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School Restart FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions


Will paper work packets be available as an alternative option for students who do not do well with online work?

Some of the work assigned may also be available as paper packets. Please work with your students' teachers for this.

How will students check out library books?

Students always have access to an exceptional collection of online library books through the Sora app, which can be used on a computer, tablet, or phone. Our online libraries can also be extended through our partnership with the Salt Lake Library. 

The following plan has been approved for physical book checkouts.

  • Each school must have a library book quarantine bin
  • Books must quarantine for a minimum of 48 hours without being processed or handled
  • After 48 hours, books may be processed and reshelved or recirculated
  • If a school decides to let students browse the library in person, it is critical that the library space is cleaned and disinfected frequently and completely
  • Based on the above parameters, it is up to the individual administration and the school site LTT to work in concert to decide upon and publish (on the school webpage and with school community) the process of:
    • Placing a book on hold
    • Book check out/distribution
    • Book return
    • Book quarantine
    • In-person browsing policy


Will there be any options to sign up for the after-school program when schools open back up?

Yes, you will be able to sign up. Our Community Education After-school program has set a goal to not have any student in Salt Lake City School District placed on a waitlist. Once our After-school programs are full, we will work with our families and community partners to offer parents options. If our programs are full, parents can choose to place their children in one of our community partners’ After-School programs. If our Community Education After-school program has room again, the school administrator and site coordinator will inform families of any availability.


The Pac-12 canceled all fall sports. What does this mean for Salt Lake City School District's fall sports?

The district is following the guidelines set by the our local health department, the Governor, and the Utah High School Activities Association. The health, safety, and well-being of our student-athletes and our coaches remains our first priority. Adjustments to play will be made as needed.

What are the district's guidelines for high school athletes playing fall sports?

Masks are required to traveling to and from practice. We ask coaches to have the athletes wear their masks when they are on the sideline to practice social distancing. It is ok if an athlete would like to wear a mask during practice or game. Hand sanitizer is used during practice. Proper COVID-19 protocol are being followed: such as using hand sanitizer, sanitizing equipment in between workouts, assessing students for symptoms prior to workouts or games, having 50 or fewer participants at one time, physical distancing while on sidelines, and no fans at home games. Students are asked to ride the buses to activities. Buses will be sanitized, only one student is allowed per seat, masks will be worn, and hand sanitizer is used upon entering and exiting the bus.


Will I be provided internet access and a computer for my child?

We are working to get a laptop or iPad for every student. We currently have about 13,000 laptops and about 1,500 iPads available for student use. We have an additional 6,000 on order that will arrive sometime in October. Each school will send out dates and times for device distribution. In addition, our three CLCs will be open from 5 - 7 pm, August 24 - September 3, for device checkout.

My daughter has a school computer checked out for the summer. When would we have to return the computer? Is there a way to get another computer for the fall?

Please return the device as soon as possible. We need to prepare the device for the new school year. You will be able to check out another device for the new school year. You can return the device to Liberty CLC on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. If that time does not work, we will work with you to provide an alternate drop off time.

Will teachers have the technology they need?

Teachers will have access to approved district resources and will have a laptop or access to a computer in their classroom.

How do we turn in books and laptops from last year?

Please return the device as soon as possible. We need to prepare the device for the new school year. You will be able to check out another device for the new school year. You can return the device to Liberty CLC on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. If that time does not work, we will work with you to provide an alternate drop off time.

How are you going to help students who have no access to Internet?

We have about 600 hotspots available that will be checked out to students as recommended by their school principal. Those devices will be checked out from their school. In addition, Our foundation is partnering with Comcast to provide an additional Internet resource to families who are unable to pay for Internet. We will have more information about the Comcast partnership in the near future

Are there any safeguards that will be put in place to help protect students from online predators, access to certain websites and apps, etc? 

