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Salt Lake middle, high school students to return to in-person learning

Salt Lake City school board members vote late Tuesday to allow in-person return to schools as an option on a two-day format. Members met on zoom and voted 6-1 to approve the plan

SALT LAKE CITY — Middle and high school students in the Salt Lake School District will be returning to the classroom next month. The school board’s 6-1 vote will allow a return to in-person learning to begin Feb. 8.

In an hours-long virtual meeting of the school board Tuesday night, interim Superintendent Larry Madden laid out his plan, which includes a Monday/Thursday, or Tuesday/Friday format. The plan is optional for students wishing to return to on-site classes.

“Secondary students that desire an in-person option would have the option of coming two days a week, to keep the total number of students low and to maximize our ability to social distance. Students would attend either on Mondays and Thursdays or on Tuesdays and Fridays,” he said.

The school district continues to operate on mostly remote mode — aside from small groups of students who receive in-person instruction such as students who receive special education services, are English language learners or are struggling academically.

Other business discussed Tuesday night included a plan for elementary students in the Salt Lake District to split into a one-third remote, one-third in-person, and one-third expanded or hybrid model for teachers who want to keep their students.

Plans were discussed for a new building at the current school board site at 406 East 100 South. The new building would include a multi-level parking garage, an outdoor plaza and the ability to open meeting rooms for extra space in order to continue safe social distancing, according to Paul Schulte,  Executive Director Auxiliary Services.  He told board members that before construction would begin, there would have to be bidding, possibly by spring, abatement and demolition of the current structure, with ground-breaking and construction starting as soon as October 2021.

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