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Parents voice concerns about crowding before Corner Canyon opens

Published April 30, 2013 7:09 am

Draper's new Corner Canyon High may face a tweak to enrollment.
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Draper • There's one thing the 200 parents and two Canyons Board of Education members could agree on Monday concerning the new $71 million Corner Canyon High School: Predicting student enrollment can get tricky.

Pretty much everything else during the hour-and-half town hall meeting was up for debate.

Here's one of the vexing questions asked by a parent: If the expected enrollment is 1,875 students, and if the school has a 2,271-student capacity, then why is there talk about overcrowding, why is there talk about adding six portable classrooms?

There was no direct response from the panel of school officials.

And so it went Monday night at Willow Springs Elementary, as parents voiced concerns about enrollment numbers and board members took notes.

The school board will soon answer this question: Will the 287 students already allowed to enroll from outside the school boundary cause such overcrowding, especially as enrollment increases each year, that some of those students will need to be punted to another school before graduation?

Two weeks ago, Draper parents voiced their growing concerns, so board members decided to hold Monday's town hall meeting to air the issue.

Evidently, officials said, many more Draper students signed up to attend the new high school than the number anticipated, especially as the clock ticked down to the enrollment deadline.

Principal Mary Bailey told the audience that, in November, she expected about 1,300 Draper students to sign up. With more seats available, state law mandated that school officials give more permits to out-of-boundary students. But hundreds of students inside the boundary then unexpectedly signed up.

Board member Chad Iverson said the board can declare a moratorium on the students with permits or simply let them attend for only one year: "We have the authority to make those decisions."

Colleen Steffen said that concerns her because her son received a "choice" permit during open enrollment.

"We followed the guidelines given to us," Steffen said. "He should be allowed to graduate in three years."

The Draper high school is the first public high school built by the district since the Jordan School District split into two in 2007. Corner Canyon, 12943 S. 700 East, will accommodate grades 9-12 beginning Aug. 19.

The new campus will absorb some of the 2,400 students enrolled at Alta High, easing some of that school's overcrowding.

The facility boasts a 3,300-seat gymnasium that is large enough to meet NCAA standards. There is also a state-of-the-art track, an artificial-turf football field, eight tennis courts and a baseball and softball complex.

Draper resident Steve Dixon, whose son will attend the new school as a freshman, said he and others expected the school to open with about 1,250 students, then heard about the more than 1,800 enrolling.

"I think that's the [reason for the] angst," Dixon said. "It feels like it will be more crowded than expected."

The Canyons Board of Education meets next on May 7.


Twitter: @rayutah —

Canyons names temporary district leader

Ginger Rhode, deputy superintendent for student achievement and the chief academic officer, will become the interim leader July 1 of Canyons School District . School board members will conduct a national search for the next superintendent, which usually takes four to six months. Superintendent David Doty recently announced he is leaving to become the leader of a Utah-based education-reform firm




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