SALT LAKE CITY – Salt Lake City School District middle and high school students will attend classes in the school buildings four days a week, beginning Monday, March 22.
It has been a month since they were returned to the buildings two days a week. District spokesperson Yándary Chatwin says the district has been mindful of evaluating students when they return and, thus far, have avoided a level of infection that would trigger a “test to stay” program as other districts have implemented.
“Part of what has been helpful is that we screen students to return to high schools, and we are also participating with Project HERO to offer frequent testing to our high school students,” Chatwin told KSL Newsradio.
Project HERO is an effort by the University of Utah to monitor COVID-19 infection rates throughout the community, as well as in schools.
Some students have noticed fewer classmates in school compared to what they were used to before the pandemic. Chatwin says that’s the result of the options they have now.
“At least a third of our students are still exclusively remote learning,” Chatwin said. “And for those students who have chosen to learn in person, some of them have simply chosen to attend certain classes.”
That will be a challenge for teachers now back in the classroom, said James Tobler, a history teacher at Highland High School who is also president of the Salt Lake Teachers Association.
“We’ve had some issues with some students just coming to some classes online and some in person. And some students are falling behind, so maybe this helps with that,” Tobler said.
Tobler hopes the district will offer some summer school options or other ways to help students regain credits that were lost during the pandemic.