SLC School District looking at 7 elementary schools for possible closures

Sep 12, 2023, 2:07 PM | Updated: 2:14 pm

SALT LAKE CITY The Salt Lake City School District is currently studying seven elementary schools for potential closure.

On Tuesday night, an information session will bring parents and community members forward to share their opinions on those possible school closures.

The first meeting will be held at Bryant Middle School.

Those in attendance can expect to learn more from the Director of Boundaries and Planning who is overseeing the process of studying the schools and boundary realignment.

It is the first of five info sessions. 

Jenny Makosky is a mom with students at Hawthorn Elementary, one of the seven schools that made the list for potential closure.

“What is the pull of a neighborhood school? What is it supposed to be? I wasn’t surprised to see one of the schools on the list. I was surprised to see both of them on the list,” Makosky said.

She is also referring to Emerson Elementary School, which sits just over a mile from Hawthorne Elementary. 

“If they keep Emerson open, we’re actually somewhat concerned that our neighborhood families will get lost in the shuffles…” Makosky said.

Salt Lake City School District’s Executive Director of Communications and Community Relations, Yandary Chatwin, said Salt Lake City has an aging problem. 

Coupled with high housing costs and families choosing to have fewer kids, she said the district’s decision to look into potential school closures is a necessary move.

“Looking at data in cities across the Wasatch Front, we are among the lowest percentage of K-12 aged students… Looking at the numbers for last school year, we’ve lost 30 percent of the kids in the district at the elementary school level in the last eight years, and the district hasn’t closed schools in over 20 years,” said Chatwin.        

Makosky said if the school her students attend were to close, it would create new questions for her family to answer. 

“If you move my magnet program, my kids can’t walk to and from school anymore, but if you don’t move my magnet program and you only close one of them, my neighbors don’t get a chance to go to a neighborhood school,” Makosky said.

Chatwin said they have also been going through historical data. They noted between 1964 and 1979, the district enrollment almost declined by half overall and in that time period, the district closed 32 schools. 

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SLC School District looking at 7 elementary schools for possible closures