SALT LAKE CITY – After a week of delays due to wind storms and power outages, classes have begun at the Salt Lake City School District. However, something odd is happening when it comes to enrollment. Thousands of students who used to be enrolled in the district haven’t been registered for classes, and district officials are puzzled as to why.
Enrollment within the school district has been going steadily down in recent years. Spokesperson Yándary Chatwin says there isn’t one specific reason for the decline, but it has been similar to what other districts have been going through.
She says, “There are a number of reasons that enrollment was turning downward, anyway. There is a housing crisis in Salt Lake. Prices are going up and a lot of families are looking at the suburbs, instead.”
However, they’ve never really seen a drop like this. There are three thousand fewer students taking classes in the district now compared to the spring of this year.
“It’s definitely a bigger jump. Over the last five years, I think the biggest jump we have seen we just under a thousand,” Chatwin says.
But, why? Chatwin says that’s what they’re trying to figure out.
Educators don’t believe there is just one reason for the drop, and they’re looking into every possibility. For instance, Chatwin says some parents may have taken their kids out of the district due to the decision to keep classes online for the first quarter of the school year. Others may not have been able to register their children properly since they couldn’t access the internet.
Sher adds, “Since we have such a gap in lack of access to the internet in Salt Lake City, a lot of families couldn’t take care of that registration on their own. So, it was crucial that the schools and teachers came to them.”
In the meantime, the district is trying to reach out to the families who are no longer enrolled with SLCSD. Chatwin says they’re trying to learn why they’re not registered, and how they can take care of the child’s educational needs.
“A couple of our schools have had enrollment fairs at apartment complexes where we know we have a high concentration of families,” she says.
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