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Utah Senate President: Salt Lake City School District should ‘step up,’ offer in-person learning

Sen. President Stuart Adams agrees that organizational changes are needed to better address homelessness in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

SALT LAKE CITY– As the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available to Utah educators, Senate President Stuart Adams is urging the Salt Lake City School District (SLCSD) to resume in-person learning.

During a COVID-19 briefing Friday, Gov. Spencer Cox announced teachers and staff can begin receiving the coronavirus vaccine Monday. Shortly after the announcement, Adams issued a statement encouraging the SLCSD to offer in-person learning options for K-12 students. 

“Salt Lake City School District should open in-person learning immediately. Educators will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccines beginning Monday,” Adams said. “The excuses need to end at once.” 


Adams: Salt Lake City School District must ‘step up’

Recently, the school board voted to not return to the classroom until all educators in the district are vaccinated. This goes against Adam’s constant request for the district to go back to in-person learning. He also stated educators who do not offer in-person learning won’t be eligible for the $1,500 bonus. 

Additionally, Adams said students in the district are falling behind due to remote instruction. 

“It has been reported that in Salt Lake City School District, there is a 600% increase in students failing all classes, despite teachers’ best efforts,” Adams said. “The increased failure rate among students is proof that remote learning, while a good option for some, is not a perfect solution for all.”

The statement addressed his opinion that schools provide more than just an education. 

“K-12 students learn social skills, receive meals, exercise and have access to other support services,” Adams said. “Vulnerable and low-income children are particularly affected by lack of contact with classmates.”

He also said SLCSD is the only district in the state that has not offered some kind of in-person learning option. However, the district is going to bring elementary school kids back to class at the end of January. 

“In Utah, every district except one has implemented in-person learning options with precautions to help protect educators, staff and students,” Adams said. “Salt Lake City School District, it is time to step up.”