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Three elementary schools in the Granite School District to close by end of school year

A teacher in front of a class of students
Kenny Eliason

By the end of the school year, three elementary schools in the Granite School District will be closed.

A 10-month-long study was conducted by school leaders throughout 9 elementary schools on the west side of the district. It was discovered that Spring Lane, Twin Peaks, and Millcreek had some of the fastest declining student populations in the entire district.

Ben Horsley, Spokesperson for Granite School District, says that the student population is diminishing. In the last decade, the district has lost around 8,000 students and 1,200 in just the past year.

The decision to close the three schools was unanimously decided by the board in Tuesday night’s board meeting. The decision has ultimately upset and disappointed some parents of students at the schools. April Flores, President of Millcreek PTA, says that it was a huge gut punch learning about their school being on the list of those that could possibly close by the end of the year.

A major concern for Flores is the transition for students and staff following the school closing, as many of them are Latino. Flores says that a lot of families chose Millcreek because of their diversity and their dual language immersion program, so there has been a massive concern over a transition of this program to other schools.

But while many are concerned over the decision to close these three schools, many others are excited for what’s to come. Rhiannon Longstaff, former teacher and mother of three, says that she encourages the plan and that bringing more students into one place, there’s more financial and social opportunities for students and staff to thrive.

Schools are often funded by property tax and by how many students they have, so schools with not as many students have a difficult time affording teachers, Longstaff says.

So while there’s many hurdles and expectations for the future of these schools, officials in the Granite School District are working to help smooth the transition of families and staff members moving forward.