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Utah School Districts developing plans to keep students and teachers safe amid pandemic

Posted at 2:02 PM, Jul 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-15 16:17:45-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Four of the biggest school districts in Utah are working to finalize plans for when students return to class for the fall semester.

None of the plans is finalized but offer several options.

Here’s a look at some of the plans so far.

Salt Lake School District

The Salt Lake City School District hasn’t finalized its plan, but is looking at the results of a pair of surveys sent to parents several weeks ago.

The district has made it clear that it will make its decisions based on Utah’s color-coded COVID-19 risk levels.

If Salt Lake City remains in the orange or moderate risk level or goes back to red or high risk – all instruction will use the distance-learning model with no students at the school.

If the risk goes to yellow or green, administrators will most-likely adopt a plan that allows students to split time learning between the classroom and at home.

A group of parents is opposed to distance-learning if the city stays orange or goes to red. They plan a rally outside Salt Lake School District offices at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Face masks will be required for students, staff and teachers and must be worn inside the school and in buses.

Canyons School District

A plan to reopen schools and return to in-person learning was presented to the Canyons School District Board Tuesday, impacting roughly 34,000 Utah students.

The district’s proposed plan includes three different options that would be available for families to choose from for the fall 2020 school semester.

  • Option 1- Provides a completely in-person learning experience that would be as similar as possible to what students are used to.
  • Option 2- Provides a 100 percent online platform where students will be taught remotely through their school within the district.
  • Option 3- Would allow parents to home-school their children using curriculum provided by the district

Under the proposed plan, students would be required to stick with whichever plan is chosen for at least one semester.

Per Governor Herbert's statewide mandate, face masks will be required for students, staff, teachers and visitors.

Following more than four hours of discussion, comment and deliberations, the board had not yet voted on adopting the plan.

Once voted on, the district needs to present the plan to reopen to the State Board of Education by August 1.
Click here to view the full plan.

Granite School District

Students in The Granite School District will be able to attend classes in-person or continue teacher-delivered distance-learning when classes resume on August 24.

The Granite Board met Tuesday and proposed three separate schedules across several day parts. The Department of Health will determine which of the three schedules is best, and the district will adopt that schedule.

Knowing that some parents and students won’t feel comfortable going back to school, the district will continue to offer the teacher-delivered distance-learning program.

Per state mandate, students, teachers, staff and visitors will need to wear face coverings, which will be provided by the district.

School-specific site plans will be available online starting August 5.

The Board adjourned late Tuesday night and said all information and presentations will be publicized on its website later Wednesday.

Alpine School District

The Alpine School District has approved its plan to get students back in the classroom for the 2020-2021 school year. Members of the board voted 6-1 in favor of the plan after listening to public comment from hundreds of parents.

The plan will have students attend school Monday through Friday on a “modified” schedule, which subtracts one hour from the end of the school day. There is also an option for parents to have their children stay online if they prefer.

Students will be required to wear a mask in the classroom and on the school bus.

The Alpine School District promised to work with the Utah County Health Department as the pandemic develops to determine whether they need to pivot to a backup plan.

“We have a plan, but we also have two other plans that are ready to go,” said Assistant Superintendent Rhonda Bromley. One of the alternative plans would allow half of students on campus at a time. The other alternative plan would go back to fully online learning for all students.
The district also plans to allow students to participate in fall athletics. The first day of school is scheduled for August 18.

To view the full plan approved by the Alpine School District, click here.