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Salt Lake County Regional Development News

School Districts' Re-opening Plans For Children of Salt Lake County's Workforce

July 16, 2020

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School districts across Utah are required to let the state know their plans for re-opening by Aug. 1, based on planning requirements outlined by the Utah State Board of Education in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many districts are in the process of proposing plans and adopting changes, based on parent and teacher feedback. 

As key stakeholders in Utah education debate best courses of action, top concerns for 2020-21 school year emphasize equity (or lack of), access to affordable, high-quality childcare, the unforeseen expenses of childcare and that potential impact on families making ends meet.

Among questions that still need solutions are how does Utah, and Salt Lake County, leverage existing programs? Where are childcare deserts? Will Congress' discussion of additional funding include childcare?

The following summarizes plans currently proposed and under finalization for seven school districts, including  Canyons, Granite, Jordan, Murray, Salt Lake, as well as Alpine and Davis.

Canyons School District

First Day of Classes: Aug. 17
An update to the proposed plan was presented to the Board of Education on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. Option 1: Return to Classes
  • Monday-Friday
Option 2: Offering an online-only option for those who cannot or do not want to return physically
  • Would be issued a device and arrange for connectivity
  • Not real-time classes
  • Not directly connected to their neighborhood or teacher
Option 3: Homeschool
  • In case of temporary re-closure: Spring soft closure plans updated for later use

Granite School District

The School Board approved a re-opening plan on July 14. Individual school plans will be posted on websites Aug. 5.

First Day of Classes: Aug. 24

Option 1 Attendance Plan: In-Person Instruction
  • Traditional calendar
Option 2: Teacher-Delivered Distance Learning
  • Based off the Spring model, with modifications and enhancements
Other options that are being prepared include a Dismissal Schedule and a Modified Schedule. Distance learning will take place if recommended by SLCoHD or Governor’s Office. A Modified Schedule is comprised of:
  • Monday-Thursday, with students divided in half alphabetically for scheduling
    • Half attend Monday and Wednesday
    • Half attend Tuesday and Thursday
    • All Fridays are remote
Granite School District's Survey Results of Parents on Comfort Levels

Jordan School District

The final re-opening plan will be released by July 24; parts were approved on July 6.

First Day of Classes: Aug. 18

Option 1: At-school learning
  • Monday-Thursday
  • Students will not attend on Fridays, will conduct learning at home
Option 2: Virtual Learning
  • Courses created by teachers during the summer
  • Will include teacher interaction

Murray School District

First Day of Classes: Aug. 17
  • First 2 weeks of school will be early dismissal
  • Kindergarten begins Sept. 8
Option 1: In-Person Classroom Instruction
Option 2: Blended Learning Resource
  • Allows students to jump between in-person and through technology should a student be absent or become ill
  • Student will attend in-person except when absent
Option 3: Murray Online Resource – Directed
  • Families that do not want to send their students back will have these options.
  • Available for all Grades K-12
  • Canvas will be used by secondary schools and Google Classroom for elementary schools
  • Meal service will be developed for students learning at home
Option 4: Murray Online Resource –Independent
  • The Online Learning-Independent option is self-directed and overseen by a teacher with all learning strictly online
  • Only available for Grades 7-12

Salt Lake City School District

First Day of Classes: Aug. 25

Scenario 1: If in Red or Orange Phase, SLCSD instruction will be online only

Scenario 2: If in Yellow, schools will begin on “Modified Schedule,” which includes learning in class and remote learning
  • Student schedules will vary by day and will be communicated by principals
    • Mondays/Thursdays and Tuesdays/Fridays
    • Wednesdays will be digital learning
  • Class sizes will be smaller to facilitate social distancing
  • Canvas will be used as a consistent learning platform for all classes
  • Lunch in classrooms
Other option: Homeschooling/Online
  • Path for parents who don’t want their kids to go to school in person

