SALT LAKE CITY — School districts all over Utah are working quickly to finalize plans for the upcoming school year that meet the guidelines set by the State Board of Education. Plans are due August 1.
Granite and Salt Lake City school districts both held meetings Tuesday to discuss the next steps.
Trying to plan for the future as the world changes daily in the midst of a pandemic has been tough on school boards across Utah.
“This has been tremendously difficult,” Granite School District spokesman Ben Horsley said. “We have to create a number of different scenarios to be able to go into, and so there’s a lot of complexity in what we’re trying to develop here.”
To try and prepare, both the Salt Lake City School District and the Granite School District sent out surveys to parents asking what they want to see happen this year to keep kids safe from COVID-19.
“We posed a few options, things like possibly having kids attend either in the morning or afternoon and doing remote learning the other half of the day, things like switching off every other week in person and every other week online,” said SLC School District spokeswoman Yandary Chatwin.
“Whether parents preferred if we had to go to a modified schedule instead of just coming back in the traditional sense, if they preferred a half-day schedule or an every other day schedule,” Horsley said were some options proposed.
Both school districts are taking the responses from the surveys into consideration and meeting to discuss how to implement them into a plan.
“We anticipate the board will provide some sort of guidance today, so district leaders will take that information and will make sure that we are aligning it’s not just with state guidance, but also the guidance from our local board,” said Chatwin.
Both say it’s not an easy thing to do, as safety guidelines seem to change by the minute.
“Responsibilities for the plan to be completed are by August 1. We still have three weeks before the start of school would begin on August 24. What’s going to change between that time and the time that school actually does start?” Horsley said.
They ask for patience from parents, saying they hope to send out the plans in the next few weeks.