Tonight, the Salt Lake City School Board will review possible school closure studies. Here’s what you should know before the meeting.

Concerned parents have signed up to speak at the board meeting.

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Hawthorne Elementary School in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, July 25, 2023.

Members of the Salt Lake City school board are expected to discuss — and possibly vote on — whether to keep seven elementary schools under review for possible closure.

The potential studies come as the district has attempted to properly size its elementary school population and grades, as total student enrollment has declined significantly over the past decade. In December, state auditors criticized the district for keeping school numbers low and enrollments falling.

[Read more: What put these 7 Salt Lake City schools on the radar for potential closure studies?]

The schools on the borough’s radar are Emerson, Hawthorne, Bennion, Mary W. Jackson, Newman, Riley, and Wasatch Elementary Schools.

Of all 27 elementary schools originally surveyed, these seven were ranked the worst by a district committee based on factors such as safe sidewalks, age of builders and enrollment numbers.

The Salt Lake Tribune will update this developing story. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m

The following is known so far:

  • A possible vote tonight could result in all, some or even none of the proposed seven schools being further considered for closure, depending on board decisions.

  • If board members vote tonight to continue investigating the seven schools, it would begin the district’s 120-day announcement to parents and students that their school will be closed. State law currently sets this number at a minimum of 90 days, but the county has opted to use 120 days.

  • Schools that are eligible for a study into a possible closure will attend neighborhood awareness sessions later in the fall so the district can gather feedback from the community. Official closure votes could take place in December or January, with schools possibly closing as early as autumn 2024.

Justin Scaccy

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