Ogden schools are smaller than Weber, Davis schools, despite bond worries

Monday , October 30, 2017 - 5:15 AM1 comment

SHEILA WANG, Standard-Examiner staff

OGDEN — The Ogden School District’s $106.5 million bond proposal has some parents worried, fearing, in part, that enrollment at three elementary schools that would be rebuilt would balloon out of control.

School officials, while acknowledging that capacity would increase per the plans at Polk, T.O. Smith and Horace Mann schools, say the larger facilities would be better than the existing ones, that kids stand to benefit. Mail-in balloting continues on the bond proposal, with voting to end Nov. 7.

Whatever the case, data from the Utah State Board of Education (see graphs below) shows that Ogden elementary schools, on average, are smaller than public schools in the Weber and Davis school districts and in Utah as a whole. Likewise, a larger share of Ogden schools, 78 percent, house 600 or fewer students compared to the Weber and Davis districts, where the figures are 56 percent and 53 percent, respectively.

Even if the size of Polk, T.O. Smith and Horace Mann schools were to increase, per the bond proposal, it wouldn’t likely make Ogden School District an outlier compared to area or statewide norms.

The chart above shows the average number of students enrolled in public K-6 schools in the Ogden, Weber and Davis school districts in 2016-2017 and in public, non-charter schools across the state as a whole. The average student number in Ogden schools totaled 498 compared to 587 across the state. The figures were 611 and 609 in the Weber and Davis districts, respectively.

The above chart shows that enrollment of 401 to 600 students was most common category among the three school districts in the 2016-2017 school year. Roughly 64 percent of Ogden elementary schools fell into this category, the highest among the three school districts.

Only 21 percent of schools in Ogden had 601-800 students, lower than the two districts and the state. No Ogden elementary school had more than 801 students, compared to 15 percent in Weber schools and 19 percent in Davis schools.

This chart illustrates the distribution of public elementary schools of different sizes across the state in the 2016-2017 school year. Schools with 401 to 600 students were the most common, accounting for 147 of the 393 schools statewide. Only 64 schools across Utah had less than 400 students, the least common size.

For a downloadable dataset on the school size of the three districts, click here.

Data source: Utah State Board of Education (USBE)

Contact reporter Sheila Wang at 801-625-4252 or swang@standard.net. Follow her on Twitter at @SheilaWang7.

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