Each district device has Internet filtering and keeps a log of all websites students and staff visit. This will protect against inappropriate websites. No Internet filter is perfect and cannot replace monitoring a student on the device. In addition, the district has digital citizenship training for every student which will training them about making wise choices online.

When is training for parents so we can plan our schedule and setup our house before school starts?

Training for parents will occur between August 25 and September 4. Dates and times for these trainings will be coming in the near future. In addition, we will be providing quick start guides and online training resources that families can access at any time.


Will there be CTC classes this year at the Tech Center?

Yes, we are offering the regularly scheduled classes at the Career and Technical Center. The CTC offers programs that are not offered in the 3 traditional high schools. We will begin these classes virtually and we are planning to transition to hybrid later. The CTC teachers have been planning for both modes of instruction. The teachers are developing novel approaches to online learning. In some situations, there may be small group (4-6 students) instruction.

Will there be CTE/Drivers Education fees?

While we are in virtual learning, general CTE fees will not be assessed. However, there are a few exceptions. Nursing, Emergency Medical Technician, Drivers Education - these programs will have the regular fees assessed to students.


If we return to school using the hybrid model and we did not select the online option but cases are still too high in our opinion, can we still stay online only?

The first decision date is September 22 for a return on October 9. Families who choose to have students continue online only services beyond the October date can let the district know then that they plan to continue until the next quarter break (November 9). If for some reason we do not return at the October time, we will set another date for families to indicate their choice.

If you opt to keep your child remote at the start of the school year, how easy will it be to transfer your child to in person learning later?

Students will be able to transfer back in to in-person learning with minimal disruption. The home school classroom and the online classroom will not be on exactly the same page, but they will be very close in the pacing guide. Transferring in at a logical break in the school calendar, such as at quarter break, will be as seamless as possible.


Is there a plan to still teach the Dual Language Immersion Spanish program online? Just wondering how the day might be split between English/Spanish via online?

This is specific to the programs at Emerson Elementary and Mountain View Elementary and Glendale and Clayton Middle Schools. The state DLI program is providing guidance and support to all DLI programs, and our elementary programs will continue to schedule time for students in both Spanish and English.


For those families within Magnet ELP, will the online only option be specialized for ELP? Also, will Neighborhood ELP services remain intact and how will those be scheduled with neighborhood teachers?

While students are in remote learning, the Magnet program will continue to teach with the depth and complexity that would be found in the their classes if they were in person. When we return to a hybrid model, families who choose to continue one in remote learning will not be in a Magnet program. Students will be able to access Neighborhood ELP services in grades 4-6 through the remote program, and Magnet students who continue in the virtual program may also access the online Neighborhood program.

How are you going to ensure that your district will be able to meet the needs of the gifted children in the district despite Covid?

Both the Magnet and Neighborhood Extended Learning Program will continue to provide services to students online. Magnet teachers will continue to provide their curriculum to meet the needs of the identified students in that program. Neighborhood ELP services will be provided for students in grades 4, 5, and 6; the Neighborhood ELP teacher for each school will continue to provide program services.


During the initial remote learning time, will teachers have the flexibility to meet with small groups of students or one-on-one with students if both parties feel comfortable?

Based on the science and safety information currently available, the SLCSD Board has determined that, with few exceptions, the district will utilize a remote learning. As the Board analyzes ongoing scientific and safety data, the Board may determine that more flexibility, including increasing in-person instructional time, is appropriate. Until that time, students will be provided their educational experience via remote learning. 


Will children be graded on a standard scale?

Yes. We will return to the standard scale. Last  spring, our grade scale changed to reflect practices that were also adopted by state universities and other district. The change for secondary students during the school dismissal was that teachers gave a "No Grade" option instead of an "Incomplete" if the student had not completed sufficient work to pass the class. We did not issue an F grade. The No Grade does not affect the students' GPA and provides more flexibility in completing the course in the future. This will not be an option in Fall 2020. Elementary teachers who did not have enough information about student performance to award a standard grade could give students a "Q" to reflect the school dismissal. Teachers could also give an "E" if the student interacted with them, but there still was not enough data to assign a grade. Teachers did not use the "N" or "1" grade. This will not be an option in Fall 2020.

