Schools need reopening plans by Aug. 1 as Gov. Herbert approves K-12 school requirements

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An African-American teacher, a mature woman in her 40s, sitting in front of her class of elementary school students, 6 and 7 years old, reading a book. She has asked a question and most of the children are raising their hands. They are in first grade or second grade. (Getty Images)

Gov. Gary Herbert approved the Utah State Board of Education's (USBE) reopening requirements and recommendations Monday, while giving notice to all Utah public schools that reopening plans must be in place and posted online by August 1.

Hebert's stamp of approval means USBE's "Planning Requirements and Recommendations for K-12 School Reopening" will be included with the state’s "Phased Guidelines for the General Public and Businesses to Maximize Public Health and Economic Reactivation."

A news release from USBE states:

The newly approved requirements and recommendations constitute an addendum to the Phased Guidelines. They help school districts and charter schools define what to do, but also enable adaptability and innovation at the local level in determining how to make schools safe this fall."

Gov. Herbert says:

We appreciate the thought, care, and work that went into these requirements and recommendations. And we appreciate that so many health care professionals, teachers, administrators, parents, classified workers and others devoted their energies into creating these guidelines to help keep our children and our school employees safe and healthy this coming academic year.”

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson says:

We will be digitally meeting with local school leaders throughout the state shortly to provide tools for applying appropriate principles and levers to mitigate risk of spread in school-specific settings. We have innovative problem solvers working in our public schools and we will work with districts and charter schools as they create their plans to keep our students and staff safe this coming school year.”

School's must include the following elements in their plans:

Repopulating Schools

  • Communication and Training
  • Accommodating Individual Circumstances (e.g. high-risk, personal decisions)
  • Enhanced Environment Hygiene & Safety
  • School Schedules

Implementation of Mitigation Actions in School Settings (e.g., Classrooms, Transitions, Office Spaces, Transportation, Restrooms, Cafeterias)

  • Apply a set of principles and levers to mitigate risk of spread of COVID-19 across school settings

Monitoring for Incidences

Containing Potential Outbreaks

Temporarily Reclosing (if necessary)