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Salt Lake City School District Could Decide On Bringing Students Back To Classrooms

Jan 5, 2021, 7:11 AM | Updated: 12:28 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Students and parents within the Salt Lake City School District could learn whether or not in-person learning will resume.

SLCSD Interim Superintendent Larry Madden will present the plan during a school board meeting Monday night. The board has already voted to phase in elementary students at the end of the month, but so far there have been no other changes.

Salt Lake City schools are the only ones in the state that have remained closed to in-person learning since the pandemic shut classroom doors across the state in 2020.

As a result, there has been a lot of pushback on multiple fronts. A group of parents has filed a lawsuit to reopen the district’s schools, while state legislators approved year-end bonuses that exclude educators who teach remote only.

Additionally, 4,000 middle and high school students within the district have had failing grades.

Parents and students spoke out in December, calling the spike in failing grades an example of the struggles students have faced by not being in physical classrooms.

Now that teachers are approved to receive the COVID-19 vaccine early, some parents are pushing harder to get students back into school.

“We have had ups and downs academically, but emotionally, it’s been tough,” said parent Julie Mulcock. “I am a single mom. I have to go to work and can’t help them.

A spokesperson for SLCSD in December said she anticipates the vaccine will be part of the conversation at Monday’s board meeting.

“The vaccines are a game changer,” Yándary Chatwin said. “We have been looking this whole time for ways we can protect not just our students, but also our employees, and the vaccines are going to go a long way.”

Families that want their students to continue remote learning would also have that option, she said. However, employees “don’t necessarily have that same luxury as being able to choose, so anything we can do, any protection we can offer our employees, we are going to pursue those opportunities.”

Chatwin said it has always been the goal to work toward returning back to classrooms safely.

Under the superintendent’s proposal, in-person learning options would return for secondary schools on Feb. 8.

Monday’s board meeting will begin at 5 p.m. and will be streamed on YouTube.

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Salt Lake City School District Could Decide On Bringing Students Back To Classrooms