Surrounding Districts that can Impact SLCo Commuting Workforce

Alpine School District

First Day of Classes: Aug. 18

Option 1: Face-to-Face Instruction

  • Modified schedule: Elementary students released 1 hour early
  • Exact schedule will be released after July 27 once the District receives parent declarations
Option 2: Blended - Online Learning with classroom support
  • Face-to-face interaction with teachers at least 2x per week
  • All will have an assigned class schedule with ASD teachers
  • Google Classroom is the learning platform for elementary, Canvas for secondary educators and students
Option 3: ASD Online Services – East Shore Online/Alpine Online
  • For students and parents intending to provide homeschooling with support
  • Online full time

Davis School District

First Day of Class: Aug. 25

Option 1: In-Person

  • 5 days a week
  • Traditional early-out/late-start: Friday elementary dismissal: 1:25 p.m., Friday junior high dismissal: 2 p.m., Tuesday high school late start: 1 hour.
Option 2: Davis Connect K-12 Online School
  • Work online with a teacher during school hours
  • Not enrolled in original school
Option 3: Davis Connect K-12 Independent Study
  • Work online independently at own pace with active parent support
  • Not enrolled in original school

Priority enrollment requests processed through Aug. 1, after which requests will be determined by availability.

Education Changes’ Impact on the Health of the Workforce and Economy

Experts in education and children's needs are convening to identify solutions for problems exacerbated by COVID-19.
  1. Childcare & Schedules
    • Can the Childcare Industry infrastructure support families from school districts who are out additional school days, and whose parents cannot stay home from work?
    • What resources are available to students who must continue learning at home but have working parents?
    • What percentage of the workforce can work from home? What percentage of the workforce cannot work from home?
    • What problems will arise and need solutions from irregular schedules in elementary and secondary schools? How will these irregularities impact the workforce?
  2. Cost of additional childcare
    Can families support the burden of unplanned costs for increased childcare due to COVID-19? How might that impact their ability to make ends meet -- food security, housing stability
  3. Food Security
    According to GSD, those surveyed that qualify for free meals were also more likely to prefer distanced learning. How are students (and their families) going to be fed if learning remotely or only in school 2-3 days a week?
  4. Labor
    Do the school districts feel there are sufficient teachers or substitutes available should others become ill? Can the workforce meet this need?
  5. Education Funding
    In reverse, do leaders anticipate the negative economic impacts of COVID-19 could result in a Recession-like repeat of teacher cuts following in 2021-22 or subsequent school years? What solutions can be put in place if education revenue drops 10%
  6. School Supplies
    Do schools in Salt Lake County have enough PPE or money to source PPE? 
  7. Resources at Charter Schools and Private Schools
    Do COVID-19 changes put charter schools at heightened economic risk?

Do you have questions or suggestions? Email

New Tool to Help SLCo Municipalities Assess COVID-19’s Economic Impact

July 07, 2020

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SALT LAKE COUNTY — In March, seemingly a lifetime ago, the community was just responding to the increasing public health risk of COVID-19. As efforts to limit the spread were put into place to keep residents safe, Salt Lake County was also concerned about understanding how COVID-19 would affect other areas of life.

The Salt Lake County Economic Impact Working Group was formed that same month with the goal to understand and mitigate the effects of COVID-19. While there are dozens of economic indicators on a federal and state level, assessing local economic impacts on a monthly basis proved to be more difficult. And yet, local economic indicators are crucial to fiscal staff and elected leaders making data-driven decisions.

Info Portal's Model of Fiscal Impact

The Economic Impact Information Portal was created to address that gap after surveying cities in the valley. The tool provides targeted support to municipalities by increasing accessibility to local data and visualizing indicators, like monthly sales tax disbursements, Class B & C Road Funds, and a model of fiscal impact.

