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Utah PTA understands why parents are conflicted about back to school

(PHOTO: Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY —  As Utah school districts release their different re-opening plans to get kids back to school, some parents are upset – and often for different reasons.

Some want to be in class, others want to be at home.

Utah PTA spokesperson Amy Choate-Nielsen says it’s difficult because there are so many factors at play.

From having high-risk individuals at home to not having enough bandwidth or internet speeds, Choate-Nielsen says parents have a lot of questions.

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“You have the health and safety of your family and your community. You have a lot of unknowns about the virus,” she said. “Then there’s the question of working parents or students who rely on going to school for access to food.”

The Utah PTA is made up of chapters around the state, and different school districts around the state have different plans.

Choate-Nielsen says the PTA’s main goal is health and safety. But they understand schools have to balance health and safety with academics.

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 (Davis School District)

“We understand it’s a difficult situation, to figure out how to best navigate that. We want to be supportive in whatever way we can be,” she said.

The group does not have an official stance on remote learning versus in-person learning but want to make sure all students can learn in the circumstances they are in.

But Choate-Nielsen says it seems parents appreciate if their schools offer a balance or give them more options or choices.

“Our mission is to help students achieve their potential. Academics is definitely a primary concern and helping children be able to learn. Every parent is concerned about where their child is at,” said Choate-Nielsen.

School districts have to have their official plans in place by August 1. Most districts throughout the state are set to begin classes again in the last week of August.


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