South Park Academy Renamed as Sky View Academy: A Fresh Start for Incarcerated Students

Recently, South Park Academy held its inaugural high school graduation ceremony at the newly opened Utah State Correctional Facility.

That will now be the one and only graduating class for South Park at USCF.

Officials with the Salt Lake City School District have announced the school will change its name to Sky View Academy. The district’s board approved the change on June 6.

South Park offered high school courses to incarcerated students at the Utah State Prison from 1955 to 2022. It was initially under the supervision of the Jordan School District before moving to the Canyons School District in 2009.

So why the change? In 1955, the name South Park was not associated with a popular cable television show that, to put it politely, does not reflect the image the school district is striving to put forth at USCF.

“Students within correctional facilities are often marginalized and are rarely afforded opportunities to change how they are viewed,” said the district’s name change proposal. “With the current school’s name, several references within pop culture can be made that reinforce negative stereotypes of bad behavior and continue to stigmatize our students long after they pay their debt to society and re-enter their communities when they produce proof of graduation through transcripts or diplomas.

“South Park Academy students and stakeholders deserve a name that instills hope and pride for all associated with the program.”

Sky View was selected based on a survey of students and stakeholders – highlighting the wide-open spaces surrounding USCF. It topped Sliver Lake Academy (which went with the water theme at the facility) and Bayside Academy (a nod to the Great Salt Lake sitting just a few miles away).

 The groups also selected Eagles as the mascot and a color scheme of purple and silver.

“I think they, as well as our other stakeholders who participated, did a phenomenal job in choosing a name that not only represents the landscape but also choosing a mascot that has great significance and symbolism when it comes to our students’ livelihoods while here,” said Christopher Sullivan, the Supervisor/Administrator for Sky View. “I couldn’t think of a better school name and mascot for our students as they soar to new heights and strive for a better future while they keep hope alive.”

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