SANDY, Utah — The Canyons School District will push back its start date for the 2020-2021 school year by one week.
The move to start on Aug. 24 instead of Aug. 17 had been previously recommended by district Superintendent Rick Robins and voted on by the district's school board Tuesday night.
"This will give teachers 10 full work days to prepare for a school year unlike any other," district spokesman Jeff Haney wrote. "The decision is in response to teacher request for more time to get ready for the school year."
Earlier in the day, dozens of teachers with the Canyons School District rallied outside district headquarters, concerned about welcoming students back to the classroom.
“Even though cases are going down in the district, we’d like more time to see if those numbers can’t go down even further,” said Erika Bradshaw, an organizer of the rally and a teacher at Hillcrest High School.
The teachers all wore red shirts lined the streets surrounding the building. Many held signs expressing their concerns.
“We are still worried about social distancing. We are still worried about whether or not the virus is airborne,” Bradshaw said.
The teachers would like to see more safety measures as well as a delay in starting the school year.
“It is a horrible decision for anyone to be put in,” said Kelly Johnson, a teacher at Midvale Middle School. “We are here to advocate for our students. We want them to be safe.”
With the clock ticking closer to the scheduled first day of instruction, teachers in this district are balancing their duty to educate with protecting children.
“I know there are parents that require us to help their students. We are asking for more flexibility to give the students the safety they deserve,” Johnson said.
The teachers say they are talking to the district’s superintendent every week.