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Mark Wetzel, KSL TV

Parents unhappy after Salt Lake schools plan for online learning

By Tania Dean, KSL TV | Posted - Jul. 13, 2020 at 9:40 p.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City School District officials announced their plan for the fall, and many parents and teachers said they aren’t happy with it.

Because Salt Lake is the only city in Utah in the orange phase, all schools in the Salt Lake City School District will be online only.

If Salt Lake City moves to yellow, the district plans to switch to a blended model. That means two days a week at school and three days at home for elementary and middle schools.

For high schools, however, students will only spend one day at school and four days at home.

Many parents don’t like that idea at all. We caught up with some of them at Highland High School’s football practice.

“If we’re not able to play, I think that that creates a nightmare for kids,” said Brody Benson, head football coach at Highland High.

Highland is one of four high schools in the state that will not be able to compete in the fall.

“Right now us, East, West, Judge, we’re all in the same boat. But it’s just not right when we have schools to the north, south and to the west of us that are able to practice and compete,” said Benson.

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While their kids worked out on the field, parents were worked up in the stands.

“We have schools that are 2.7 miles away that are in a different district that have the opportunity to go to school five days a week,” said Glenna Lotulelei. “We are not even given the chance to make a choice and as a parent, I feel like we should make a choice if our child should go to school and play sports.”

Yandary Chatwin, spokesperson for the Salt Lake City School District, said with Salt Lake City in the orange phase, it’s a whole different ballgame.

“It’s different because we’ve been impacted by COVID-19 more than the rest of the state,” said Chatwin. “If you look at the hardest hit zip codes, they’re in Salt Lake City.”


We have schools that are 2.7 miles away that are in a different district that have the opportunity to go to school five days a week. We are not even given the chance to make a choice.

–Glenna Lotulelei


The district conducted parent and teacher surveys in May and June. Results showed 69 percent of parents supported a blended model of at-home and in-classroom learning.

“We know we can’t find a plan that will work a hundred percent for everyone but we felt this was the best option for the circumstances we find ourselves in right now,” said Chatwin.

For those parents who hope the district will still change the plan, it’s not too late. The next school board meeting is July 21, where there will likely be a vote.

The district said it welcomes feedback before then.

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