meetingMurray City School District Board of Education Proposes Minimal Boundary Change for Parkside and Liberty Elementaries in 2024-25; They also Recommend Additional Changes that Would Necessitate a Bond Measure in November. 

In response to recent declines in student enrollment (11.4% over the last five years), the Murray City School District Board of Education is taking proactive steps to address an evolving educational landscape and ensure optimal learning environments for students. The initial phase of this comprehensive plan involves a minimal boundary change impacting Liberty Elementary and Parkside Elementary for the 2024-25 school year.

Under the recommendation, approximately 68 students enrolled at Parkside would be re-boundaried to attend Liberty Elementary. All impacted students (and their families) are presently living near the northern district boundary, north of Fireclay Avenue and west of State Street. This change will allow the district to right-size Liberty Elementary School’s enrollment to nearly 300 students and reduce Parkside’s to just over 400 students. 

As both schools are Title 1, this would also necessitate a small shift in resources (staff and funding) to Liberty that is commensurate with per pupil costs. Impacted students are presently bussed to Parkside and will continue to receive transportation services to attend Liberty.

Additional recommendations from the Board of Education include a bond measure in November 2024 to replace Riverview Jr. High and make structural changes to Murray High School. This will pave the way for the district to move from a  junior high school model to a middle school model – which means moving 6th grades to the middle schools and 9th grades to the high school.

“This recommendation comes after nearly five years of facility and student population studies, reviews, and discussions,” said Jaren Cooper, Murray Board of Education Chair. “It’s not an easy decision but reflects a commitment and responsiveness to optimizing learning conditions for our Murray students.”

Cooper and the Board also stressed that these recommendations are part of a larger vision involving facilities and further boundary changes once the grade reconfiguration of moving the 6th and 9th grader students is complete. “The fact is, we have some facilities that are aging and need to address them to ensure we are managing our assets and tax-payer investments responsibly,” he added.

Murray is not alone in making similar proposals in Utah and across the country. Declining birth rates, rising home and apartment costs, and other economic stresses are impacting enrollments. The Board considered many different ideas for addressing these factors, balancing them with our current elementary building’s functional capacity, population projections, new housing plans, building costs, class size impacts, specialty learning programs, and school/community cultures.

“I appreciate the board’s extensive and thoughtful approach that led to these recommendations,” said Superintendent Jennifer Covington. “Our commitment is to provide the best possible education for every student in our district. This proposal and their vision for the future reflect that, ensuring our schools are appropriately sized, well-equipped, and capable of meeting the evolving needs of our community. I believe this fosters an environment where students can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.”

Community members and educators are encouraged to learn more about these recommendations and a broader vision for the district at two separate informational public meetings.  More information on these public meetings will be shared on our district website in the coming weeks.  

Additionally, there will be opportunities to provide public comment at the regularly scheduled board meetings on February 18, March 14,  and April 11. The Board will call for a final vote on this first phase of recommendations on April 18, 2024.