Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
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March 13, 2020
Governor announces two-week “dismissal” of public schools

Educators have two days to prepare for remote learning  

Utah public schools will begin a two-week “dismissal” starting March 16 as part of social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus in the state, according to Gov. Gary Herbert.

Hebert made the announcement during a press conference at 4 p.m. on March 13.

Teachers will have March 16-17 to make plans to continue instruction. Remote instruction will begin on March 18 and may take many forms, Herbert said.

Details on continuing instruction remotely will come from school districts and charter schools, according to Herbert.

Following the governor’s press conference, the Tooele County School District announced that school buildings will be kept open for employees to work, but students will be asked to stay home.

Locations where lunch options will be available for students during the closure will be announced by email to be sent out March 16, according to school district officials.

Starting March 18, an alternate form of class instruction will be provided for students. District officials said the alternate instruction may be online or instructional packets. Details will come to parents through their student’s school. 

The school district has also asked that parents complete an online survey about computer and internet access to help them prepare to move classrooms online.

A link to the survey can be found on the school district’s Facebook page.

Utah State University Tooele announced that classes from Friday, March 13 through Tuesday, March 17 will be canceled to allow faculty members time to move their classes into the online learning environment. 

Starting Wednesday, March 18th USU-Tooele classes will shift to online courses.

Utah Catholic Schools, which includes St. Marguerite School Catholic School in Tooele, announced on March 12 that all Catholic schools will be closed from March 13-31 with instruction to be provided remotely.

Herbert stressed that the state school dismissal is a preventative measure, and will be reassessed at the end of the two week period to determine whether or not the policy should continue. 

“We feel strongly that the best way to keep our communities healthy is to implement these measures early, rather than late,” Herbert said. “Acting now to limit community spread will help reduce the number of cases of coronavirus that we see, so that our healthcare community will have the capacity to care for patients who need help.” 

State Superintendent Syd Dickson explained that schools will still provide services to students who need them through the dismissal period. 

“To be clear, we are in prevention mode, not reaction mode,” Dickson said. “We are not reacting to a confirmed COVID-19 case in any of our schools, rather we are entering a critical new phase in the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19.”  

 

Tim Gillie

Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Tim has been writing for the Transcript Bulletin since October 2017. In February 2019 he was named as editor. In addition to being editor, Tim continues to write about Tooele County government, education, business, real estate, housing, politics and the state Legislature.A native of Washington state and a graduate of Central Washington University, Tim became a journalist after a 20 year career with the Boy Scouts of America.

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