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Returning with care: Students in the Murray School District back in class

Photo Murray School District

MURRAY, Utah — Students in the Murray City School District are back in the classroom Monday. The 6,400 students across the district are the first in the Wasatch Front to be back in class during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Superintendent Jennifer Covington says they’ve been preparing over the summer to make sure the transition back is safe and effective, and now need the community’s help.

“If we could all do our part, wear our masks, practice good hand hygiene, and keep students home when they are sick, we are going to have a better opportunity to keep our doors open.”

According to the district, 50% of their students will be back at their desks today. 30% chose a hybrid online/in-person option and 20% will be online only.

“We have a great deal of confidence in our plan we feel good about the direction that we’ve been given and the guidance that we’ve been given,” district spokesman Doug Perry said.

If a change is needed later in the year, Covington says they are a one-to-one school district, so every student already had a Chromebook. Covington feels they can pivot if things change, but she’s excited that school is back.

“There’s a lot on our minds right now, but we are optimistic, and I can’t wait to see our kids. Whether we see them virtually or in-person, we are so excited to get that opportunity to reconnect with them.”


Jennifer Auwerda says her family decided to send their son back as part of the district’s hybrid model, where he goes to school some days and learns from home the other days.

“We were grateful to all chose what we thought was best for our families,” she said. “He’s looking forward to it, but a little apprehensive at times. He’ll wear a mask in school and do his part.

“We can do our part, and I think Murray is doing great with innovation to get our kids all online in a second if they need to.”

Jeannette Bowen’s kids are excited to spend more time back in the classroom. They decided to go back full-time and say that the social and emotional help from fellow students and their teachers will be nice.

“I’m excited. They’ve had a lot taken away from them,” Bowen said.

“Murray City School District has put in a lot of safety precautions to give them a fighting chance to stay in school, and we’ve talked to our kids about their responsibilities.

“My kids are really excited,” she continued. “They did a great job learning from home and their teachers did a great job. But over and over they realized, ‘I just really want to be back in school.’”

She said she thinks that the students will be able to do their part and help keep everyone healthy.

“I think kids will automatically and instinctively step up. I have a kindergartener, and he’s fine wearing a mask. He thinks that’s just what you do when you go to school. I think they will step up and surprise us, because kids do that.”

Murray School District Superintendent Jennifer Covington joined Dave and Dujanovic to talk about her first day at school. Hear the full conversation here.


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