SALT LAKE CITY — In an emergency meeting Thursday night, the Granite School district authorized distance learning for all schools, effective until January 21.
The unanimous vote came after Utah's "test-to-stay" was paused due to testing capacity.
Friday was previously scheduled as a teacher planning day and Monday, January 18 is a state holiday, meaning there is no school. Therefore, the distance learning would go into effect on January 18 through January 21, with students returning to in-person instruction on January 24.
Extra-curricular practices and events will proceed as normal, the district reports.
Materials such as internet hot spots will be provided to those students and families who need them during the period of online learning. The district asks that families reach out to their individual schools in order to get necessary materials.
Free grab and go meals will also be available at participating schools. More information about times and places to pick up the meals will be made available.
“We fully recognize that distance learning is not ideal and we have concerns with respect to our students and their emotional well-being," said Superintendent Rich Nye. "In-person instruction provides important structure and support for our kids. However, in the last two weeks, we have had over 2200 teacher substitute requests as well as a surge in student absenteeism. In 3 recent Test to Stay events at our schools, newly identified cases were significant with 1 in 5 students testing positive.”
The district hopes the pause from in-person learning will give students and staff the chance to slow the spread of COVID-19.