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More Weber, Davis SD schools move to online learning due to COVID-19

By Tim Vandenack - | Jan 19, 2022

Emily Anderson, Standard-Examiner file photo

In this archive photo, Sam Larsen, a senior at Viewmont High School, is administered a COVID-19 test by a nurse at the Davis School District's transportation building in Clearfield on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020.

Add to the list of schools that have shifted to online learning due to rising COVID-19 cases.

In the Weber School District, Roy Junior High School is to go to online learning on Thursday after the number of COVID-19 cases surpassed guidelines set by the state.

In the Davis School District, Central Davis Junior High in Layton and Creekside and Foxboro elementaries in Kaysville and North Salt Lake will go to remote learning, also on Thursday.

“The goal of remote learning is to continue educating students while keeping them physically separate from one another. This gives schools a chance to slow the spread of the virus as the COVID-19 omicron variant has added an additional challenge in this pandemic,” said Chris Williams, the Davis School District spokesperson.

DaVinci Academy, an Ogden charter school serving junior high and high school students, went to online learning last Tuesday. It wasn’t because the number of infected students surpassed thresholds set by the state, though, but because of a spike in infected teachers, according to Simon Post, the DaVinci director of secondary education.

Ten or 11 junior high and high school teachers can’t come to DaVinci due to illness, but they are still able to teach remotely, hence the decision to move online. DaVinci’s elementary school isn’t impacted and Post said the junior high and high schools are to resume in-person instruction on Monday.

Weber, Fremont and Roy high schools had already implemented remote learning, along with 19 other Davis School District Schools. They are to resume in-person instruction next Monday, while Roy Junior High School and the three DSD schools starting remote instruction on Thursday will resume in-person instruction next Tuesday.

No Ogden School District schools have yet registered the number of infected students that would require moving to online learning, according to Jer Bates, the district spokesperson. Even so, district officials have noted an increase in absences in January and are watching those numbers as well as the number of school employees staying home because they are sick.

“If a school is impacted very heavily and unable to fill multiple vacancies due to illness we could consider temporarily switching to virtual (at-home) learning,” the district said in a letter to parents on Tuesday.

Utah Department of Utah data, made available online, shows Ogden High School with 39 cases, exceeding state thresholds. But Bates said the data the school uses, working with the Weber-Morgan Health Department, shows a lower number — just 12 infected students — below the threshold.

Per Senate Bill 107, approved last year, schools with at least 1,500 students must take measures to prevent COVID-19’s spread when active cases represent 2% of the student body. For schools with fewer than 1,500 students, the threshold is 30 active cases among students.

SB 107 initially called for schoolwide COVID-19 testing in schools surpassing the thresholds. State officials changed that last week, though, in light of rising cases and limited testing materials, allowing impacted schools to go online instead.

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