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A third of Salt Lake City students opt to stay online

East High School pictured in Salt Lake City. The school district says about 35 percent of students opted to continue remote learning even after classes resumed in person. FILE: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The first week of face-to-face learning for junior high and high school students in the Salt Lake City School District restarted Monday after almost a year of only online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Yet more than a quarter of parents decided to continue to keep their kids at home.

“Across the district, 35 percent of our students are 100 percent remote and that number actually holds pretty steady across the different grade levels,” said district spokeswoman Y├índary Chatwin.

She added the district wanted to provide a high-quality option for students, no matter which they decided. And before classes restarted in person, she wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of who would stay online and who would go in person in Salt Lake City. 

“What we wanted to do is to make sure that we had really viable high quality options for parents and for students,” she said. 

At the high school level, Chatwin said students have the option of taking any specific class online and other classes in person. 

Chatwin said the district split the students up in alphabetical order: one half attends Monday and Thursday, while the other half goes Tuesday and Friday. But she said it’s trickier to track how many teachers decided not to teach in person.

“There are some teachers who are teaching 100 percent remotely, but those situations are based on the preference of parents,” she said.

In January, elementary school students returned to in-person learning in phases.

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