Coral Cliffs Elementary School in Washington County will close down in the Fall semester of 2024 following months of deliberation in Southern Utah.

Steve Dunham, the director of communications and foundations for the Washington County School District, gave some of the reasoning behind the decision.

Dunham said, “The board has been looking at this proposal to close Coral Cliffs Elementary for more than six months really. In fact, some could say it’s a process that began about six years ago when we shrunk Coral Cliffs to a professional development school like it is right now in its current form. As we’ve seen declining enrollment in the surrounding schools, Red Mountain, Santa Clara, Arrowhead, and Paradise, we felt like there needed to be another solution because we couldn’t run all these schools at a low capacity.

This comes during a time when the Salt Lake School District recently announced the closure of four elementary schools in Northern Utah. Still, Dunham said the reasoning is completely different from the decision behind Coral Cliffs Elementary School.

Dunham said, “That’s actually completely different. Every school district has to evaluate how schools are running and operating on their own merits. Are you running the schools in an efficient capacity for all of the students in the district and for all of the taxpayers in the district? This was a heavy decision that the board held multiple focus groups and meetings with the parents from Coral Cliffs.”

Dunham was also on the February 14 episode of the Andy Griffin Show where he said some of the board members cried over the decision but deemed it necessary.

The students of Coral Cliffs Elementary School are expected to enroll at other elementary schools such as Red Mountain and Paradise Canyon Elementary Schools. Please check your local boundaries through the Washington County School District for more details.


Arches National Park

Gallery Credit: All photos by Shelly Griffin

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