Davis School District delays move to in-person classes for middle and high schools
Sep 24, 2020, 6:25 AM
FARMINGTON, Utah – Elementary school students in the Davis School District will attend in-person classes four days a week starting on Monday.
The Davis School District Board voted to switch students from a hybrid schedule to mostly in-person classes following an emergency public meeting on Wednesday evening.
Special education teacher Cameron Halverson spoke in support of more in-person classes, arguing online education has not worked for his students or those in elementary school.
“Students are not completing their work at home. They are struggling to get technology to function properly, and many are simply treating it as a day to play with friends,” Halverson said.
School board member Brigit Gerrard agrees that Utah schools will be dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks for the foreseeable future.
But it was also pointed out how there are far fewer COVID-19 outbreaks in Utah’s elementary schools than in middle or high schools.
“We have had a chance to see the data. It has become evident to me that the risk of spread is different for school populations according to age group,” Gerrard said.
The risk of a COVID-19 outbreak is still there, which is why the district has bought thousands of Plexiglas dividers to protect teachers.
Those in middle and high schools in the Davis School District will keep a hybrid schedule until the start of the second term on November 2nd.
Though some who showed up to Wednesday’s board meeting also argued for more in-person classes, others like Clearfield High School student Sarah Willard spoke out against it.
“I will not feel safe going back to school with a full student body. My school has over 2,000 students,” Willard said.
Some health officials say the hybrid schedule is a big reason Davis schools have fewer COVID-19 outbreaks than Salt Lake or Utah counties.
The school board also felt having older students take some of their classes online is safer for teachers for now.