Reopening Utah schools: What protections are available for teachers’ safe return to school?

Academics Amid the Pandemic

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – ABC4 News is shedding light on the complicated process school districts face in determining how to safely reopen schools during the global health pandemic.

It’s been over four months since most Utah students have been inside a classroom. Since the executive order to close schools, so much remains up in the air, leaving parents and teachers to deal with the uncertainty.

We are going to be speaking to Heidi Matthews, the president of Utah Education Association on this week’s ABC4 News Special Report, Academics Amid the Pandemic.

Topics covered in the special include:

  • The four principles outlined by UEA that should guide the reopening of schools
  • Concerns and the risks of returning to in-person learning in the fall, especially in regard to teachers
  • Listening to the voice of educators. What are they saying and are they being listened to?
  • What training and protections would teachers need before heading back to the classroom in-person?
  • With the time and funding available right now, what are schools and teachers actually able to accomplish, realistically, where additional training is concerned, before the start of the school year?
  • How many teachers are considered high-risk and what alternatives and protections are or should be available to them if schools delay the return of in-person learning?
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