Summit schools expect more than 3,500 students to enroll this year
August 22, 2016
This week, many of Summit County's students will be hanging up their mountain bikes and longboards and heading back to school.
Summit Middle School and Summit High School students both had their first day of classes on Monday, while elementary school students will start on Tuesday and kindergarteners will go back on Wednesday. Although the exact enrollment in the school district is not yet certain, more than 3,500 students are expected to enroll, in total.
This year also brings the continuation of the District Facilities Master Plan, which is now in its second phase. The district is seeking parents and community members to serve on advisory committees to implement the plan. Its goals include addressing school facilities and age, instructional programming, land use and increasing student enrollment.
This last goal is particularly urgent, as over the past five years, enrollment in Summit School District has grown twice as fast as Summit County has. Summit High School, which taught 937 students in 2016, is projected to reach 1,183 by 2020.
Summit Middle School is projected to reach capacity by 2017 and the high school by 2018. Dillon Valley, Frisco and Breckenridge elementaries will reach their capacities by 2020. All the district's schools are projected to be at capacity by 2022.
The Master Plan concludes that there is an immediate need to increase space for enrollment at the middle and high schools. This year, the high school is adding an additional lunch slot to accommodate its growing student population.
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As the student population is changing, so is the teacher population, with 26 new teachers being hired. The district has a new superintendent, Kerry Buhler, who took over from former superintendent Heidi Pace in July. Buhler is the former principal of Upper Blue Elementary, and one of several new leaders who were hired from within the district.
There are also three new elementary school principals in Summit, all of who are former teachers. Laura Rupert, who previously taught at Summit Cove Elementary, is the new principal of Frisco Elementary. Former Dillon Valley Elementary teacher Kendra Carpenter is now the principle of that school. Additionally, Robyn Sutherland is now the principal of Upper Blue Elementary, where she previously taught.
"Everyone has been promoted from within, which I think says a lot about the strength of our leadership and the professional development we've been doing within the school district," said district spokeswoman Julie McCluskie.