School districts still not completely back to “normal”

Mar 12, 2021, 5:45 AM
(Photo courtesy of Murray School District)...
(Photo courtesy of Murray School District)
(Photo courtesy of Murray School District)

MURRAY, Utah — Will schools ever get “back to normal?”  Today marks the one-year anniversary of the first school district in Utah taking kids out of the classrooms over COVID-19 concerns, and officials from that district are still uncertain of what the future holds. 

All it took for the Murray School District to go into a “soft closure” was one student who may have been near someone infected with COVID-19.  They didn’t actually have any sick children.

District Spokesman Doug Perry says, “We, at the time, didn’t know a whole lot about COVID-19.  There were still a lot of people who didn’t know anything about that.”

In the end, the district believed it was better to be safe than sorry.

“We announced, out of an abundance of caution, that we were going to go into a soft closure with our school district,” Perry says.

At the time, some people called it an over-reaction, but Governor Gary Herbert put all schools in a soft closure the very next day, and that was supposed to last just two weeks.  Luckily for them, they had already been giving laptops to students and creating online teaching platforms before the pandemic.  Perry says they were going to practice using it for things like snowstorms.

“We were, in fact, planning to do sort of a drill of a soft closure in about two weeks from the time we actually did the closure,” he says.

Even though the software was built and the laptops were in place, things were chaotic at the beginning of their remote learning.

Perry says, “There were definitely hiccups and there were definitely things to learn from and things that we had to improve, quickly.”

Roughly two-thirds of the district’s classes are in-person, and Perry says a growing number of parents want their kids to return to the classroom after Spring Break.  However, they can’t just get rid of online learning, completely.

He says, “We still have to have that online option, too, because there are kids who are extremely vulnerable to viruses.”

Will things be “back to normal” in the fall?  Perry says they’re still trying to determine what their format is going to be, but they have a lot of unknowns.

“It should be better.  We know that there will be close to herd immunity, if not herd immunity by then,” Perry says.

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronaviruses transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Wear a mask.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.
  • Get vaccinated.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s Coronavirus Information

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States


Today’s Top Stories


New eligibility rules for pandemic-EBT program...
Waverly Golden

New eligibility guidelines for Pandemic-EBT

Utah households will have to apply for free or reduced-price meal benefits with their local school by May 6 to possibly receive Pandemic-EBT.
3 months ago
The Salt Lake School Board eliminated 42 teaching positions because of dropping enrollment numbers....
Martha Harris, Paul Nelson, and Kira Hoffelmeyer

42 teaching positions eliminated in SLC from decline in student enrollment

The board eliminated 42 teaching positions because of dropping enrollment numbers
5 months ago
school masks...
Paul Nelson

SLC students appear to keep masks on, despite mandate being rescinded

Students in Salt Lake City continued to wear masks Monday, despite a mask mandate no longer in effect.
5 months ago
mask mandates in utah...
Curt Gresseth

“Not unexpected” said Dr. Dunn after mask mandates in Utah shot down

Exec. director at Salt Lake County Health, Dr. Angela Dunn discusses repealing mask mandates in Utah and the importance of face masks in public.
6 months ago
utah student achievement COVID-19...
Kate Davis, Aimee Cobabe

BREAKING: dozens of students in the Salt Lake City district received a mask exemption

The Salt Lake City School District reported the number of students in each school who received a mask mandate exemption. 
6 months ago
Weber High School...
Eliza Craig

Weber High School surpasses COVID-19 case threshold, moves online

On Tuesday, Weber High School confirmed 46 positive COVID-19 cases, surpassing its threshold for in-person learning.
6 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
School districts still not completely back to “normal”