FARMINGTON — The Davis County Board of Education discussed a boundary change for Wasatch and Holt elementary schools during a workshop Tuesday.
A boundary study for the two schools began last year and is expected to be finalized at the end of the academic year in preparation for the opening of the new Wasatch Elementary School in the fall. Assistant Superintendent Craig Poll presented the study and said the proposed changes ease enrollment at Holt, which is over capacity, while simultaneously filling the classrooms of the new school.
"Holt has four portables; they really need a couple more," he said. "Holt will lose kids but will not lose faculty."
Wasatch enrolls about 350 students, compared to more than 700 at Holt. Poll said the boundary committee has met with both elementary schools and community councils, which have been supportive of the boundary plan.
"They had some questions but had no suggestions for change," he said.
The boundary change would reallocate students living in the area south of 150 North and north of 200 South between 500 West and Pacific Street. Those students, of which there are more than 100, would attend Wasatch Elementary.
Poll said the only foreseen issue would be students crossing Pacific Street, but added that a pedestrian walkway is already in place for children to cross safely, and precautions for snow removal and crossing guards have been taken.
"It's a safe walk out of traffic," Poll said.
District Spokesperson Christopher Williams said the committee is being proactive in making sure parents are aware of the changes. An open house will be held Feb 28 at Clearfield City Hall, where residents will be able to see the boundary maps and direct their questions and concerns to members of the district. Fliers will also be distributed with information about the boundary study.
Poll said that, compared to prior boundary studies, the Wasatch and Holt change has elicited mostly positive feedback. Both schools feed into the same junior high and high school, meaning students affected by the change will only see a difference at the elementary level.
"It's been quiet, and quiet is good," he said. "We're not hearing anything. We're not used to that with a boundary study."
In other Board of Education business, Poll also presented a Davis School District plan for increasing ethnic minority hiring. The discussion focused on not only the need to better represent the diversity of Davis County, but also to attract the highest quality of new teachers.
"The goal is to get the best and the finest," Poll said.
The plan focused on increasing the number of minority applicants, including a more focused effort on out of state recruiting and the development of programs such as Latinos in Action and education grants that encourage Davis County students to return after receiving their education certificates.
Board member Peter Cannon emphasized that the quality of a teaching candidate should be considered before any other criteria, saying when he was a student what mattered was whether the teacher was inspiring, not the teacher's ethnicity.
"He didn't need to be my ethnic group, he didn't need to be my own race, he just needed to be inspiring," Cannon said. "It's just a slippery slope when we think anyone in America needs to be inspired by their own ethnic type. If they're good and inspiring, that's who we want."