Board Summary, Jan. 11 2022

Note: Recordings and documents for agenda items can be accessed via BoardDocs by clicking on the corresponding agenda items

The Canyons Board of Education approved a change in the calendar to accommodate extra remote-learning days. This is in response to the sudden spike in positive COVID-19 cases, which has led to increased student absenteeism and major operational challenges. As a result, extra Remote-Learning Fridays have been added to the calendar and on-campus instruction will be suspended at all Canyons schools on Tuesday, Jan. 18. “Since the onset of the pandemic, we have committed to keeping students and employees safe while preserving in-person learning. This stated commitment hasn’t changed. What has changed are the mounting operational challenges we face amid the omicron surge,” Robins told the Board of Education. The temporary shift to remote learning was approved by the Canyons Board of Education in consultation with the Utah State Board of Education, state elected leaders, and the Salt Lake County Health Department with the understanding that this will better meet students’ academic, safety, and wellness needs. Because the Remote-Learning Day falls after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend and an already scheduled no-student day on Friday, Jan. 14, this will give Canyons schools five consecutive days to pause and reset. In line with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s new five-day isolation and incubation guidelines, the District’s dashboard of active COVID-19 cases will reset to zero for all schools after the five-day pause. The hope, Robins said, is that the “reset” will help disrupt transmission of the virus while keeping the disruption to family schedules at a minimum, Robins said. Schools will use the five days for deep cleaning at schools and to host a COVID-19 vaccine booster clinic at the District Office, 9361 S. 300 East. Despite implementing new COVID-19 prevention measures such as the countywide face mask requirement, coronavirus testing, and school cleanings with hospital-grade detergent, case counts are reaching new heights in the Canyons community. At last count on Tuesday, Jan. 11, all of Canyons’ five traditional high schools met the threshold for conducting Test to Stay events. But faced with unprecedented demand for Test to Stay events in neighboring school districts, Salt Lake County Health Department can’t immediately furnish all the rapid-testing supplies needed to meet Test to Stay obligations because of supply-chain issues. Meanwhile, student absences are rising steadily along with employee absences, exacerbating an already troubling labor shortage. On Jan. 10, 467, or 17 percent, of Canyons’ full-time employees were absent, causing up to hour-long delays on many CSD bus routes and depleting the available pool of substitute teachers. Also on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 220 substitutes were requested by teachers who were missing work for health or personal reasons. About 79 of the open positions went unfilled by our pool of trained and approved subs, forcing schools to get creative to cover the classes with onsite staff. To provide teachers and school staff with additional planning time to support the needs of online learners, the Board also approved three additional remote-learning Fridays, bringing to nine the total of Remote-Learning Fridays for the year (see schedule below). Parents were notified Tuesday evening of the pivot to online learning via email and robocalls. On Remote-Learning Days, elementary students will work independently with a parent or guardian to complete the assignments and learning expectations communicated by their teacher using instructional packets or by logging in to CSD’s Canvas learning portal. Middle and high school students will log in to the Canvas dashboard for each of their classes and work their way through their regular course schedules. Teachers will be available on Remote-Learning Days via email and connect with students through Canvas and Zoom or Google Meet. There will be no disruption in extracurricular activities. Sporting events and practices, and theatrical rehearsals and performances will continue as previously scheduled.

CSD’s Upcoming Remote-Learning Days 

Tuesday, Jan. 18

Friday, Jan. 28

Friday, Feb. 4

Friday, Feb. 11

Friday, March 25

Friday, April 22 (All schools except Brighton High)

Friday, April 29 (Brighton High only)

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