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Students, teachers return to class in Murray School District

Posted at 6:26 PM, Aug 17, 2020

MURRAY, Utah - It was a first day of school like no other for the Murray School District.

With COVID-19 restrictions in full force, students, parents, teachers and administrators have all had to adapt.

“There's no question — everyone is a little bit worried, a little bit unsure how things were going to go," district spokesman Doug Perry told FOX 13. “But I saw very, very few things that we needed to work on."

The school district is opening for half-days only for the first two weeks of school, then parents have three options for their kids: All in-person, all online, or a hybrid.

About 20 percent of the district is opting to do online only, but the other 80 percent have either chosen a hybrid option or in school full-time.

“We took into account as many voices as we could get,” Perry said. “We made the conscious decision to open schools for only half-days for the first two weeks.”

Perry and others stressed the importance of teachers to the success of in-person and online learning.

“Our teachers have been just rock stars. They just really want to get back in the classroom,” Perry said. “They really want to teach, they want to do what they feel called in life to do.”

Parent and PTA member Jeanette Bowen spoke with FOX 13 just after getting her kids from school. She has kids that range from kindergarten to high school in the Murray District.

“The teachers were very supportive and positive today,” she said. “As a parent, that means the world that [kids] go and feel safe.”

Bowen says that through this process, she felt like her voice and the voices of other parents were heard through the school board and administration in Murray.

The Murray School District is the smallest in Salt Lake County with seven elementary schools, two junior high schools and one high school. That totals out to about 6,300 students enrolled.

While there are different ways of going back to school offered by the Murray School District, it was the ability for kids to be together again after a long time that Bowen felt like her students needed.

“They had things very much taken away, just like we all did,” she said. “And I feel like they are capable and able to step up, and they will.”