Park City High School implements Test to Stay; more schools could follow

Jan 7, 2022, 7:08 PM

PARK CITY, Utah – Park City High School started the new year by implementing Test to Stay protocols.

Beginning Friday morning, students attending school in person had to test negative for COVID-19.

Any student at Park City High testing positive will be sent home.

Proof of a negative test within the last two days will be accepted.

This comes as the Summit County Health Department implemented a new mask mandate at midnight for indoor public spaces, meaning students would be required to wear masks at schools.

In Salt Lake County, there are at least five high schools that are more than half-way to the Test-To-Stay threshold, according to the state COVID-19 dashboard. Brighton, Corner Canyon and Murray, and in the Granite School District – Skyline and Olympus.

Ben Horsley, chief of staff for Granite School District, says they anticipate needing to initiate Test-to-Stay at Skyline and Olympus by early next week – and fully expects both schools, and others, will reach the threshold sooner rather than later.

“While we are seeing a surge and spike in COVID, it’s just a reminder that the state of Utah and school districts locally are well-prepared,” he said.

The omicron surge has led to staff shortages at several school districts. At Granite, it’s been tough finding subs to cover teachers who are calling in sick. In many cases, teachers are combining classrooms, or using their prep time to fill-in.

Horsley says teachers are burnt out and exhausted, so the district has approved three days in the remainder of the school year where students will not have to attend school. The first one is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 28.

“Teachers having adequate planning time and preparation time only enhances their instruction for our students,” Horsley said.

It was a remote learning day at Canyons Friday, one of several they have scheduled to give teachers a break.

Administrators are once again calling for emergency subs – especially parents who are willing to sub, even for half a day.

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Park City High School implements Test to Stay; more schools could follow