The Uintah School District announced their draft reopening plan in a press release on July 9, 2020.
Uintah School District Draft Reopening Plan Executive Summary
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Uintah School District has developed a draft Reopening Plan for the 2020-2021 school year. A COVID-19 Task Force was deployed and numerous staff and community members have worked together to develop this plan.
The Utah State Board of Education has mandated that all Utah school districts submit a board approved plan, including 49 requirements, by Aug. 1, 2020. The school district is required to operate according to the rules and regulations set forth by the Utah State Board of Education. Following is a summary of the Uintah School District plan.
Students in Uintah School District (USD) will have the flexibility to participate in school through two main options. Our traditional schools will provide a blended learning model where both face-to-face and online instruction is provided. Students who are not able to attend school and those who would rather participate in a home-based virtual school will be able to enroll in the Uintah Online School (UON). Either option will provide students with an opportunity to learn the state standards while enjoying the rich extracurricular opportunities available in the USD schools.
Through a blended learning model, students will be able to continue learning, even if it becomes necessary for them to be absent from school or quarantined at home due to COVID-19 exposure or illness. Using Canvas, a learning management system, teachers will simultaneously provide face-to-face instruction, while also providing instruction to students who are learning remotely from home. When students are ready to come back to school after an extended absence, they will be on-track with their classmates. Students can demonstrate acceptable attendance whether they are in class or engaged in learning at home.
Schools will operate under a protocol designed to mitigate seven COVID-19 related risk factors or “situational characteristics” that have been identified (see Poleman, et al., p. 7). These factors include movement, duration, proximity, group size, respiratory output, touch, and congestion. Although risk can be reduced in a school full of kids, a high concentration of students in a school limits the ability for school staff to mitigate risk. The more students in a building at a given time, the more risk of contracting and spreading the COVID-19 virus.
The USD plan provides the Board with an option to move the district or individual schools from full capacity to a reduced capacity (50% or 25%) in the event of a local outbreak. If this is necessary, students will attend school part-time and the remainder of their learning will happen virtually through Canvas. Our local school board can implement this plan to keep our students and staff safe while keeping our schools open. See the USD Learning Plan for more details.
In order to provide teachers with the ability to manage a blended learning approach, students will participate in learning remotely from home on Friday mornings. There will be no face-to-face instruction on Fridays. This will provide teachers with an opportunity to engage in meaningful preparation, collaboration, and training. This model will replace the former late-start and early-release days.
Students who are not able to attend school and those who would rather participate in a home-based virtual school will be able to enroll in the Uintah Online School (UON). UON is available for students in grades K-12. Families of secondary students (grades 6-12) will also have the flexibility to choose from a menu of classes offered at UON, while attending any one of the USD secondary schools.
UON has been using a virtual high school curriculum through Pearson for several years. USD is investing in a similar virtual curriculum for elementary students to increase UON’s capacity to provide the best virtual education available for our students. Uintah Online School is committed to assist students with their social, emotional, and academic needs.
Social, Emotional, and Academic Support:
When families choose Uintah School District, your students will have access to a system of social, emotional, and academic supports provided by local school professionals and teachers who care about your kids! The Board has authorized resources to hire additional personnel to support the social and emotional needs of students in USD. The district is working to establish a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) model to help students in all schools with their unique social, emotional, and academic needs.
Uintah School District is committed to provide the very best educational opportunities for your students while keeping students and staff safe. We are committed to keep our schools clean, orderly, and safe while providing an engaging curriculum and the social and extracurricular opportunities that will help our children grow into well-rounded and productive citizens.
The USD Board is committed to keep our schools open and operating at full capacity to the extent feasible.
We value your feedback, so please use this link to provide your thoughts and feelings about this draft plan. The Board will meet on Tuesday, July 14, at 6 p.m. in the Vernal Middle School Auditorium to approve the plan. Extensive public comment was provided during a meeting held on July 8, so the Board is seeking written feedback at this time.