Here’s the one-stop shop for Utah public school reopening plans
Latest school reopening plans on Utah State Board of Education website are a mix of in-person, remote and hybrid learning
SALT LAKE CITY — With the 2020-21 school year getting underway, plans to reopen Utah school districts and charter schools in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve.
The Utah State Board of Education has links to the latest plans of each of Utah’s 41 school districts and more than 100 public charter schools on its website, along with state-level guidance on the reopening of public schools.
State School Board spokesman Mark Peterson said the board believes there is value in placing plans in one place to facilitate the sharing of information and best practices among school districts and charter schools.
“We also hope interested parents and community members will take a look at different plans to find elements that would be of use in their neighborhood schools,” Peterson said.
School districts and charter schools are utilizing a mix of approaches to teaching and learning, but many plans emphasize that they are living documents subject to change.
Washington School District will open for in-person school on Thursday on a traditional schedule, Monday through Friday. There will be early dismissal on Fridays for grades K-12 to allow for teacher and staff training and deep cleaning of schools.
The district is also offering families other options such as virtual at-home learning, online instruction through Utah Online School and blended in-person/virtual learning.
The Academy for Math, Engineering and Science, a public charter school in Murray, will start the school year with online learning, which will be reviewed by its board of trustees monthly. The plan envisions moving into a blended program or a full-time, in-person program “as health department data and student engagement data dictates.”
Utah’s smallest school district, Daggett School District, had a headcount of 189 students last fall. Its plan calls on students to return to school in person on Aug. 24, although some distance learning options are available.
The plan notes that some of the conditions “seem to be ‘over the top’ considering that Daggett County has not had a single positive case of COVID-19.”
By order of the Utah Department of Health, all Utah K-12 students, educators, staff and school visitors will wear masks in schools, with some exceptions. Daggett District’s plan states “community member input suggests Daggett School District should request an exemption to the mask/shield rule.”
The request will be explored, the plan states.
“At this point in time, this is what we need to do to return to school. Returning to school is more important than the relatively minor inconveniences we are asked to comply with,” the plan states.
Meanwhile, Canyon Rim Academy will start the school year Aug. 25. Families whose children receive special education services or have extenuating child care circumstances will attend school in person five days a week, although “accommodations will be made on a case-by-case basis.”
Other students will begin distance learning five days a week at home with their assigned teachers.
“We feel opening in this manner will allow our school to not only cool down, but give us time to monitor the COVID trends and safely return students to the classroom. During this time both students and teachers will have an opportunity to build a strong foundation for utilizing the distance learning model,” the plan states.