Will expectations be reduced to accommodate for online learning in a pandemic environment? My children were often overwhelmed by the amount of work that was required

Expectations are not reduced, but standards and topics have been prioritized to ensure that we address the most important work of the grade to ensure that all students are ready for the next grade.


What plans do you have to make things more flexible for students and parents that are now having to try and figure out how to balance working full time and helping their children attend online classes?

We understand that online classes may need to be attended at different times to meet the needs of students and families. The best experience will be with the teacher so that conversation and instruction is focused on student needs.However, we will provide instruction in a recorded format so that students and families can access the live lesson when needed. Additionally, all work will be outlined on a weekly schedule and available in Canvas.

How often should I expect communication from my student’s teacher? How will that happen?

We would expect this to be weekly at least (general communication, student specific as needed). Teachers should be communicating with families to find out the best mode of communication.

How often will students “attend” class?

This depends on the level and the school schedule. Students will attend synchronous learning opportunities based on their individual schedule.

What will a typical online school day look like for high school, middle school, and elementary?

A mix of synchronous and asynchronous learning, small group, and independent practice. At least a portion of the day will follow your child's school schedule so students will be interacting live with their teacher and peers.

What is the reasoning behind the AB AB day scheduling for elementary and middle schools if students return to school using the hybrid model? Wouldn't an AA BB schedule make more sense for containing virus outbreaks?

We were concerned that students on an AA BB schedule would have a long gap between live interactions with their teacher(s). By doing AB AB, no student would have more than 3 days between those live interactions. We will be cleaning the schools each afternoon in order to provide a sanitary start to each school day.

How will students contact teachers if they have questions about their assignments?

Teachers will maintain regular "office hours" where students (or parents) can reach out for one on one help. Additionally, teachers will respond to emails about needed support.


Will parents be paying school/class fees this year?

Schools may elect to charge appropriate and approved fees this year. If the fees are not spent according to the approved spend plan, they will be refunded at the end of the year.

Why will high school students only be attending four classes each quarter?

Students struggled to navigate 8 classes remotely - This was one of the repeated complaints we received from students, parents, and teachers this past spring. The typical student focused on 3-5 of their classes and largely ignored the others. We think students AND teachers focusing on fewer classes will result in more learning and rigor. By the end of the first semester, students will have completed 8 courses (just as they would have in the traditional setting).

What about AP and IB classes?

We are working with principals to get some of the teachers of these courses to offer maintenance/review times during the quarter that a student does not have that class every day. At the end of the first semester, most AP/IB students will actually have had MORE opportunities in that content area to learn and then review (compared to the traditional model). Students will also have access to Canvas materials - we are working to make it so students have access to all of their AP/IB class content all year long. Instruction does not necessarily vanish during the terms when the classes do not meet; the instruction is then just asynchronous.

Can I register my high school student to take just the classes they need to graduate?

If your student is a senior, please have them contact a counselor and we can make things work.

How will the four classes per term work? Will two terms be compressed into one or will they just get half of the curriculum?

Two terms (quarters) will be pressed into one quarter. At the end of the first semester, students will have taken eight semester classes. Working on four classes every day instead of eight classes every two days means that students will spend about the same amount of time on all their classes - they'll just be doing it four at a time.

Which schools will be holding ACT in September in Salt Lake City?

This is contracted service that is scheduled at the schools--we don't schedule the ACT. It is best to check with the ACT about their scheduled dates and locations.

Why only one day a week in the hybrid model for high schools when we return?

One of the safety precautions parents told us was most important to them was the ability to social distance. In order to properly social distance in our high school classrooms, we will have to divide our students into four cohorts. Each cohort will each attend school one day per week in order to allow for small enough numbers to safely social distance.


