 that provides only one day of spring vacation, rather than two because of the way holidays fall in that school year.
Board Member Linda Neff suggested it would be better to stretch out the school year, allowing for more breaks, rather than compacting it further. Such a move would be consistent with the trend toward more year-round schools, she said.
"The literature suggests there are advantages in expanding the school year," she said. "We have an opportunity to do what is best for kids, rather than sticking with the calendar that revolved around agricultural needs."
However, the majority of the board voted to accept the proposed calendar because it has already been approved by Granite District. The two districts have tried for some time to develop a joint calendar.