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Alta Returns to In-person Teaching Following Thanksgiving Break

What students, teachers think about the change.

Alta returned to in person teaching, Monday Nov 30th. This has been met by concern by some teachers and students who believe that it is preemptive and likely to lead to a spike in covid cases.

Some students are worried that the return will lead to another two weeks online. “I am personally glad to come back to school because it is easier to do AP classes,” one student said. “I think that as a school we should not be back because the state case count is too high. I think we will make it to Christmas break.”

“I think it is amazingly unwise,”Jack Dutton said. “We will start to see the ramifications of the Thanksgiving festivities soon. We are willfully walking into a known trap. The New Year is when we will see the full effect of people gathering and I predict we’ll see a rapid shift from in person to hybrid to online after we return.”

However, students are grateful to be back for social interaction. James Numbers said, “I miss sleeping in but I like being able to communicate with humans besides my family.”

These concerns are not unfounded as Alta has jumped between online in person and hybrid schedules several times. The switch to the four day week with fridays as work days did not go off without issues either. The school board had to justify Fridays as class days to keep the school year the same length.

Teachers also believe that the return was hasty and a bit reckless given the daily spikes in positive Covid tests throughout the state and in the Sandy community. Mrs. Ferguson said, “The message the school board is sending is that they want kids in school which is understandable because many students struggle with online.” She fears that coming back too quickly will lead to a spike in cases and more students getting quarantined requiring more synchronous learning. “Synchronous does not provide the same experience,” she said. “I prefer all of us here, but I would rather not have huge groups quarantined; it makes teaching exhausting and the students don’t learn as much.”

The trite phrase “it is what it is” sums up the year. Students and teachers have been forced to adapt to many schedules and teaching and learning routines. Nothing is ideal. Covid continues to wreak havoc on students, teachers, and administrators, not only at Alta but around the world.

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