Saturday, August 8, 2020

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Moab, UT

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Moab
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    School district weighs COVID-19 plan

    Mask mandate for students among discussion topics

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    Men donned wooden masks and numerous layers of sweatshirts and ponchos then proceeded to hit each other with whips as they danced around the town square.
    Carter Pape
    Carter Papehttp://moabtimes.awebstudio.com/author/carter-pape/
    Reporter Carter Pape covers news out of the Grand County Council Chambers, including housing, tourism, crime, and more.

    The Grand County School District is set to consider at its upcoming meeting Wednesday, July 15 a plan for how to educate kids during a school year that will likely start and, possibly, end without a COVID-19 vaccine.

    the front door to the grand county school district
    File photo

    The guidelines, created primarily by Superintendent Taryn Kay in collaboration with local health officials, teachers, administrators and others, lay out a phased approach to the school year to come, ranging from all-online learning in the highest risk phase to some kids going to school during part of the day and others during the other part, to all kids being in school all the time.

    The approach to returning to school has received national attention in recent weeks as the summer drags on with some school districts struggling with what the right approach will be. Different locations are taking different approaches.

    The New York Times reported that New York City schools would not fully reopen in the fall, while Chalkbeat, a nonprofit news outlet that focuses on education, reported that Denver Public Schools and the adjacent, suburban Aurora school district would largely reopen in-person.

    Rural areas will likely require a different approach, but pediatrician groups and public health officials have largely advocated and provided guidance in support of reopening schools, pointing to emerging evidence that children are not a primary source of coronavirus spread.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics, according to a report from the Times, advocated such a return to physical presence in school and emphasized that major health, social and educational risks threaten children and families if kids do not return to physical classrooms in August.

    Kay said during an interview last month that she too was deeply hopeful Grand County teachers could invite children back into the classroom this fall because of the importance that holds for society.

    “I really think that having school in a physical building is a really important part of our society, and I can’t wait for it to happen again,” Kay said.

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