Utah districts hoping for new schools to deal with rising capacity concerns

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By Deanie Wimmer – Aug. 6, 2016 @ 8:52 AM

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Incoming sophomore Braxton Barton has one goal for his first year at Westlake High School: make the basketball team.

“That’s all I really care about,” he said. “That’s pretty much my life is basketball.”

At most high schools, he’d probably make the team. But at Westlake, as many as 300 students will try out for a team of 15 players.

“So not making the team is one of my concerns,” he added.

Competition to take part is one of the clearest ways giant high schools are impacting the student experience.

“What worries me the most is my kids having the same opportunities as they would attending a school with fewer students,” said Braxton’s mom, Audrey Barton.

Westlake High, in the Alpine District, was built for 2,200 students. This year, enrollment [has topped] 3,000. They have almost as many portable classrooms outside as classes inside the building.

Principal Gary Twitchell and his dedicated staff use creative approaches to make sure students’ needs are met. But, he says, they’re way past the tipping point.

“If I said there was no impact, I’d be lying,” said Twitchell. …

[Read full article on KSL.com]