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Canyons School District quickly switched to remote learning after Friday's snowstorm


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SALT LAKE CITY — Friday's early morning storm impacted multiple school districts across the Wasatch Front. Several districts adjusted start times and some even canceled classes.

Enough snow had accumulated on the roads in Canyons School District to prompt officials to take learning fully online: 34,000 students, 50 schools, and 6,000 employees made the switch to learn from home Friday morning.

Snowplows were going long before sunrise Friday responding to the latest snowstorm.

"The minute that we had to start our buses rolling down the roads is when we got really hit by the snowstorm," said Jeff Haney, spokesman for the Canyons School District.

According to Haney, district officials notified parents and teachers about the change as early as 5:30 a.m.

"We had that decision as a result of the winter weather," he said. "Because we had those two years where we focused on not just the online learning but also in person as much as possible, we have the ability to pivot back and forth very quickly."

Haney added that most students and teachers are well-equipped for remote learning. Even so, not everyone was happy with the district's decision.

"There are always going to be people who do not like the decision that you've made," Haney said.

Since March of 2020 students, teachers, and families were thrust into a new way of learning. Haney said the pandemic taught faculty and staff how to quickly pivot to make learning possible, even online.

"Without the pandemic years, we wouldn't have been put in the position to have to do it, but because we had to do it we became really good at it," Haney said. "If you happen to have internet go out or you don't have access to a Chromebook, or if you don't have access to power for the day, to reach out to your child's teacher, we will work with the family."

Although some students may have envisioned a different kind of snowy school day, Haney said snow days are a thing of the past.

"The decision was really made to err on the side of safety for our teachers who have to travel to get to school," Haney said. "So, we continue to learn, and everyone remains safe."

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