At a Dec. 14 Jordan Public Schools Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Ranae Case Evenson communicated a tentative plan to resume a hybrid learning model in mid-January, while continually monitoring local health and safety data.
Jordan students from elementary through high school made the transition to fully-distanced learning on Nov. 23 when local and county COVID-19 case numbers meant the hybrid model was no longer feasible.
"We made the right decision transitioning for this period to distance learning, but we have a goal to get our kids back when we absolutely safely can, and I am very confident that we'll be able to transition shortly," Case Evenson said.
Case Evenson said while the district isn't ready to release firm dates at this point in time, it's important to begin communicating plans with families and students so they can begin to formulate a plan for what next semester will look like.
At the beginning of 2021, district staff will begin a process of reviewing local public health data, and students will continue distance learning at least through Jan. 11.
After that point, a decision will be made on whether it would make sense to return to a hybrid learning model for the second semester of the 2020-2021 school year.
"What I don't want to do is come out of distance learning and go back to distance learning," Case Evenson said.
In the meantime, students who were already prioritized for in-person learning (those in the special education program and those without regular access to technology, etc.) will remain in the buildings as much as safely possible.
Case Evenson noted that the distance learning model poses equity challenges to the district, one reason they want to return students to physical classrooms as soon as possible.
"Not only do we have equity issues surrounding technology availability, or parents working, but we also have the equity issue of learning styles in this model," Case Evenson said. "So we're very anxious to get back to an in-person option for those kids that really benefit from it."
Families in Jordan Public Schools can expect further communication from the district in the coming weeks, Case Evenson said.
"I appreciate the diligence of our staff and their engagement with community feedback throughout this time," Case Evenson said. "We're hopefully not going to end up back in distance learning."