The Salt Lake City Board of Education wants feedback from parents about a boundary proposal for a new elementary school in the district's northwest quadrant that would affect Newman and Meadowlark elementaries.
The school board on Tuesday narrowed boundary possibilities to one option it believes would balance enrollments at the three schools."We need some input from parents if this is going to be a bad idea," said school board president Karen Derrick. "We'd love to hear from them."
The proposal would create a new school area west of Redwood Road and north of 1100 North. Meadowlark students living west of Redwood Road between 700 North and 1100 North would go to Newman.
That would place 420 to 540 students at the new school, 520 to 560 at Newman and 500 to 590 at Meadowlark. Newman now enrolls about 780; Meadowlark has around 800 students.
Newman Elementary is scheduled to be rebuilt, with air-conditioning, by the 2000-01 school year.
The option, selected from four, also was favored by an 18-member boundary committee of parents, educators, school board member Cliff Higbee and district staff. The board is to take action on the matter July 14.
The northwest school was approved by the board last winter to accommodate booming growth west of I-15. The school, to be built by fall 1999, marks the first district expansion in a quarter century.
But the new school is only a first step in diffusing west-side student populations, while east-side enrollments remain low - Beacon Heights, for instance, enrolls 350.
The school board continues wrangling with school-size issues and how to keep schools at a target population of 500. No schools will be closed to do so.
Transporting west-side students to east-side schools, as practiced in Granite School District, has been suggested. But that conflicts with the board's philosophy of creating neighborhood schools as a center for community and after-school activities, Derrick said.
Still, more than 3,000 students in the district of 25,000 attend schools outside their neighborhoods under the school choice option.