The new economic tool can be accessed at






Multiple municipalities were interested in seeing and comparing the economic downturns of the Great Recession to the current time of COVID-19; a dashboard visualizing taxable sales from 2006-2020 allow

"Statewide economic impact estimates exist, but cities told us that these statewide estimates didn't match the local context for many sectors,” said Saskia DeVries, a Data and Performance Analyst for the Office of Data and Innovation. “For instance, some tourism-dependent towns expect much sharper declines in accommodations and food service sales. We built an interactive model to allow the experts in these local economies, the municipal fiscal analysts, to adjust the impact estimates themselves."

Screenshot of the Economic Info Portal showing taxable sales

For example, a dashboard visualizes historic taxable sales comparing 2019 and 2020, showing decreases in multiple major business NAICS categories beginning with the onslaught of COVID-19 cases in Utah. However, it also shows that some industries saw increases – food and beverage stores, online retailers and building and gardening suppliers for home improvement.

Another interesting finding gathered from the visualizations is Magna Township’s unusually large increase in taxable sales in March and continuing into April, while other municipalities saw decreases. Construction jumped significantly, and might be put into context when one recalls Utah’s 5.7 magnitude earthquake hit Magna the hardest.

A dashboard showing taxable sales in Magna during March 2020.

These new ways to interact with local data are possible because of the swift collaboration of multiple key agencies in the state with the Salt Lake County Office of Regional Development and Office of Data & Innovation, including: the Utah State Tax Commission, Utah Department of Transportation, Department of Workforce Services, Utah League of Cities and Towns and others.

Salt Lake County anticipates adding new data sets throughout COVID-19 economic recovery efforts as it continues to innovate with partners to meet the needs of the valley. This tool can also increase residents’ access and understanding of important data sets used by local governments.

Salt Lake County approves new Wasatch Canyons General Plan crafted with key Utah partners to protect and manage beloved areas

June 09, 2020

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SALT LAKE COUNTY – An updated Wasatch Canyons General Plan, presented to the Salt Lake County Council on Tuesday, was approved 7-1 in a vote, and will be formally adopted June 16. This process was facilitated by the Planning and Transportation department in the Office of Regional Development.

“The Wasatch Canyons are one of the most defining features of the Salt Lake Valley,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson. “The preservation of this precious resource is a top priority. I am excited to implement the vision and strategies in this plan to protect the solitude, wildlife, scenery, water quality, and best snow on earth, that our canyons provide.”

WCGP PRESENTATION MAY 2020 Final_Page_06.png

Salt Lake County Regional Planning staff and partners have worked on an update the Wasatch Canyons General Plan for three years, with the planning process dating back to the summer of 2017. This robust process involved significant public and stakeholder involvement, including input from local governmental entities, canyon visitors and property owners.

Data was gathered through online surveys, public meetings, interviews, work sessions and community events, such as open houses and educational forums. The County hosted at least three public hearings, 10 open houses, nine educational forums and other community events. Key partners – including nonprofits, local municipalities, transportation agencies and community councils  ̶  were consulted to consider a variety of perspectives.

Through this collaboration, a common vision was created, and subsequent goals and strategies were identified to achieve the vision. The newly adopted plan will replace the 1989 Wasatch Canyons Master Plan for Parleys, Mill Creek, Big Cottonwood, associated unincorporated foothills and Little Cottonwood – excluding the Town of Alta.WCGP PRESENTATION MAY 2020 Final_Page_02.png

“Big Cottonwood Canyon Community Council (BCCA) is grateful to the staff and consultants who have included our community in this General Plan update every step of the way,” said Barbara Cameron, chair for BCCA. “It is a comprehensive plan for our future, and we look forward to helping implement its suggestions and guidelines.”

Each year the canyons receive millions of visits for recreation, employment and tourism. These precious resources are important to residents and visitors alike. As the County’s million-plus population grows, it is critical to plan for and preserve our canyons so they can be enjoyed by current and future generations.

Review the Wasatch Canyons General Plan at