Parents, teachers want voices heard on plans to reopen Utah schools

Academics Amid the Pandemic

Kris Reddout, a 5th grade teacher, attends a Utah Safe Schools Mask-In urging the governor’s leadership in school reopening during a rally Thursday, July 23, 2020, in Salt Lake City. Parents and teachers rallied at the Utah State Capitol Thursday morning to urge schools to enforce mask wearing and to implement other safety policies recommended by health officials as the state prepares to reopen classrooms this fall. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Parents and teachers across the state are calling for “responsible leadership” when it comes to plans for reopening Utah schools amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Multiple protests are planned to express varying concerns ahead of school district board meetings Tuesday evening.

GRANITE SCHOOL DISTRICT

The Granite Education Association (GEA) will be holding a rally at 4:30 p.m. in conjunction with Teachers Take Charge and Utah Safe Schools. Teachers and parents want students to return to in-person instruction “only when it’s safe.”

GEA wrote a letter to Granite board members and the superintendent expressing concerns over the current plan. The teachers say the plan “does not allow for distancing in the classroom, and it puts teachers, staff, and students at high risk.” They request that the district adopt a modified schedule that would have half the number of students in the building at a time.

The district’s plan gives parents the option for their student to attend school in-person or online through distance learning. In an effort limit the spread of COVID-19, Granite officials have said all schools will require face coverings, take social distancing measures, require seating charts, and keep students in smaller groups.

The Granite School Board of Education will be using Tuesday’s evening meeting to decide if it will set Fridays for teacher planning days instead of having an actual school day. The Granite board meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. The live stream of the meeting will be available.

DAVIS SCHOOL DISTRICT

The Davis School District will hold its regularly scheduled board meeting at 6 p.m. in Farmington. District officials expect a group of parents to protest the district’s hybrid reopening plan because they would prefer their children to attend school five days a week. Parents who support the plan are also expected to be in attendance.

Ahead of the meeting, the district indicated that a large number of requests have been made for public comment sign up. Per its policy, the board will have an 18-minute comment period at the beginning of the meeting. The live stream of the meeting will be available.

The Davis School District announced it would adopt an alternate-day, hybrid (in-person/remote) learning model for the upcoming school year.

CANYONS SCHOOL DISTRICT

Teachers in the Canyons School District put out a call to action ahead of the Canyons Board of Education meeting Tuesday evening. Supporters are expected to gather at 4 p.m. outside the district building dressed in red with signs calling for a “safe reopening” to welcome board members before their study session. Others will gather 6:30 p.m. for the actual meeting to support public comments. The live stream of the meeting will be available on the district’s YouTube page.

Canyons will offer three options for learning for the upcoming school year: in-person classes, online classes, and an at-home, parent-guided district-supported option.


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