Closures Due To COVID-19 Will Require Online Learning


Peach Schilling, Associate Editor

As many are aware, public schools are taking necessary precautions in order to keep students, teachers, administration, and families safe. COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus disease, is a series of viruses that primarily causes fever and respiratory problems. 

The spread of COVID-19 in the United States and in Utah has caused Highland, along with all other public schools in the state and many throughout the nation, to close for the next two weeks. 

Teachers within the Salt Lake City School District (SLCSD) are expected to be at schools on Monday and Tuesday to prepare for a transition to remote learning. Schools will only be open for staff to work and students in need of food for breakfast and/or lunch. Online learning will begin on Wednesday for students, as they are expected to watch for assignments and messages from teachers until Friday, March 20. 

The district is working on providing students and teachers with internet and/or internet-enabled devices if they are unable to access them. Families will be receiving telephone surveys this weekend with more information. 

Highland junior and International Baccalaureate (IB) student Paige Cooper is worried about the online schooling that is coming shortly. 

“[I’m worried] that they are going to give us way too much work,” Cooper said. “I’ll mostly be keeping up on the reading assignments and watching videos assigned by my math teacher.”

As for athletics and other after-school activities, SLCSD superintendent Lexi Cunningham stated that “all athletic practices, rehearsals, afterschool programs, and other extracurricular activities are cancelled during dismissal” in a letter to families posted yesterday. 

Concerts, tournaments, games, and other group events have been either canceled or postponed for the time being. Scheduling for these events will be reevaluated once school is back in session.

Highland junior James Cessna is a competitive runner and cross country skier and was disappointed when he heard that his practices will be affected by the virus. Halfway through his junior national cross country skiing competition this past week, they announced that the competition would not reach its completion.

“All events for all sports are currently cancelled and no practices are being held,” Cessna said. “It’s really disappointing, but I understand why they had to do it.”

Cessna will continue to train on his own and hopes that practices with his teams will resume soon.

Over the next two weeks, public information will be posted on the SLCSD website. As spring break falls during the second week of the closures, students will only miss one week of in-person instruction as of right now. At the end of the two weeks (Friday, March 27), public schools will reassess the situation and extend closure or reopen based on what they hear from health department officials and state representatives. 

Stay safe, stay informed, and good luck over the next two weeks.