Canyons Board of Education to Meet Sept. 18 to Discuss COVID-19 Response

The Canyons Board of Education has scheduled a special meeting for tonight, Friday Sept. 18 to determine what further steps may need to be taken to help interrupt the transmission cycle of COVID-19 in the communities we serve.

The meeting will start at 4:30 p.m. and will be broadcast live on CSDTV. The agenda has been posted online. To handle the large volume of patrons and employees seeking to provide feedback, we have set up a mechanism to submit comments in writing. The public is welcome and encouraged to email their comments to communications@canyonsdistrict.org.

The Canyons Administration and Board of Education have been working hand-in-hand with local health authorities to actively monitor case counts, which have risen this week in the Draper community. The Board convened a subcommittee on Thursday, Sept. 17 to review data points and set parameters to inform the discussion at Friday’s meeting.

To guide the Canyons Board of Education and Administration as the community works together to face this public-health challenge, the following measures will be considered. Canyons District will launch a data dashboard that includes school-associated positive cases per school for those enrolled in in-person learning, the attendance rate for in-person learning, the number of quarantined students, the percentage of students at each school, and community spread by ZIP code.

The dashboard will be published Friday, Sept. 18 on CSD’s homepage and COVID-19 portal. It will identify by tiers of concern the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in the previous two weeks:

  • Tier 1 would indicate 0 or 1-5 cases in the previous two weeks.
  • Tier 2 would indicate 6 to 14 cases in the previous two weeks.
  • Tier 3 would be 15 cases or more in the previous two weeks.
  • No action would be required for school communities that are in Tier 1.
  • For school communities in Tier 2, a “vigilance letter” would be sent to parents and guardians, and enhanced mitigation strategies will be developed and put into place. The subcommittee of the Board and the District Administration will increase discussion and collaboration with the Salt Lake County Health Department about the affected school communities.
  • For school communities in Tier 3, the District will continue collaborative efforts with the health department and identify and discuss other mitigation strategies.
  • If CSD elementary or middle schools reach a 15-case threshold, the District will engage in an immediate discussion with the health department on potential changes in schedule or other precautionary measures, which may include a temporary pivot to online-learning-only.
  • If any CSD traditional high school reaches a 1 percent positive COVID-19 school-associated rate, the District will engage in an immediate discussion with the health department on potential changes to the school schedule or other precautionary measures.
  • If any CSD traditional high school reaches a 2 percent COVID-19 school-associated positive rate within a two-week period, it will trigger a pivot to online learning for 14 days.
  • If there are three or more students in one classroom or involved in an extracurricular activity who test positive within a two-week period, the entire class will be quarantined for 14 days from the last exposure, as determined by contact tracing.

These decisions have impacts beyond the classroom. School boards, school administrators, and county health officials should consider the following:

  • The social, emotional, economic, and academic well-being of students and staff;
  • Disease transmission trends in both the school and surrounding community;
  • The overall safety of students and staff;
  • A school’s ability to provide remote learning; and,
  • The hardships and inequities remote or hybrid learning may present students and families.

Although the Utah governor’s office and health and education officials have the statutory authority to close schools in response to a public health emergency, the preference is for local school officials to make such decisions collaboratively as described.

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Lucie Chamberlain

Alta View Elementary

If a movie about super teachers were ever made, Lucie Chamberlain would be a prime candidate for a leading role. Fortunately for her kindergarten students at Alta View Elementary, she already thrives in a supporting role for them. Parents thank her for being a “super teacher.” She is also described as an “amazing colleague.” Whether students need help in the classroom or from home while sick, Lucie goes above and beyond to help them learn, overcome fears, and feel important and cared for. Lucie is the reason a number of kids went from hating school to loving it, according to parents. The way she exudes patience, sweetness, positive energy, and love for her students with special needs melts is appreciated and admired. One parent noted: “Both my kids wish she could be their teacher forever.” Another added:  “She treats every student like their learning and their feelings are her priority.” Super teacher, indeed!

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