ASU 100: Split Creates Two Smaller Systems

The list of the 100 largest school districts for 2009-10 shows very little change from the previous year’s rankings with one notable exception: The Jordan (Utah) district, the biggest in the state and the nation’s 39th-largest system with 81,485 students in 2008, fell to near the bottom of the top 100.

With 48,853 students, the Jordan district ranked 94th. What happened? Residents in the eastern part of the district voted to leave Jordan and create a separate school system. About 40 percent of Jordan’s students began attending the new Canyons school district in 2009-10. With 33,678 students, it ranked as the 175th-largest U.S. school system.

Less than a year after it welcomed students, the Canyons district won voter approval for a $250 million bond issue that is providing funds for facility construction and renovation. The district is building a 1,800-student high school in Draper that is expected to open in 2013. Last month, Canyon officials broke ground on a new facility to replace the 61-year-old Midvale Elementary School.

The Canyons district also plans to upgrade two existing high schools so they can accommodate ninth-grade students, and rebuild or renovate several other campuses.

The Jordan district has completed several construction projects that had been in the works before the Canyons district began operations. Jordan opened Silvercrest Elementary School and Kauri Sue Hamilton School, a facility for students with disabilities, in 2009, and Herriman High School in 2010.

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