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September 21, 2020 Weekly Newsletter

Week of September 21, 2020
Alta High School
Soar to a New ALTAtude
We are an inclusive learning community with a tradition of inspiring, supporting, and collaborating with students as they prepare to be engaged citizens in their pursuit of continuous success.

  • COVID-19 Updates – Please view the COVID-19 updates for the Alta High Community on page 4 of this newsletter each week. This week, this page includes details about the new CSD COVID-19 Response protocols.

  • Supporting the Needs of Both our Students and our Teachers – In these uncertain times, we know that many of our students are needing additional support due to their individual circumstances. Our teachers are masters at meeting the individual needs of our students; however, please show patience and understanding in your communications with them. Now more than ever, our teachers have been asked to fulfill many roles, all of which are difficult to accomplish within their contract hours. Teachers are working longer and harder than ever, so please utilize the parent resources available to you to find answers to your questions and be patient when waiting for responses to emails sent and phone calls made to teachers. Please also feel free to email or call your students’ Assistant Principal or Counselor, as needed.

  • School Meals – School breakfast and lunch are now available at no charge to all Canyons District students under a temporary waiver from the USDA. For information about how to obtain these meals at Alta, whether your student is learning in-person or virtually, please see page 8.

  • Alta Counseling’s Plan for College and Career Readiness Course is Live! – Many students may have been wondering what this course is and why it’s suddenly showing up on your Canvas home page. This course will be used as a communication and information platform for your Alta High Counselors to connect with you. We will be using Canvas for posting important information, announcements, presentations, and anything else we feel Alta students should have to feel college and career ready!

  • Register for the PSAT! – 10th and 11th graders interested in taking the PSAT will need to register before Oct. 9th at a cost of $20. This is a practice SAT exam and a qualifier for the National Merit Scholarship Program. Please see page 8 for more information about the PSAT and how to register.

  • Parking – There are still several parking spots open in the student parking areas on the west side of Alta High. Students can purchase a parking pass for $10 in the Main Office. Students cannot park on the neighboring streets surrounding the school, especially if they are blocking driveways, mailboxes and garbage pickup areas. Students who do so or who park on campus without a parking pass or in the east faculty lot may be ticketed.

  • Class of 2021 – Submit your Senior Quote here before October 1st! These will be displayed next to your portrait in this year’s Alta Yearbook.

  • Work-Based Learning Opportunities – Students interested in exploring various STEAM career options should register for the “I Heart Tech” event before October 7th! This will include workshops, a competition and an awards ceremony. Don’t forget to also sign up to participate in the regular seminars sponsored by the U of U Future Doctors and the Utah Center for Legal Inclusion. See page 9 for more information about these opportunities.

  • Attention Freshman – Indian Hills Middle School Yearbooks for LAST year have arrived. (2019-2020) If you ordered one, please email IHMSmemorybook@gmaill.com to make arrangements for pickup.

You can now follow us on Instagram under the nametag alta.hawks!
**For more information or to see photos of events, please visit the Alta High Website or follow the Alta Facebook Page.**

Alta, Brighton High School Go Online for 14 Days After COVID-19 Uptick

Following a sustained increase in COVID-19 cases, Alta and Brighton high schools will transition to online learning for 14 days. The pause in on-campus learning was determined to be in the best interest of students, families and staff.

Alta and Brighton students who are registered for on-campus classes will not attend school on Wednesday, Sept. 23.  This will give the faculty and staff a day to prepare to teach virtual classes for the next two weeks. The online instruction for all Alta and Brighton students will begin Thursday, Sept. 24. More information about online learning expectations via Canvas will be forthcoming from the school and individual teachers.

Parents were notified of the temporary schedule change on Tuesday via robocall, email and text. 

The decision, made Tuesday, Sept. 22, follows guidelines recently established by the Canyons Board of Education for when a school reaches a certain threshold of positive cases within a two-week period. According to the parameters, if any CSD traditional high school reaches a 1 percent COVID-19 rate within a two-week period, it will trigger a discussion about possible mitigation efforts, including a temporary schedule change. 

The most recent reports from health authorities indicate that the high schools have reached that threshold. 

The Canyons community can regularly monitor how many cases are at each CSD school by reviewing information on the District’s new data dashboard, which can be accessed on the Canyons District website.

It’s hoped that in-person instruction can resume on Oct. 7, 2020.  In the meantime, the buildings will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. 

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Canyons District to Move to Blended Learning Model

In response to rising COVID-19 counts, the Canyons Board of Education on Tuesday approved a plan to transition to four days of classroom learning with Friday reserved for remote, or independent, learning.

The new, blended learning schedule will take effect starting Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, which will give families time to adjust their schedules. It will apply to all students.

In-person learners will attend school according to their regular schedules, Monday through Thursday. There will be no early-out or late start days. Friday will be a planning, collaboration and student-consultation day for teachers and a day of independent study for students. Online learners will continue with their online learning Monday through Thursday and use Friday to do independent work as assigned by their teacher.

The temporary calendar change comes in response to rising COVID-19 case counts in the communities CSD serves. Three of the District’s five traditional high schools have transitioned to online learning, and more than 1,700 students across the District have been placed on quarantine due to their coming in close contact with someone in their community who has tested positive for the disease.

Principals on Tuesday testified to the exhaustion, burnout, and mental duress teachers are experiencing as they struggle to teach changing rosters of students across multiple learning environments (in-person, online and students in quarantine). Up to 25 percent of students are quarantined in some schools, requiring teachers to spend 10 to 12 extra hours a week preparing audio and video lessons to accompany the written instructions they’re making available on CSD’s online common-learning management system, Canvas.

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