SLC School District Will Start School Year 100% Online
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Salt Lake City School Board became the first in the state to approve a fully remote learning start to the new school year Thursday, emphasizing their goal to get back to the classroom as quickly and safely as possible.
“We know this plan is not perfect. I have heard from constituents across the district who care deeply about having in-person instruction,” said Melissa Ford, president of the Salt Lake City School Board of Education. “And I want them to know that we do as well. That is why we have chosen a cautious and thoughtful approach.”
After a sometimes-contentious meeting last week and two-and-a-half hours of consideration this week, the school board voted six to one to approve the district’s plan online learning plan.
The plan includes starting the school year two weeks late on Sept. 8 through remote learning. That method will continue until the end of October, or until health conditions in Salt Lake City improve. Then it would turn into a hybrid model with both in-person and online learning.
“We’re ready. I mean we’re ready to go back in school. We’ve got all the personal protective equipment in place,” said Interim Superintendent Larry Madden, who emphasized their hope to return to the classroom.
“Our goal is to maintain a balance between health and safety of our students and excellent education,” he said. “We want to start the year out cautiously. When we come back, we want to stay.”
Madden said the extra two weeks before the start of school will give them time to hand out laptops and tablets. They already have 13,000 ready to go and another 6,000 on the way. The district will also be distributing wireless hot spots to families who need them.
To the many families who were hoping for an option on how to start the new school year, district spokesperson Yandary Chatwin said, “We hear you. We want that as badly as you do. We want our kids back, but we want to do it safely.”
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