Students, Staff ‘Cautiously Optimistic’ As They Return To Class In Jordan, Canyons Districts

Aug 16, 2021, 7:12 PM | Updated: 8:24 pm

WEST JORDAN & SANDY, Utah — Students returned to the classroom Monday in the Jordan and Canyons school districts while following new guidelines that masks are not required.

“If a student chooses to wear a mask or not, we are respecting that decision, and we have asked all of our students that kindness and respect rule the day,” said Jeff Haney, spokesperson for the Canyons School District.

All students, except kindergartners, in the Canyons School District started the school year on Monday.

“Everyone is cautiously optimistic,” Haney said about commencing another school year amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Last week, the Salt Lake County Council terminated a mask mandate for grades kindergarten through sixth grade that was issued by the county’s health department.

While wearing a mask will be a personal decision for students and teachers, Haney said the district is still following enhanced cleaning and sanitizing treatments for school buildings, including filtering the air with MERV-13 filters.

“We have all of our cleaning protocols still in place,” Haney said. “So hospital-grade detergents cleaned throughout the building — all day, every day, and into the evening — and then the filtering system that we have in place.”

In the Jordan School District, high school students and 7th graders returned to school Monday.

Elementary and the rest of middle school students will have their first day of classes on Tuesday.

“We’ve seen an increase in students wanting to be in person, but still a lot of combination-type schedules,” said Jenicee Jacobson, the assistant principal at West Jordan High School in the Jordan School District.

Jacobson said mask wearing was mixed on the first day of school among students and teachers.

“As you’re walking around the halls and at lunch time, you might see one out of every 15 to 20 students wearing a mask,” she said.

Jacobson said she isn’t seeing any conflicts about masks among students at her high school and that personal choices are being respected.

“Everyone is aware that these decisions to wear masks at this time is very individualized, family based, personally based, so there’s a lot of respect for that,” she said.

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Students, Staff ‘Cautiously Optimistic’ As They Return To Class In Jordan, Canyons Districts