Below are some answers to Frequently Asked Questions the district has received via email and during public comment.
• Who makes the final decision on boundaries?
The Board of Education of the Davis School District makes the final decision on boundaries — following many meetings, the collection of public comment and recommendations from the boundary committee. Currently, that final decision is scheduled for the April 19 board meeting.
Why is the school district proposing boundary changes for West Point Elementary and West Clinton Elementary?
West Point Elementary is above its expanded capacity (using portable classrooms). Growth is expected to continue within the current boundaries. Without a boundary adjustment, a year-round schedule would need to be considered to accommodate the student growth at that school and its impact on the building. West Clinton Elementary can take about 90 students and still function well within its capacity levels.
• What is the enrollment capacity and current enrollment of the schools being considered?
West Point Elementary
Capacity - 726;
Current enrollment – 1,032
% of capacity – 142.2%
West Clinton Elementary
Capacity - 699
Current enrollment – 699
% of capacity – 103.9%
• What will the enrollment percentage be with the adjustments?
West Point Elementary — 129.5%
West Clinton Elementary — 117%
• How does the district determine capacity for each school?
There are many considerations involved in the process. The first variable is the number of classrooms. The second variation is special programs that require full-size classrooms, such as special education. The staffing ratio multiplied by the number of classrooms establishes capacity. The capacity of a school can be extended with the use of portable classrooms. Currently, there are nine portables at West Point Elementary and six portables at West Clinton Elementary. The district also considers the impact of enrollment on restrooms, lunchrooms and playgrounds.
• Will the district consider a year-round schedule instead of a boundary adjustment?
At this time, the boundary adjustment is the proposed solution to the growth at West Point Elementary. Past experience has shown the vast majority of patrons do not prefer year-round schools. When families have students in elementary and secondary schools, parents have said year-round schedules complicate vacations and other scheduling needs. A year-round schedule is considered when another option is not available to alleviate overcrowding.
• Why is the district not considering a larger boundary adjustment?
The district is aware of the continuing growth in the area. The district’s Planning Department works closely with all city and county planners to keep abreast of new and future developments within the school district. This communication allows the district to stay current about plans for residential housing and apartments and the impact such developments could have on its schools.
That being said, the current proposal is a measured approach to alleviate the current overcrowding at West Point Elementary. The proposal seeks to disrupt the smallest amount of students possible, while keeping them with other neighborhood students. With little expected growth in that proposed area, those students should not have to move again in a future boundary adjustment if a new school is built. West Clinton Elementary’s capacity would be stable for the next few years with the proposed adjustment.
A larger boundary study would mean a change for many students. With the growth expected in northwest Davis County, it’s likely more adjustments would need to be made again in the near future, especially if a new school is built in the next few years.
• With the increased growth, is there a plan for another elementary school?
The district purchases property in growing areas in anticipation of future schools. Currently, it owns a few pieces of land in that area of the county which could accommodate a school. Prior to building a school in that area, a bond proposal would need to be passed by the voters of Davis County. An elementary school in the southwest corner of West Point City is currently on the list of projects that would be considered in the next bond.
• Is there a school planned for the Cranefield Estates area?
The district does own property for a school in that area. However, despite the sign placed by the developer, this would likely not be the next location for an elementary school in the northwest portion of Davis School District.
• Why is the district not considering Cranefield Estates for the boundary adjustment?
Cranefield Estates is a growing area in this part of the district. The district does not want to move too many students to West Clinton Elementary, which then brings it far above capacity and necessitates another adjustment in the near future.
• When will the school district go out for another bond?
There is not a pre-determined date at this time for the next bond election. The Board of Education considers growth, building needs and the impact on taxpayers when making the decision to place a bond election on the ballot. Funding from the last approved bond in 2015 has already been allocated.
• Is the safety of students being considered?
Currently, the students in the boundary adjustment area are bused to West Point Elementary. With the proposed adjustment, those students would all be within 1.5 miles of the school and no longer be eligible for busing. The committee has reviewed the area. Sidewalks currently exist on both sides of 1800 North and there are crossing guards in three locations to help get kids safely to the school.
• Will the district move special programs such as preschool or essential elements to decrease the capacity at an overcrowded school?
When considering an adjustment, the district does look at special programs in that school and whether those can be easily moved. However, it also considers the disruption to those students and the spaces that have been generated to provide services.
• How does the district determine the number of students living in each neighborhood?
The district uses a fairly sophisticated computer program — the Geographical Information System — to determine the number of students.
The program uses Davis County property maps and assigns an address to the property description. The file is then merged with the district’s student database which lists students by grade and address. The program allows the user to highlight a house, street or neighborhood and report how many students by grade are in the area. Such detail allows the study committee to receive accurate data and draw boundaries based on the information. The unknown is the exact number of incoming kindergarten students.
• What are my options for providing comment on the proposal?
The district continues to consider input received via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
A public hearing will be held at 6:30 p.m., March 22, in the Syracuse High School auditorium. That hearing will focus specifically on the boundary proposal. Each person wishing to address the board about the plan will be given a maximum of two minutes to share their thoughts.
The board will give final consideration to the proposal during its regular meeting April 19. That meeting begins at 6 p.m. and will be held in the district administration building, 45 E. State St., Farmington.
• Who are the members of the boundary study group?
The boundary study group consists of the district’s planning director, elementary school director, community relations representatives and principals of schools involved.