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Deer Valley debating day school transformation

The Deer Valley Unified School District may make a big change at one of its schools next year.

The district said it needs a day school that would house between 88 and 105 special needs students.

“Students with disabilities, which are now currently placed in private schools for intensive educational settings of behavior and academics, could all be placed in one central area,” said district spokeswoman Heidi Vega.

To do that, the district is considering turning one of its five elementary schools into a day school. Those five schools that may be altered are Bellair, Desert Winds, Greenbrier, Mountain Shadows and Sunrise elementary schools. All of those schools have enrollments of less than 500 students.

If the district follows through with the plan, students at one of those five schools would be transferred to other schools, and the campus would then be transformed into the day school.

Vega said the district is trying to do all of this while living within its’ means.

“We’re receiving more and more budget cuts from the state,” she said. “Our enrollment continues to decline, unfortunately, and we have to find a way to be fiscally responsible as a district.”

Vega said that three out of every five homes in the Deer Valley Unified School District do not have an elementary school-aged child living there.

The district board will take up the proposal at a meeting on Jan. 8.