Thousands Of Utah Students Return To Class

Aug 17, 2020, 5:48 AM | Updated: 12:26 pm

MURRAY, Utah – Thousands of Utah students headed back to school Monday, including those in the Murray School District.

“There’s nerves a little bit with a normal school year anyway but then adding our pandemic,” said Jeannette Bowen, a mother of five with students ranging from kindergarten to 11th grade. “I’m confident having our safety protocol in place with masks and social distancing, lots of hand sanitizing,that things are going to work out great.”

Bowen and her kids opted for in-person learning five days a week, but other parents are a little more apprehensive.

“We chose the hybrid option for us. We thought that was the best option at this time with the case count still kind of lingering in the high 300s,” said Jennifer Auwerda who has a fifth-grader back in school.

District Superintendent Jennifer Covington said they estimate of their 6,300 students, about 50% of them are choosing in-person learning.

“We know that 20% have declared to be fully online,” she said. “We anticipate another 30% will exercise the hybrid option where they will be attending on certain days, and so we anticipate to be about 50% capacity on any given day.”

From social distancing at lunch and staggering in the halls, school is a different experience even at recess.

“We’ll have cohorts out by class so they can stay together,” Covington said. “We’re still giving them access to the playground equipment – we’ll be sanitizing that.”

She said the district’s goal is to make it as normal a school day as possible while still doing what is needed to make everyone safe.

For the next two weeks, schools within the district will have half days while students and teachers transition to all the new changes.

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Thousands Of Utah Students Return To Class