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Staying the Course • Crossing the Finish Line of the COVID-19 School Year

The pandemic finish line is in sight, and — as with any marathon — we need to stay the course and keep up our stamina in order to safely put this test of endurance behind us.

With COVID-19 case counts falling and Utah’s vaccination rates picking up, what safety protocols remain in place in Canyons District schools? Are any changes to the weekly school schedule expected this year?

Canyons District will continue to follow all applicable laws and consult with local health guidelines in determining next steps as we head into the final leg of the 2020-2021 school year. For now, here are the latest COVID-19-related developments and updates:

Are face masks still required in schools, on buses?

Yes. Face masks will continue to be required in schools, on buses, and at the District Office after April 10, even for those who have received a vaccination for the novel coronavirus. A bill approved by Utah lawmakers during the 2021 legislative session ends the state’s mask mandate starting April 10. Schools, however, are exempted from the legislation. Utah Gov. Spencer Cox has said that, in line with the most recent Utah Department of Health order, “the mask mandate will continue after April 10 in schools and for large gatherings.” Canyons will continue to seek guidance from health authorities and update families and employees of any changes in our safety protocols.

How long will Virtual-Learning Fridays remain in place?

The blended-learning model that calls for four days of in-person learning, while reserving Fridays for independent study, will remain in place for the rest of the school year. The expectation is that next fall, schools will return to a five-day schedule. But to preserve planning and collaboration time for teachers this year, and predictability for staff, parents and students who have established childcare and work routines, the Canyons Board of Education on Tuesday, March 16 opted to stick with virtual Fridays through the end of the 2020-2021 school year. It’s a decision favored by the majority of teachers, parents, and students who voiced their opinions via email and through in-person public comments. The schedule has served as a “release-valve” for teachers who have been required to teach changing rosters of students across multiple learning environments (in-person, online and students in quarantine). Students say it’s also helped them cope with the stresses of the pandemic. Many are using Fridays to consult with faculty, receive tutoring, and meet with students in test-prep groups. To further support students with unfinished learning challenges, the District will offer summer learning opportunities. More details about the programs are forthcoming.

Remembering Edgemont

 

Hello Edgemont Family!

Recently, there was a post that stated the public would be allowed to come in and walk through Edgemont this Friday, March 19. Unfortunately we are unable to allow this due to safety and COVID-19 restrictions. Instead, we will be filming a short video tour of the school for the community as a way to remember a place that has become special to so many throughout the past 63 years.

Groundbreaking to Celebrate the New Glacier Hills Elementary

Combined, Bell View and Edgemont elementary schools have more than 115 years of history to look back upon — and now build upon — as they come together to form a new school.

Soon, the Bell View Mustangs and Edgemont Eagles will be known as the Glacier Hills Yetis, a cool name for an even cooler school. Architectural renderings are taking shape in icy hues of blue and white, and with the frozen ground thawing, plans are underway to mark the start of construction with a ceremonial turning of dirt.

Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, in-person attendance at the Glacier Hills groundbreaking will be by invitation only. But the event will be broadcast live on CSDTV for all students, teachers, parents and members of the community to enjoy starting at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 31.

The new school, to be built on the Edgemont property, is made possible by a $283 million, tax-rate-neutral bond approved by Canyons voters in 2017. Construction will start over Spring Recess with an expected opening date of August 2022.

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