SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah, Jan. 13, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — The Granite Board of Education met in an emergency session Thursday night to authorize distance learning in response to the state’s dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases.
The 9 p.m. meeting, which was live-streamed at www.graniteschools.org, was announced Thursday night via a Granite District news release.
Under state statute, schools may only shift to short term distance learning under certain circumstances with the primary permission being granted by the Governor, and other state officials along with our board of education. This state authorization was provided to the district this morning and our board of education will meet in emergency session at 9pm to discuss an administrative recommendation to utilize this option.
The recommendation (in bold) is as follows.
Tomorrow, Friday, January 14th is a previously scheduled teacher planning day
Monday, January 17th is a state holiday (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, NO SCHOOL)
Starting next Tuesday, January 18th, all schools in Granite District will enact distance learning for 4-days through Friday, January 21st.
Students will return for in-person instruction on Monday, January 24th.
To make this possible, teachers will make learning materials available through two main modalities:
1) Online learning via the district-utilized technology tools. Instruction may include synchronous (live video instruction), asynchronous (self-paced), or a combination of both. OR
2) Paper-based learning materials for students who cannot access the online learning option due to connectivity or other access barriers (e.g. developmental level, ability level, language, etc.)
Teachers and schools will reach out to students and families with instructions to access learning.
Learning resources will be available to pick up at our schools.
Here is a link for parents who need assistance with distance learning resources –https://www.graniteschools.org/distancelearning/
Grab and Go breakfast (at participating schools) and lunches will be available and schools will share the times that those will be available. Extra-curricular practices and events will proceed as normal.
Superintendent Rich Nye released a statement prior to the meeting, saying: “We fully recognize that distance learning is not ideal and we have concerns with respect to our students and their emotional well-being. In-person instruction provides important structure and support for our kids. However, in the last two weeks, we have had over 2200 teacher substitute requests as well as a surge in student absenteeism. In 3 recent Test to Stay events at our schools, newly identified cases were significant with 1 in 5 students testing positive.”
In closing, the Granite Board statement said, “It is the district’s sincere hope that this brief pause from in-person instruction will provide both our staff and students an opportunity to reduce the spread of COVID 19 and this highly contagious Omicron variant within our community. This will also provide time for students and staff who are ill to regain their health.”
Gephardt Daily will update the story as more information becomes available.