Granite Schools prepare to start classes Monday


TAYLORSVILLE, Utah (ABC4 News) – Students at West Lake Stem Jr. High will be heading to a temporary campus in Taylorsville come Monday.

Last March, the Granite school was damaged by the five-point-seven Magna earthquake. Luckily, no one was at the school because it was the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic. That building was closed down due to the damage, and a new one is in the works.

West Lake Stem Jr. High

Friday, the teachers put their finishing touches transforming Westbrook Elementary school the newly retrofitted West Lake Stem Jr. High.

“It is a learning curve for all of us,” said teacher Madison Steenbilk.

Teachers like Steenbilk want to make their classrooms feel like a second home to roughly 15- 20 students.

“It is scary for all of us to come back to school, but one thing I am excited for is to provide as safe of an environment as I can,” she said.

In a building over, fellow teacher Jill Coons told ABC4 News, “I am worried a little bit about how many students I will have in the classroom.”

West Lake Stem Jr. High

Coons is one of the teachers preparing for in-person and remote learning. She says lesson plans are interchangeable.

“It is something that can be done online with the kids at home. They will get the same content and we will be available to work with the distance kids at certain times,” she adds.

The district tells ABC4 News each student will be required to wear a face covering.

Two to five students will share a group desk in some classrooms. The district plans to have Plexiglas separating each student.

Cleaning supplies will be readily available.

When students venture outside the classroom, they’ll need to follow the one-way signs, and stay physically distanced as best they can.

West Lake Stem Jr. High

“Just make sure that your kids know the safety that they need to take at school, and if we can all do that together that will make it a lot easier coming in for all of the kids,” said Steenbilk.

Which experienced teachers say could limit the spread of COVID-19.

“I feel pretty safe. I think with the protocols put in place, if we are all wearing masks, if we are all washing our hands and we are keeping surfaces clean, I personally don’t feel threatened by it,” said Coons.

Giving students a way to learn, all while providing the social interactions parents say their children deserve.

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