Iron County postpones start of school by 2 weeks

Sign in front of Iron County School District offices, Cedar City, Utah, Sept. 20, 2018 | File photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Iron County School District’s start date for the 2020-21 school year has been pushed back two weeks to allow more preparation time, the school board decided.

Photo illustration of children going to school in masks. | Photo by puhimec, iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

At its regular meeting Tuesday night, the Iron County School District Board of Education approved the district’s reopening plan, with the only change being that school will start on Aug. 25 instead of Aug. 11. All other calendar dates remain the same, meaning the district’s school year will be 10 school days shorter than usual.

Superintendent Shannon Dulaney told Cedar City News moving the start date back two weeks allows “time to implement our approved plan in every school, so that we start school, day one, with faculty staff and parents prepared.”

The delayed starting time will also provide adequate time for needed supplies such as masks, sanitizer and signage to arrive and be ready to be deployed at each school, she said.

Dulaney, who posted a message outlining the district’s reopening plan last week, along with a link to the full 20-page document, said updated information would be posted on the district website and social media accounts Wednesday afternoon along with text message alerts sent out to parents via the Remind app.

Gov. Gary Herbert speaks during a press conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, on June 17, 2020 | Screenshot from Gov. Gary Herbert Facebook page, St. George News

Also on Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Gary Herbert is scheduled to meet with top education leaders to discuss reopening plans and logistics, Dulaney said.

The district’s reopening plan includes remote learning options for parents who do not yet feel ready to send their children back to school due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students in kindergarten through sixth grade will have the option of enrolling in K-6 Online School, where they will work online with support from an Iron County School District teacher during school hours. 

Older students may enroll in either My Tech High K-12 or Harmony Education K-9, which are self-contained, online programs with teachers from those respective online schools providing instruction and support to the students, who would remain officially enrolled as Iron County School District students. Secondary students may also opt to attend up to two in-person classes at their boundary school, according to the plan.

Cedar at Hurricane, Hurricane, Utah. Sept. 27, 2019 | File photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

“Please keep in mind, circumstances will likely vary from school to school,” Dulaney said in her July 22 statement. “Each school will have unique challenges and solutions. Specific school details will be communicated to you directly by the administration of the school your child attends.”

As far as high school sports are concerned, the Utah High School Activities Association is moving forward with plans to stage fall sports contests and competitions statewide, although there are likely to be attendance limits and other restrictions placed on certain sports and/or in certain areas.

Under the current calendar, the Cedar High Reds are scheduled to open their football season at home on Aug. 14 against Spanish Fork, while Canyon View High also opens at home against Payson that same evening. Both games kick off at 7 p.m. Parowan High, a 2A school, is scheduled to play its season opener at 3A’s Juab High in Nephi on Aug. 14, also at 7 p.m.

Other school sports that are scheduled to start competing in early- to mid-August include volleyball, girls soccer, girls tennis and boys golf.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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