Spanish Dual Language Immersion students at Middle Canyon Elementary School will stay put — for at least one more year.
After lengthy discussion during Tuesday night’s board meeting, the Tooele County School Board approved a motion with a 5-2 vote that will leave the DLI program at Middle Canyon and not change the school’s boundaries for the 2017-18 school year.
But the board did approve new boundaries on the north end of Tooele Valley for Old Mill, Stansbury Park and Rose Springs Elementary schools.
The motion to forgo adjustments to Middle Canyon Elementary’s boundaries and its DLI program also closed the school to all out-of-boundary students, except DLI students and their siblings, starting this fall — as long as the school has room for siblings.
Copper Canyon Elementary School will also see no boundary changes for 2017-18.
However, included in the motion for Middle Canyon Elementary was a warning to parents that the DLI program might be moved from Middle Canyon Elementary for the 2018-19 school year.
“We are giving notice, very loud and clear, that if it doesn’t work, the entire DLI program will have to be moved to Copper Canyon the next year,” said board member Carol Jensen as she made the motion.
Middle Canyon Elementary, at 679 students, is already four students over its ideal capacity of 675, and with anticipated growth, it will soon be over its “stretch” capacity of 700 students, according to school enrollment data.
A district boundary committee — composed of parents and staff from affected schools — has recommended either moving the DLI program to Copper Canyon Elementary or busing neighborhood students who currently walk to Middle Canyon Elementary to Copper Canyon Elementary.
“I support DLI but, I don’t want to bus neighborhood students past Middle Canyon to Copper Canyon to make room for DLI,” Jensen said. “I also don’t want to move the DLI program until we have made every possible effort to keep it at Middle Canyon.”
Jensen said that the school board could take another look at Middle Canyon’s enrollment in a year, after boundaries have been closed and a new charter school opens.
“There’s a lot of unknowns,” she said. “In a year we may be able to see the effect of some of these things.”
Board member Scott Bryan argued that Jensen’s motion would only prolong the need to move the DLI program by one year.
“I don’t see it working out next year,” Bryan said. “There just aren’t enough rooms at Middle Canyon. This is just kicking the can down the road.”
Bryan explained that he thought it would be best to make the change in 2017 so parents and students don’t have another year of wondering where they will be going to school.
“We’ve had emails from parents saying their students are losing sleep over this,” he said.
A substitute motion to move the DLI program to Copper Canyon this coming fall failed. An amendment to Jensen’s motion that would have closed new DLI enrollment to students outside of Middle Canyon’s boundaries also failed.
Jensen’s motion passed 5-2. Scott Bryan and Maresa Manzione made the dissenting votes.
The school board approved the boundary committee’s option C for Rose Springs, Stansbury Park and Old Mill Elementary school boundaries.
Those boundaries include sending students from the Benson Gristmill area, Lake Point, Millpond, the area behind Soelberg’s, and Crystal Bay Drive to Old Mill Elementary School along with students from Delgada, Schooner and Fireside Lanes, Bayshore Drive, Spring Street and Elizabeth Street.
Students currently bused to Stansbury Elementary School from west of Parkview and north of Christopher Street to Village Boulevard will be bused to Rose Springs.
Students in walking distance of Rose Springs, Stansbury Park and Overlake Elementary will continue to walk to their respective schools.
The new boundaries take effect with the 2017-18 school year.