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Board Of Education Reviewing Districts’ Plans For Reopening Utah Schools

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah State Board of Education is meeting to finalize decisions about the overall school reopening plan and the learning approach each school district will take.

Board officials met Thursday night, and were expected to consider four main approaches take by the school districts.

1. Twenty-four districts opted for an in-person schedule, including Duchesne, Garfield, Park City, Tooele Wasatch, Washington and Box Elder. Iron, Canyons, and Box Elder all planned school in-person, but delayed their start dates.

2. Thirteen districts opted for the Hybrid A return, with a modified or shortened or remote school day. Those districts included Nebo, Cache, Alpine, Provo, Jordan, and Uintah.

3. The Hybrid B return would include A/B days and staggered schedules. Three districts have opted for this option, including Davis, Logan, and Ogden.

4. The final option was a start to the school year with remote only classes – an option decided on by the Salt Lake City School District.

The Board has also updated the recommendations in the COVID-19 School Safety Manual first unveiled by Governor Gary Herbert.

Changes included the removal of a modified quarantine, suggesting that those who have been in direct contact with a person who has tested for coronavirus to stay home for 14 days and not participate in school or extracurricular activities.

“We are making some changes to the manual that are still consistent with good public health practice, so with regards to the modified quarantine, we are removing the recommendation that students and teachers be allowed to attend school while under quarantine,” state  epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn said at a briefing from the Utah Department of Health.

The school board said they’ve also made changes to the online learning platform, Canvas, to publish information for parents whose primary languages are not English, including Spanish and Navajo speakers.

Also on the agenda were steps to avoid coronavirus exposure and spread, such as staggered arrival and departure times – allowing students to eat lunch in nontraditional places, and letting them have a five-minute cool down period after recess before going back into the classroom.

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