Back to school: Granite School District answers FAQ

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – As the third largest school district in Utah prepares to head back to the classroom this fall, Granite School District officials are answering parents’ questions.

Ben Horsely, a spokesman for the school district, said going back to school will not look the same, but plans are intended to keep students safe, healthy and educated.

Because of COVID-19 concerns, the district will allow parents the option for their student to attend school in-person or online through distance learning. 

Horsely said whether a student is at home or in the classroom, the district is working to assign a Chrome Book to each student – and an internet hotspot for those who are in need.

And in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, Horsely said all schools will require face coverings, take social distancing measures, require seating charts, and keep students in smaller groups.

While there is some flexibility when it comes to mask wearing – in general – if students do not follow the rules and wear a mask, Horsely said it will be treated like a dress code violation.

“First, you’re going to be asked to cover up and comply at the teacher level,” Horsely said. “If you’re unwilling to do so, you’ll be sent down to the front office where the administration will provide you with materials. If you’re still unwilling to comply, you’ll have to go to that health isolation room under proper supervision until your parent can come pick you up.”

If a student or teacher tests positive with the respiratory virus, Horsely said there’s a plan in place.

“All the kids around them and maybe a second layer of students around that student could potentially be exposed,” Horsely said. “So, with the guidance from the health department, and contact tracing, you could see a portion or up to the entire class be isolated, put on quarantine.”

And when it comes to cleaning schools, Horsely said highly touched surfaces will be cleaned often.

“In addition to that, the expectation on our school level plans is to have regular periods of hand washing,” Horsely said. “That’s actually proven to be quite effective in terms of limiting the spread of the disease.”

And to ensure there’s no shortage of hand sanitizer for students and staff, Horsely said the district bought a machine that will create their own hand sanitizer.

A list of frequently asked question is available on the Granite School District’s website.

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Hailey Hendricks
Hailey graduated from Utah State University in broadcast journalism. She was nominated for a student Emmy and also won a Society of Professional Journalist (SPJ) award for her work on the show ‘Cache Rendezvous.’ She was also nominated for an SPJ on suicide prevention.

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