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Parents prepare to keep kids home after state extends school dismissal until May 1

Posted at 10:33 PM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-24 00:38:33-04

UTAH — Parents are preparing to keep their kids home from school for the long haul after the State of Utah announced Monday that the dismissal of all K-12 public schools will extend until May 1.

The soft closure of schools is meant to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Parents told Fox 13 they expected that the state would extend the initial two-week soft closure, into something much longer.

Richie Martinez played catch with his two sons Daxton and Ethan Monday afternoon, at a baseball field in West Valley City.

He explained that it's the field his son's team would normally be playing on.

"I'm their coach," he said. "Baseball has been postponed."

Martinez isn't sure when the season will start. While they threw the ball around, he found out that the postponement is extending to Daxton and Ethan's schools, Neil Armstrong Academy and Jackling Elementary.

They are already one week into a two-week soft closure.

"Just barely found out while we were here, that it's going to be extended longer," he said. "So that will be an interesting challenge to overcome."

He described how the current two-week closure has been a little difficult, because Martinez said his sons get stir crazy.

He and a lot of other parents are thinking about what they need to do, to keep a consistent schedule and keep their kids on track at home.

Cassie Combs and Adam Diener wondered that same thing about their two sons, 9-year old Conrad and 10-year old Asher.

"That's like a month plus of no school," said Salt Lake parent Cassie Combs. "We really need to get it so much more organized and really plan on doing a much better job at homeschooling, and keeping them off screens a ton and and all that stuff."

Combs described how Diener was good at homeschooling the kids. Diener said it was fun to be involved.

They hope, if anything, it gives them a chance to become closer as a family.

"We might just kind of play it as we go, unless we find something that really, really works," Combs said.

Martinez said his boys' teachers have done a great job preparing packets.

He said it'll be an adjustment, but more they get used to it, the easier it'll become.

Plus, he understands why the closure has been extended. Martinez said he thinks it's a great idea, and he was thinking the state would extend it out until the end of the school year.

"I noticed that there's been a couple parents that are having a harder time than others," Martinez said. "But for the most part, everyone I know is hanging in there."