Salt Lake City School District Prepares For New School Year Online

Sep 2, 2020, 5:51 PM | Updated: 7:59 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The countdown is underway for the Salt Lake City School District as it now has just under a week from when classes will start. That day is set for next Tuesday, Sept. 8, but it will be 100% online learning. No in-person classes will be held.

Teachers and administrators are doing everything they can to make sure students have all the resources they need, including laptops for those kids who don’t have access to them.

East High School teacher Paige Parks drove around Salt Lake to personally visit with the 24 students she oversees as an advisor.  She said this personal connection is key to making sure her students start off on the right foot.

“Our purpose is to connect with students. Since we are starting 100% virtual, we wanted a way for students to see our faces and to know who we are and to make a connection,” she said. “This is really important to get students to buy in and be engaged in what we are doing for the school year.”

Parks admitted this is something she could have never predicted, and is hoping it all turns out okay.

“Teachers want to be back in the classroom, we do, but we also want to be safe for the community at large,” she said. “I’m nervous of what online learning will look like, but I’ve spent my entire summer preparing for this fall. So it will be very different.”

At Backman Elementary School, they are also very busy preparing for online learning.

“It’s very different. As a teacher, you are used to having a group of 20 students in a classroom.  There’s a lot of that human interaction that really allows the teacher to understand what is going on with the student. If they are understanding or if they are not,” said Matt Dawson, assistant principal.

Administrators at the school spent the day handing out laptops to those students that need them. They have about 400 students needing computers, and right now Dawson said they are running about 60 short. He is hoping more will be coming from the district soon.

“We are making every effort to guarantee that every student has an electronic device, because that’s our new classroom form,” said Dawson.

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Salt Lake City School District Prepares For New School Year Online