Students heading back to class hoping for a more normal school year

Aug 16, 2021, 11:10 AM | Updated: 11:12 am
back to normal at alta high school...
Cheerleaders and a drumline greeted students on the first day of school, Aug. 16, 2021, at the newly rebuilt Alta High School. Photo: Mary Richards, KSL NewsRadio

SANDY, Utah — A drum line and cheerleaders greeted Alta High School students returning for what they hope will be a more normal 2021-2022 school year.

“I’m so excited. Honestly it’s kind of fun to go back to school without wearing masks for the first time in over a year. I’m looking forward to the school year and all that will happen,” said student body president Autumn Engstrom.

She said she is fully vaccinated and so she feels safe, and knows Alta is keeping the school clean and safe.

“Some of the other students, you can tell they are still nervous. There’s a few who are wearing masks, but for the most part everyone feels really good about coming back and being in person,” said Engstrom.

Enhanced cleaning, vaccination provide hope on first day at Alta High School

“If a kid decides to wear a mask, if a kid decides not to wear a mask, kindness and respect will rule,” said Canyons School District spokesman Jeff Haney. “And if a kid wants to wear a mask but didn’t bring one from home, we have them at the office.”

Haney said all schools in the district have enhanced cleaning like last year. They also increased their ventilation and improved the HVAC systems to have the air flowing constantly through the building day and night.

Haney said if a school over 1500 students gets to a 2 percent threshold of positive Covid cases, or a school under 1500 students gets to 30 positive case, they will do the test-to-stay program. They don’t anticipate flipping the entire school to remote learning like last year.

Student body president hopes to help everyone feel included

Engstrom said her priority as student body president is to help everyone feel like they are together again.

“To make everyone feel like they are known, and they are cared about. That they are a member of Alta High School, not just a person at a school. They are a person who is valued, and people care about them,” she said.

She said after the disruptions and differences of the last school year, she is looking forward to the activities and games returning, and having those ways to build memories that last forever.

Alta High was just rebuilt. The students say it looks much better, and feels more open and enjoyable. They are excited about the new performing arts center and field house.

“It is more inviting and fun,” said Engstrom.

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