If I choose to stay online when school restarts, can i change my mind and come back in person later?

Yes, with the exception being students in grades 9-12 who opt into the Salt Lake Virtual school. The pacing of classes will does not match the Semester in a Quarter system we are using during remote and hybrid learning. Transferring back in when we have returned to traditional school schedules will be possible.

How will hands on classes, like woodworking, welding, etc. be handled to keep students safe?

Hands-on classes such as woodshop or foods, will be remote. Students will participate in online classes with models and demonstrations from the teacher. They will also begin working on any state assessments or other classroom learning that supports the class. As we are able to have small groups of students back in the building, we will start to have students schedule to come in and work in the classroom with the teacher.

How will secondary concert band or choir courses work over distance learning?

Students in large-group music courses will practice with pre-recorded accompaniment. Students will be able to practice together online with the teacher in like groups, such as Altos or Trumpets. The teacher can hear and coach like groups online. They may also do small groups or other sectionals such as an SATB or winds. As we are able to have small groups of students back in the building, we will start to have students schedule to come in and work in the classroom with the teacher.

I have decided that I do NOT want to send my child back into the classroom until the pandemic is no longer a threat. Do I have that option?

Yes. We will contiually adjust online learning options as schedules and numbers of students changes.

Will teachers utilize Zoom or other group video-conferencing as part of remote instruction through the coming school year?

Yes. Teachers will use Zoom and other online platforms (Newslela, FlipGrid, NearPod, Common Lit, SORA, etc.) to assist in teaching. Students can access everything they will need directly through their Canvas course.

What is the plan for taking attendance? Will I be notified if my daughter does not attend a class?

To comply with federal and state attendance guidelines, our proposed learner validated enrollment plan is to track attendance at live or synchronous sessions and using independent or asynchronous work during Wednesdays' online session. Students will be expected to attend and respond to the classroom instruction as well as complete assigned work. Students will have an exit ticket or Canvas Discussion Board item that must be completed to demonstrate understanding of the days' learning. If a student is watching a recorded class at a later time, they will also be able to complete the exit assignment. Teachers will record attendance on Wednesdays for the live instruction days--Thursday, Friday, Monday, Tuesday, and mark students absent for any days that they did not attend or watch the lesson. Attendance on Digital Wednesday will be recorded based on the completion of assigned learning for that day. Parents or guardians can also review attendance in the Parent Portal and can also observe their students' daily activity in Canvas.

How are my kids going to learn while I’m at work and or if they're at daycare?

Teachers will be posting all of their lessons on Canvas. They will also record the lessons as they work with children throughout the day. Parents will be able to access those lessons any time so they could work on them at night, have their caregiver work on a portion with their children during the day, or even work on lessons over the weekend.


Will high-risk children still be able to do school district onLine school?

Yes. We have a plan to maintain remote learning as needed.

If we do in-person traditional school but other kids refuse to wear mask and distance, can I switch my daughter to online learning?

The district will follow and enforce health department guidelines for face mask and social distancing requirements. If a parent is uncomfortable having their child in the in-person learning environment, they can switch to Salt Lake Virtual School. Depending on the time of the transfer, some classes may not be synched to each other.

What factors is the district considering in order for schools to safely go back to in person learning?

Positive test percentage below 5% for a 7 day average. Daily cases per 100K less than 10.

How will cold symptoms be handled? Will students have to prove they don’t have Covid anytime they have a minor cold or allergies?

According to the Salt Lake County Health Department, any student experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, which closely align with the common cold, will be asked to follow these guidelines. 

  • Students who present with symptoms of COVID-19 during the school day will be sent directly to the office, where they will be placed in a room designated for students with symptoms.
  • Parents will be notified to come and pick-up their student, and follow-up with a healthcare provider 
  • Students may return to school when at least 10 days has passed since the first symptom appeared, symptoms have improved, and there has been no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication, 
    • Or students have a note from a healthcare professional containing another diagnosis.
    • Or students have a negative COVID test.

