PCSD schools will not go remote next week

PARK CITY, Utah — On Friday, The Park City School District Board voted against four schools — Park City High School, Treasure Mountain Junior High, Ecker Hill Middle, and Jeremy Ranch Elementary — pivoting to remote learning next week, citing equity and the lack of closures around the community. Those were the only four that qualified for remote learning under current state law.

“If you have a student that is sick, please keep them home,” board president Erin Grady said.

“If this is a decision that we made today that doesn’t work for your family and you have concerns, please reach out to your teacher, to your administrator in that building, and they can work with you and help your child go remote for a certain amount of time that you see fit,” she said. “This is something we can and will revisit as we need to.”

“Where are kids safest… are you safest at school if you’re not feeling ill, or are you safest unsupervised at home? And I would be willing to bet that, statistically, it is far in favor of having kids here,” board member Andrew Caplan said. “From a safety and a wellness perspective.”

“Nothing else is getting shut down in Summit County,” board member Kara Hendrickson said. “We can’t guarantee that they [students] don’t go elsewhere and ending the spread.”

Other Park City School District schools did not qualify because of the Test to Stay threshold required by state law:

  • Schools with 1,500 or more students have 2% of their students test positive for COVID-19
  • Schools with fewer than 1,500 students have 30 students test positive for COVID-19

On Thursday, state officials rescinded the Test to Stay requirement and opened up the option for schools to go remote for the next two weeks. The Legislature had previously banned public schools from going remote for more than one day per week.

The legislative session in Salt Lake City begins next week, and Utah Education Association spokesman Michael Kelley said they plan to pass something to replace Test to Stay. Kelley described Thursday’s move as a “stopgap” until they can pass something in the coming weeks.

“Given the unique characteristics of the Omicron variant, the availability of vaccinations, and developing guidance from health authorities, it is necessary to step back from test-to-stay programs, allowing the Utah Department of Health to devote its testing resources to congregate-care facilities, long term care facilities, and community testing sites,” said a letter signed by Governor Spencer Cox, along with state schools superintendent Dr. Sydnee Dickson, House Speaker Brad Wilson, and Senate President J. Stuart Adams.

The confirmed COVID-19 case percentage at Park City High, Treasure Mountain, and Ecker Hill are all above 10%, according to the district’s COVID-19 dashboard.


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