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Salt Lake City high schoolers now in class four days a week

Mar 22, 2021, 5:00 AM | Updated: 1:34 pm
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The principal of East High School is asking the community for help as they deal with a shortage of substitute teachers. (PHOTO: Kristin Murphy/The Deseret News via AP)
(PHOTO: Kristin Murphy/The Deseret News via AP)

SALT LAKE CITY — Junior high and high school students in the Salt Lake City School District will be coming to class in school buildings four days a week, starting Monday. It’s been a month since they were brought back in to the buildings twice a week.

District spokesperson Yándary Chatwin said the district has been conscientious about COVID-19 testing students as they return. So far, they’ve avoided a level of infection that would trigger a “test-to-stay” program as some other districts have implemented.

“Part of what’s been helpful is we tested students to come back to the secondary schools, and we also are participating with the HERO Project to offer frequent testing to our secondary students,” Chatwin told KSL NewsRadio.

The HERO Project is an effort by the University of Utah to monitor COVID-19 infection rates across the community as well as in schools.

Some students have noticed fewer of their classmates in school compared to what they were used to before the pandemic. 

“At least a third of our students are still learning remotely exclusively,” Chatwin said, “and for those students who have chosen to learn in person, some of them have chosen just to come to certain classes.”

That will be a challenge for teachers who are now back in the classroom, said James Tobler, a history teacher at Highland High School who is also president of the Salt Lake Teachers Association.

“We have had some problems with some students who just kind of come in to some online classes and some in person. And some students are falling through the cracks, so maybe this will help with that,” Tobler said.

Tobler is hoping the district will offer some summer school options or other ways to help students make up credits they have missed during the pandemic.

Salt Lake City School District welcoming more grades for in-person instruction

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Salt Lake City high schoolers now in class four days a week