How much time will we be given before transitioning to from all remote to the hybrid or all in school model of learning? 

Changes in delivery format will take place at the end of grading periods. i.e. mid-term or end of term

When schools do reopen for in person learning what metrics will be used to determine if and when they will be closed again?

Once students are back in school, closure of a school would be determined in collaboration with the Salt Lake County Health Department.

Where do I access metrics?

The Positive Test Percentage is available on the Salt Lake county Health – COVID-19 Data Dashboard. Daily new cases per 100K are at for Salt Lake County.


How will digital learning on Wednesdays be structured? Will most scheduled sessions be mornings? 

Wednesdays will include small group instruction, student contact, study groups, independent work, and educator collaboration time. We anticipate the time with a student or students will take place in the morning, but we also know we must stay flexible to best meet the needs of our students and families. Structure of this day will have the aforementioned parameters but will be site-specific in how this is all set up. You can anticipate most of your child's Wednesday time will be independent work. Elementary student will meet two times a month on these Wednesdays with their teacher online or in person, individually, or in a small group. Middle school and high school are still working out their contact times.

In the event students return using the hybrid model, can my high school student be on the same days as my elementary students?

We will do our best to accommodate multiple-student families. This, along with students with special needs, will be our highest priority. While we can't guarantee this structure, we are confident that we can make it work for the overwhelming majority, if not all, groups of siblings.

How can we get a copy of our students schedules as most counselor meetings did not take place in the spring?

Contact your school. We are currently working on these and should have all schedules ready for students by August 18.

What systems do the schools have in place to support learning outside of school hours? Will lectures/instruction and class meetings be recorded for later viewing?

We understand that online classes may need to be attended at different times to meet the needs of students and families. The best experience will be with the teacher so that conversation and instruction is focused on student needs, However, we will provide instruction in a recorded format so that students and families can access the live lesson when needed. Additionally, all work will be outlined on a weekly schedule and available in Canvas.

When will we meet with teachers?

Schools will schedule meetings with teachers and families. Attention will be paid to making sure that appointments allow for social distancing.

I have a Kindergartener, what will the day look like for them?

Our teachers will determine what is developmentally appropriate with their team and their principals. During remote learning, they will be involved for at least two hours, and as they develop stamina and learn new routines, that time will increase. A kindergarten child's day will be a mix of lessons together with their teacher, and work that they complete on their own with encouragement from their caregivers. Engaging instruction will include hands on activities, music, and play.


How will school meals be offered to students?

During remote learning, we will utilize federal waivers to allow parents to pick up a grocery bag full of food each week to take home and prepare (lunch and breakfast) for each day their student attends school online. When students return to school, we will continue to offer the take home meal program while also offering a sack lunch and sack breakfast to students when they attend class. 

Is there going to be a school lunch program?

When school begins on September 8, we will once again resume the regular school meal programs (lunch and breakfast) at each community school. Students will need to qualify for free/reduced meal benefits or pay for their meal. It is important to note that the price of our school meals will not increase this year. We will continue to operate a "free" summer feeding program at 13 school sites for all children ages 18 and younger throughout August. Unfortunately, the waiver to extend the summer program will expire on August 31.

We have free lunches for two student from Highland. But we don't have space in our fridges or freezers to keep 5 days worth of food. Do you think we could still be able to pick up our food daily?

Yes. We can arrange for parents to pick up school meals daily (upon request).


Why is Salt Lake City School District starting the year with remote learning when other districts are sending students back to school?

Currently Salt Lake City is the only Utah city in Orange (moderate risk) as defined by the state. The current positivity rate is about 9.7% and the current new cases per 100K is about 16. If these rates continue we can expect 20-50% of the population to become infected in the next year. The district has based the remote learning decision on the science and safety information available. At the current infection transmission rate, it would be close to impossible to open a school, and safely keep it open, for any reasonable amount of time.


