Tooele County School District announced yesterday that the dismissal for the COVID-19 pandemic would be extended until April 10, but before the day was out state officials ordered a longer break.
Utah’s K-12 public schools will extend their dismissal through Friday, May 1, announced Gov. Gary R. Herbert and State Superintendent Syd Dickson on Monday.
Acting Commissioner of Technical Education Jared Haines also announced that Utah’s technical colleges, including Tooele Technical College, will suspend teaching from March 30 until May 1.
Distance learning will continue during the extended dismissal for all K-12 public schools, where feasible. Employees will be limited at school buildings, following the governor’s and CDC’s guidelines to avoid gatherings of groups of 10 or more.
Teachers are being, and will continue to be, encouraged to telecommute when possible, according to Dickson.
Tooele County School District employees can be contacted during regular school hours using school email.
“We recognize that being away from school creates additional work and stress for everyone in our communities; however, it is a necessary step in stopping the spread of COVID-19,” Dickson said. “During the uncertainties of the coming weeks, it is more important than ever to remain socially connected with our students and families while doing our best to ensure learning continues. The flexibility and initiative of our educators is a shining example of how we rise together in challenging circumstances.”
The week of April 6-10 is spring break for Tooele County School District.
There will be no online instruction and no breakfast/lunch pick-ups during the spring break week, according to Superintendent Scott Rogers.
With the support of state and federal education officials, statewide assessment has been canceled in light of the state of emergency.
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced Friday that students impacted by school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic can bypass standardized testing for the 2019-2020 school year.
“Upon a proper request, the Department will grant a waiver to any state that is unable to assess its students due to the ongoing national emergency, providing relief from federally mandated testing requirements for this school year,” said DeVos in a press release.
The Utah State School Board has also waived rules regarding instructional day and hours, transportation requirements and extended deadlines for some programs that fall between April and May.
“We sought to strike the appropriate balance between the Board’s oversight and accountability responsibilities, along with common sense flexibility that LEAs need to support educators and families at this time,” said state School Board chairman Mark Huntsman. “This is likely just the beginning. We’ll continue actively monitoring and responding to this situation as it evolves.”
Tooele County School District also announced that all proms are postponed for the time being. No decision has been made about graduation ceremonies.
A final decision about rescheduling proms will be made before the end of spring break, according to Rogers.