EDUCATION

UPDATE: Alpine Board asks for a delay in implementing a temporarily shorter school day

Jan 26, 2022, 9:06 AM | Updated: Jan 27, 2022, 1:49 pm
Alpine District changes...
Photo: KSL TV

LEHI, Utah — The Board of the Alpine School District has requested the district hold off on implementing a temporary shortened school day. In a statement, the Board of Education said they’d like more time to research the implications of such a change.

“The Board of Education has asked for a pause on last night’s decision of moving to a temporary shortened school day,” the Board wrote in a statement, “to allow further study and review of operational challenges, feedback, and logistics.

“Schools will continue on the normal schedule until further notice. The board will be considering metrics to address teacher fatigue. We want to make sure that decisions don’t increase teacher burden or negatively impact student learning.”

Parents with students in the Alpine District received this letter from the District on Wednesday: 

Good afternoon parents of Alpine District students,

As many of you may have heard, the Board of Education has been studying ways to address teacher fatigue while keeping students in school, face-to-face, every day. Although a decision was made in last night’s board meeting to implement a temporary schedule adjustment, the board has now requested a pause to allow for further study and review of operational challenges, feedback, and logistics.

We apologize for any confusion this has created for you and your student. The board will be considering additional solutions to address teacher fatigue and student absenteeism. We want to make sure that decisions made don’t increase teacher burden or negatively impact student learning. Schools will continue on the normal schedule until further notice.

Thank you for your continued support of your student and Alpine School District.

In an effort to combat teacher burnout, on Tuesday, Jan. 25, the Alpine School District school board voted 6-1 to approve a shorter school day. The original plan was to shorten days between Jan. 31 through Feb. 25. 

Read More: Granite district to offer cash bonuses for substitute teachers

Multiple districts throughout Utah reported struggling to provide substitute teachers in the 2021-2022 school year. Some have offered incentives to subs, such as bonuses for filling a certain number of shifts. But it remains difficult for many districts to cover all the teacher absences in their schools, especially in the midst of the omicron surge of the COVID-19 virus. 

During the school board meeting, the board addressed teacher fatigue. They emphasized the value of teachers as those who deliver vital learning material to students. 

The board acknowledged the importance of finding a balance between student learning and teacher fatigue, and the ways the district has worked to support teachers this year. 

Under the plan approved by the Alpine School Board, both elementary and secondary schools would end an hour early for that time frame. On Wednesdays, already an early-out day for secondary schools, the schedule will not change.  

This story will be updated. 

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UPDATE: Alpine Board asks for a delay in implementing a temporarily shorter school day