In this pandemic year, when school choice has meant weighing educational options for keeping children learning and safe, a growing number of families are choosing Canyons.
About 22 percent — or more than one in five — of Canyons District’s 34,000 students are enrolled in the school of their choosing, or a school other than the one assigned to them by geographic boundaries. Of those, nearly 1,226 come from outside the District, a 6 percent increase over the number of out-of-district students welcomed by Canyons the year prior.
Tuesday, Dec. 1 marks the start of the window for applying to attend a school other than your neighborhood school in 2021-2022. So-called School Choice transfers, or permits, are allowed under Utah law, and CSD families can apply for these transfers online through Friday, Feb. 19, 2021.
CSD’s increase in transfer students coincides with a net decline in school enrollment statewide driven, in part, by Utah’s falling birthrate, says CSD’s Planning and Enrollment Director Dr. Floyd Stensrud. “The growth we are seeing in our student transfers really speaks to our commitment to providing students with choices and learning opportunities suited to their interests and needs.”
Canyons strives to be the district of choice, and there are plenty of reasons to choose to enroll in one of our schools. Signature programs, such as the Step2theU partnership through which students can earn two semesters of college while enrolled at Alta High, or dual language immersion programs offered in Chinese, French and Spanish, are a big draw for many families. Among other popular offerings is the International Baccalaureate program at Hillcrest High or CSD’s Supplemental Hours of Kindergarten Instruction program.
“Sports and arts programs often play a part in enrollment decisions. Convenience also is a factor for many families as shown by the number of permit students we have at Mt. Jordan Middle and Jordan High,” Stensrud says, noting how both schools are located near the TRAX line. “The reasons people cite for choosing a given a school are as diverse as the families we serve.”
School transfers are approved when space is available and on a first-come, first-served basis. Once a school administrator approves a transfer permit, the permit will renew automatically every year thereafter as long as the student remains at the same school and their permit is not revoked. Permits must be renewed when a student advances from elementary to middle school or from middle school to high school.
To guide families through the process, the Department of Planning and Enrollment has created tutorials in English, Spanish, and French. Answers to frequently asked questions can be found on the Department’s website. The Main Office at your local school also is a good resource for information.
Questions? Please contact the Office of Planning and Enrollment, 801-826-5181.