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Wasatch County School District enrollment numbers increase while Park City School District drops

Wasatch County School District Offices
Wasatch County School District
Wasatch County School District
Midway Elementary School

Current enrollment numbers are in for all Utah school districts. Year-over-year changes vary by school district, with Wasatch County experiencing the biggest increase in students of the four Wasatch Back school districts.

Wasatch County is one of the top five fastest-growing counties in the nation. As a reflection of that growth, the school district is being squeezed by an overflow of students.

Wasatch County School District Superintendent Paul Sweat said they're looking at increases over the past two years, acknowledging the uncertainty in growth trends as a condition of COVID-19. Sweat said the bottom line is schools are bursting at the seams.

The district added 550 new students this year. Enrollment dropped in 2021 to fewer than 6800 students. (6767 students) Sweat said he wasn't surprised by the increases this year.

"If you take the pandemic off the table and then no, it was it was no surprise because we do contract with a company called Davis Demographics and they have been helping us monitor fast-growing communities here in Wasatch County. And we have a pretty good idea of what's coming ahead of time, and so far, those numbers have been very accurate. Currently, as a district, we're at 7,495, and they're predicting next year will go up to 7,902.”

Sweat said they'll make elementary school boundary adjustments this year to address growth in grades K through 5. Wasatch County School Board Member Marianne Allen said the elementary schools and the high school are at capacity.

"We have portables at a lot of our schools. We have some elementary schools that are just literally at the max. Midway Elementary has portables. Jr. Smith has portables. Old Mill has portables. The high school definitely has portables. I mean, we're trying to adjust to the increase right now the best we can. But yeah, it's a tight situation when you have teachers and kids in portables."

Park City School District student enrollment dropped by 2.2% this year, with 104 fewer students. For the fifth year in a row, enrollment has fallen, although 2018 and 2019 were less than a 1% decline. Preschool enrollment increased by almost 7% this year, with an additional 10 more children. Park City School District has 4,592 students enrolled compared with 4,696 last year.

The South Summit School District has 1,654 students enrolled this year, increasing 19 students over last year. The middle school and the high school increased, while enrollment at both elementary schools (Silver Summit and South Summit) dropped.

North Summit School District, serving the Coalville area, has 1,037 students, which Superintendent Jerre Holmes said is consistent with the trends in the past several years. Last year, there were 1040 students enrolled in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Kindergarten had 65 enroll this year, and typically, Holmes said, they have 70 to 75 students enrolled. There are 74 seniors this year compared with 92 that graduated in May.

KPCW reporter Carolyn Murray covers Summit and Wasatch County School Districts. She also reports on wildlife and environmental stories, along with breaking news. Carolyn has been in town since the mid ‘80s and raised two daughters in Park City.