Once we are back in school, will I be informed if my own child is specifically exposed to COVID-19?

Yes. In the event that your child is exposed to COVID-19, you will receive a notification from the school nurse and from the Salt Lake County Health Department


There are many students who struggle with remote learning. How will you cope with this anxiety?

If your student is feeling anxious, please let their teacher know your concerns. You may also request a one-on-one check-in with the teacher to identify possible academic support options, request support from the school counselor to practice anxiety relieving skills such as mindfulness, breathing exercises, and other calming techniques. Counselors are working to create virtual calming rooms for students with anxiety. For more intensive needs, we also have telehealth options available through Odyssey House, where parents can self-refer their students. You can find more information about telehealth therapy at this link:

What form of socializing will you offer our children? 

Students will be able to connect and socialize with their peers through engaging discussion opportunities connected to their class work and via classroom or group check-in meetings. They will also receive Social and Emotional Learning lessons from the Second Step Curriculum, Inner Explorer, and Advisory classes.

What is the plan for school counselors?

Counselors will continue to support students and families. They will be available to provide crisis counseling, individual counseling, attendance and engagement support, Social and Emotional Learning instruction, support with academic and social interventions, basic needs support, college and career support, anti-bullying and anti-harassment training, community resources, and parent training.

Has there been any thought to how the kids could interact for some kind of recess during the school days? 

We recommend that students take breaks and step away from the computers for recess. Opportunities for less-structured socialization time may be incorporated through class activities such as morning meetings, class meetings, and check-in circles. Interaction with peers outside of remote learning will be determined by the comfort level of each family.


How will you hold teachers accountable for quality teaching? How can you ensure we don't have a repeat of last spring in which several teachers merely made assignments and didn't teach?

Over the summer, teachers have received training on best practices for online teaching and specific training to learn Canvas and other online platforms that will enhance their teaching in the coming year. School administrators are also receiving training on processes to evaluate remote teaching practices and to support their teachers in their teaching. As always, if you are experiencing issues with your child's learning experience, please contact the school principal to voice your concerns.

During online learning, what should parents expect if their student's teacher gets sick? Will there be substitutes who can take over for 2-3 weeks (or more)?

The district is working on plans for long-term substitutes to receive training and be able to provide instruction in the event that a teacher needed to be absent for an extended period of time.

How will teacher sick leave be impacted if a teacher tests positive for COVID-19?

Any employee who has concerns about their rights and benefits, may email their questions to Human Resource Services via Loretta Brazelton, at

Can teachers teach in their classroom during the remote learning period?

Yes. Teachers may teach in their classroom during the remote learning period. While a teacher teaching alone in their own classroom is considered a relatively safe environment, all health department guidelines must be followed while inside the school building, and especially when interacting with others. Teachers must also work with their school administrators to make sure no gatherings take place with more than 20 people in person.

Will the daycare centers at the various high schools open for the Fall 2020 semester?

Yes. Contact your daycare director for school-specific details.


For many Special Education students distance learning is very difficult. What will be their options for in-person learning?

Your child's teacher will be reaching out to you to make an individual plan for your child's in-person learning. We will be working to maximize the amount of time we can provide services to students in person while maintaining all health and safety precautions.

How often will there be printable versions of assignments for kids with vision issues who need to limit screen time?

We can provide printed materials as often as needed. This may be an accommodation that your child's 504 or IEP team could consider adding to their 504 plan or IEP.

What is being done to help IEP and 504 students with their specific needs and supports so that they don't get left behind?

We have provided Summer Instruction on a limited basis to students with disabilities to support them in skills they may have lost during the spring. We have been given the flexibility to bring students in for in-person services whenever possible. We have worked to improve the remote provision of services and accommodations students receive when in the online environment. Teachers and staff have listened to parent input in an effort to improvements for the fall.