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Debbie Margo looked forward to her daughter's freshman year at Draper's new Corner Canyon High School, but now it's not going to happen.
After an enrollment glitch, the Canyons Board of Education voted this week to continue its policy of evaluating each year, based on enrollment, the number of permits given to out-of-boundary students.
The 283 such students admitted this year, and parents such as Margo, thought the permits were guaranteed to remain valid until graduation.
"I can't send her to a high school and then the following year she might have to leave," Margo said. "That's crazy. This whole process has been a nightmare."
Canyons School District officials have been grappling for weeks with potential overcrowding at the new school, even before its doors open. They held a town hall meeting in April to discuss the issue with the community.
Board members have admitted the process has been "botched," but in the end decided on this: Out-of-boundary students who have already been approved to attend Corner Canyon will be evaluated on a yearly basis, with their status depending on the school's enrollment.
Officials have projected enrollment for Corner Canyon High at 1,875 students in 2013; 2,019 in 2014; 2,074 in 2015; and 2,015 in 2016.
Also, the board placed Corner Canyon on "moratorium" status, which means the school will not accept any additional open-enrollment applications, even from siblings of the out-of-boundary students with permits.
Evidently, officials said, many more Draper students signed up to attend the new high school than anticipated, especially as the clock ticked down to the enrollment deadline.
Corner Canyon Principal Mary Bailey said at the April town hall meeting that in November, she had 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, who has lived in Draper for six years, said parents had been sent conflicting messages about their children being allowed to stay until graduation.
"I'm a little hesitant to follow the policy," he said. "It's incongruent."
But in the end, the board voted to follow its existing policy of annual reviews.
Corner Canyon is the first high school built by the district since the Jordan School District split in half in 2007. Corner Canyon, 12943 S. 700 East, will accommodate grades 9 to 12 beginning Aug. 19.