Actions

It's back-to-school at Alpine School District, Utah's largest

ALPINE SCHOOL DISTRICT
Alpine School District
Alpine School District
Alpine School District
Alpine School District
Alpine School District
Alpine School District
Alpine School District
Alpine School District
Alpine School District
Alpine School District
Alpine School District
Alpine School District
Alpine School District
Posted at 8:42 AM, Aug 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-18 15:28:47-04

LEHI, Utah — The Alpine School District, Utah's largest, started classes Tuesday morning.

The district said 90 percent of students will return to the classroom, with the rest distance learning.

The district is prepared to shift to either a mix of in-person and online, or 100 percent online at any time it is deemed necessary.

Photographs released show some of the changes aimed at mitigating the spread of the coronavirus.

Students will be expected to follow markings along the floors and walls to show which direction they need to walk and how far apart they need to stand.

Plexi-glass partitions have been installed at reception desks and in classrooms, to help maintain a barrier between students when social distancing isn't possible.

Face coverings are required in all schools and students and staff must wash their hands often.

Parents are asked to keep students home if they're showing any COVID-19 symptoms.

Kimberly Bird, an assistant to the superintendent, said that so far, she had seen 100 percent compliance with the rule to wear a mask.

"Students, they're willing to do a hard thing because they want to be in school. Teachers are willing to do a hard thing to put themselves at risk because they believe in teaching," Bird said. "Public education is really the fabric of our society and so we believe that we've gotta have kids back in school."

Not everyone wanted the kids back in school.

Max Wright, whose mother teaches 2nd grade and who represents the Utah County Chapter of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, is against opening classrooms.

"We know that in person classes aren`t safe and we fear because we also know that we don`t have to have them,” Wright said. “We know that other places like Salt Lake City and Chicago are doing remote classes. We know it’s possible and there’s really no reason or excuse to hold classes right now."

In terms of scheduling, Alpine's district calendar has Tuesday as a “A” day and Wednesday as a “B” day, so students need to attend the right classes for their assigned day.

With so many changes for students and teachers, district leaders say they anticipate a bit of a learning curve as individual schools work through all the new safety precautions.