The school year will begin on September 8 for students of the Salt Lake City School District, but at the moment they will not have to move from their homes. District officials agreed that classes will be held remotely until Coronavirus infections in Salt Lake County reach lower levels.
The district’s goal is to return students to classrooms so they can receive their classes in person, continuing with remote learning as an option for families who prefer not to send their children to schools. But it will get to that point gradually, going through a hybrid model first, once the conditions of the Coronavirus pandemic allow it.
The plan foresees the use of 100% remote classes for at least a quarter, before passing the hybrid scheme, but the hybrid system could be implemented earlier if the positivity rate of the tests for Coronavirus tests in Salt Lake County falls for below 5% for seven consecutive days.
The plan was approved by the district joust with six votes in favor and one against, after a long debate which lasted two and a half hours.
Students will attend their online classes during regular school hours and will follow a standard class schedule, through the use of videoconferencing technology such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
The district has 13,000 ready-to-deliver laptops, 2,000 more on the way, and there are plans to purchase 4,000 more units that would be available in the fall. Regarding connectivity, the district will be able to deliver about 600 hot spot connections and is installing WiFi in soccer stadiums from East, West and Highland High Schools, so that students can connect to their classes from their parents’ vehicles.
The district will not stop offering food services to students for as long as remote learning remains in effect.