Whether in a classroom, at home, or a mixture of both, Canyons families have been given a wide array of choices regarding how they will approach learning this fall.
This year, the Utah State Board of Education has waived requirements on the minimum number of hours school districts are required to conduct school. This change, coupled with a desire to encourage students to stay home from school when they are sick or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, will allow in-person students more flexibility to choose what days they attend school during the week.
In short, CSD is providing maximum flexibility for families.
Parents can make their choices during Online Registration, which started July 27 and will continue throughout the week.
“Canyons District’s Back-to-School Action Plan allows families to determine a schedule that works best for them,” Canyons Superintendent Dr. Rick Robins said. “On days students need to miss school, whether for health or personal reasons, or parents may choose the days their students attend. Students can keep up with their schoolwork by accessing content on Canvas. Students who opt for online courses can also modify their schedules to suit their needs. A secondary student may also choose online courses as well as in person courses. Our plan gives the community these choices and flexibility.”
Many of the students in Canyons School District live in households where both parents work full-time. Roughly a third of our students rely on our schools for breakfast, lunch and other health and counseling services, and an estimated 20 percent of students do not have a device or Internet connectivity to fully participate in online learning. CSD’s learning options strive to meet these families’ needs while also providing options for those families who, for health or personal reasons, don’t feel comfortable sending their children back to school. Online courses, plus our other learning options, are likely to enable CSD to achieve the same goal as a hybrid, or split schedule, without imposing undue hardship on so many Canyons families. This is because they effectively reduce the total number of students inside our school buildings, thereby facilitating increased physical distancing.
If students choose to attend school in person, CSD doors will be open for full school days, five days a week, with enhanced plans to keep students safe — including individual school plans designed to address student spacing, increased sanitizing and disinfecting, and policies enforcing the use of masks. As students are encouraged to stay home from school if they have any symptoms of being sick, attendance rules are being relaxed and will focus more on participation rather than whether a student is sitting in their chair.
If students choose the online learning plan, there are options to create individual schedules, based on class choice and availability. Through this option, secondary students have the ability to hand-pick their own, unique schedule that allows them to attend some classes in person, and some online. School counselors and administrators can work with students to identify in-person options and online teachers will be ready to support their online learning. Students can even choose a mixture of school-based online learning, in-person classes, and independent learning courses through Canyons Virtual High School.
Students who choose the parent-guided at-home learning option will have the benefit of all of their school’s resources, but they will also have more freedom in designing their own lesson plans. In this option, learners will receive access to a Parent Portal with how-to instructions, curriculum maps that outline the scope and sequence of learning topics, and student software and digital resources. In this option, parents will be in the teacher’s seat in developing their own lesson plans and assignments.
In this unusual time of navigating what school looks like during a pandemic, the Canyons Board of Education recognizes the need for parents to have options. While this Back-to-School Action Plan addresses many issues, it may not address all needs or expectations. As in any other school year, the District and school administrations will problem-solve unique situations as they arise with individual schools, students, families and employees.