Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake County School District unanimously voted Friday evening to move its schools to online learning next week.
Superintendent Timothy Gadson addressed the board in an emergency meeting that was held just after 6 p.m., where he explained why he felt it was necessary to move to remote learning. He stated several reasons including that high schools and Northwest Middle School reached the threshold for COVID-19 cases, as well as the large numbers of student and staff absenteeism. He spoke about Test to Stay being a great resource, but due to the shortage in testing tools, this is no longer an option.
"In-person instruction is the best way to deliver instruction for our students, and I know that is a priority for me, and I know it is a priority for this board," Gadson said. "But it's also a priority that our students, staff and our families to stay safe. That is our duty. That is our responsibility."
The recommendation issued by Gadson, unanimously approved by the board, is to have East, West and Highland high schools, as well as Northwest Middle School, move to remote learning Jan. 18-21, and resume in-person school on Jan. 24.
All elementary schools, as well as Horizonte Instruction and Training Center, and Innovations High School, will attend in-person school on Jan. 18, but will move to remote learning Jan. 19-21 and return on Jan. 24. The in-person day on Tuesday, officials said, will give students the chance to bring home materials for the at-home learning days.
No school will be held on Jan. 17 for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.
District officials said that there will be materials available for elementary students during the remote learning period that will be sent home with students on Tuesday, and will also be available for pickup. For those students who need meals, breakfast and lunch will be able to be picked up at 16 locations within the district.
The board wanted to make sure students, teachers and parents know that they see this as temporary, with the goal of returning to in-person learning on Jan. 24.