State of Utah officials announced Monday that K-12 public schools will extend their dismissal through Friday, May 1st, and that Utah’s technical colleges will suspend teaching from Monday, March 30 until Friday, May 1. The announcement was made by Gov. Gary R. Herbert, State Superintendent Syd Dickson, and Acting Commissioner of Technical Education Jared Haines.
“These are unprecedented times in Utah’s and our nation’s history,” the governor said, “I have been overwhelmed with Utahns’ outpouring of support for one another, and nowhere has this been more evident than in the way our educators are supporting Utah students and families.”
Where feasible, distance learning will continue for K-12 public schools during this extended timeframe. Due to CDC and State of Utah guidelines to avoid gatherings of groups of ten or more, teachers are being asked to telecommute when possible.
“We recognize that being away from school creates additional work and stress for everyone in our communities; however, it is a necessary step in stopping the spread of COVID-19,” said State Superintendent Sydnee Dickson. “During the uncertainties of the coming weeks, it is more important than ever to remain socially connected with our students and families while doing our best to ensure learning continues. The flexibility and initiative of our educators is a shining example of how we rise together in challenging circumstances.”
The Utah State Board of Education’s website provides an interactive map of meal services for children that will continue on an as-needed basis.
Instruction and coursework will also pause for all of Utah’s technical colleges beginning Monday, March 30th through Friday, May 1st. Due to the unique nature of technical college coursework, continuing in an online-only model is challenging and not widely feasible, however, students will retain their progress toward completion.
“I appreciate the willingness of our UTech instructors and programs to be flexible through this time of disruption,” Interim Commissioner Jared Haines said, “We are invested in the quality of our instruction and want technical college students to have the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in industry. This requires hands-on labs and assessments that we are unable to safely administer at this time. Students will be able to seamlessly resume their progress toward completion as soon as possible.”
State officials and the COVID-19 Task Force say they “will continue to monitor and assess the risks, and respond accordingly in conjunction with Utah’s school officials.”