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Davis Journal

Biden’s first 100 days: Opening schools

May 13, 2021 11:16AM ● By Becky Ginos

Protesters gather outside the Davis School District Administration Building before last week’s school board meeting to ask that the mask requirement for students be lifted. Photo by Becky Ginos

(Editor’s Note: This is the second in a four-part series looking at promises President Joe Biden committed to for his first 100 days in office, and how they’ve affected Davis County thus far. Day 100 was April 28.)

As the pandemic spread across the country in 2020, schools closed and moved to online learning. School districts throughout the state worked to find the best solution for keeping their students safe while providing a proper education. In his first 100 days in office, President Joe Biden vowed to get schools open.

Here in Davis County, the school district initially planned to hold a five-day week when students returned in the fall of 2020 but pivoted to a hybrid schedule when COVID numbers climbed. Students were required to wear masks and divided into groups alphabetically and came on different days with Fridays totally remote. The plan was to continue this model until winter break when it would be reevaluated. 

However, the board voted to return to a four-day schedule at the end of September for elementaries and secondary schools through the end of the semester. The decision met with some resistance from parents and teachers who wanted to keep the hybrid model and others asking for a complete return to five days.

Now as the 2020 - 2021 school year comes to a close, the district sent a letter to parents on April 30 outlining the proposed plan for when students return in the fall.

Highlights are as follows:

Through June 15

  • The district and schools will continue to require face masks until the State Public Health Order is lifted.
  • Students participating in extracurricular activities will continue to adhere to Test to Play protocols and will be required to be tested for COVID-19 every 14 days except those who have completed vaccinations.
  • Test to Sway protocols will continue for those students who participate in high school dances except those who have completed vaccinations.
  • No overnight travel will be permitted.

June 16 – Aug. 22

  • Barring future health orders, wearing face masks will no longer be required in Davis School District schools or facilities.
  • There is no intention to test students who participate in extracurricular activities at this point. 
  • Overnight, in-state travel will be allowed, out-of-state student travel has not yet been determined.

Aug. 23

  • Schools will return to a traditional five-day a week schedule for the 2021-2022 school year with no COVID restrictions unless there is new legislation or public health orders.
  • No mask requirements for students, staff or the public or mandatory testing for students participating in extracurricular activities or dances.
  • Student travel will be allowed.

According to the district, some of the “Big Five” practices will continue such as proper handwashing, staying home when sick and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.