State education officials say still alot of unknowns in new school year in August

LOGAN – With the state budget – including the education budget – all up in the air, teachers this past school year scrambled to turn their classes to online courses and it was a challenge for educators and families alike. On KVNU’s For the People program on Tuesday, education advisor to Utah Governor Gary Herbert, Tami Pyfer, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydney Dickson were our guests. Dickson said when it comes to a new school year in a couple months, it’s good to remember we’re dealing with a novel virus.

“While we know some things about it, we know how to mitigate it through hygiene, and distancing, there are some things we don’t know about it. We’re still finding out how it affects kiddos, so the unpredictability of it makes people feel uncertain. We can control the way that we get kids back to school and try to engage in practices in social distancing or physical distancing, and increased hygiene efforts and those kinds of things to help mitigate it,” said Dickson.

Pyfer said she’s been hearing from parents and students, concerned with what’s going to happen with the fall classroom.

“Well I certainly am from my level and I know Syd is too. A lot of my co-workers, those are the first people I hear from that have kids who want to get back into a routine. They said that their children miss their teachers and it’s been really difficult to leave with some things unfinished,” Pyfer said.

Dickson said the teachers have been heroic with the way they’ve leaned into trying to teach in a different way. And parents have been heroic, not only trying to work at home and support families at home, but also being teachers at home.

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