Granite elementary teachers react to board vote: ‘I really think this is a win for teachers’

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Many are calling Monday morning’s Granite School Board vote a victory for elementary teachers.

The Granite School District is moving to four days of in-person learning, and one day of remote learning for the schools.

A last-minute plea from teachers with the Granite Education Association prompted the board to make the change.

“We’ll be able to evaluate some of the things that have happened this first term, make adjustments as necessary,” Granite School District Spokesperson Ben Horsley. “I think it’s really important to understand that no schedule is set in stone.”

Cynthia Green-Bowser says she is preparing to teach 20 students at Valley Crest Elementary in West Valley City.

She married her husband Kevin 35 years ago, and her concern is contracting COVID-19.

Kevin and Cynthia Green-Bowser

“I myself am compromised, and I have a husband here at home that is compromised, and if I bring it home and my husband gets it, it will probably be terminal,” she said. “If I bring this home to my husband, it will kill him.”

Green-Bowser like many teachers says she’s had a lot of restless nights to get back in the classroom.

“I’m six-years from retirement and my husband is disabled if I don’t go back to work we don’t eat,” she adds. “I chose to be in the classroom. I felt like I’m more productive in my classroom than I am online.”

“I think for us the concern is that there is no social distancing that is possible in schools right now,” said teacher Caren Burns.

Burns is with the same organization as Green-Bowser and teaches at Beehive Elementary in Kearns. She’s expecting about 27 students to return to class on the 24th.

“Usually in elementary, we love to do collaborative spaces with desks put together,” she said. “This year, all of the desks are spaced as far apart as we can get them, which is not six feet, it is about three feet again.”

Burns says a big part of her opening lesson plan will involve learning online.

“If we get quarantined or we have to do something with closure again, our district wants us to kind of smoothly flow into that,” Burns adds. “I really think this is a win for teachers.”

A few of the teachers ABC4 News spoke with Monday say they will be teaching online and in-person.

For those Granite School District students returning to class on August 24th, teachers say they’ll be reaching out to parents for their school’s new procedures this week.

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