Reopening Schools

Utah Gov. Approves Board of Education Requirements for Reopening Schools

Gov. Gary Herbert approved the Utah State Board of Education’s requirements and recommendations for reopening schools in the state. As per the requirements, all Utah public schools must have reopening plans in place and posted online by August 1.

The plans must address:

  • Repopulating Schools (which includes communication and training, accommodating individual circumstances, enhanced environment hygiene & safety, and school schedules.)
  • Implementation of Mitigation Actions in School Settings (e.g., Classrooms, Transitions, Office Spaces, Transportation, Restrooms, Cafeterias)
  • Monitoring for Incidences
  • Containing Potential Outbreaks
  • Temporarily Reclosing (if necessary)

“We will be digitally meeting with local school leaders throughout the state shortly to provide tools for applying appropriate principles and levers to mitigate risk of spread in school-specific settings,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sydnee Dickson in a statement. “We have innovative problem solvers working in our public schools and we will work with districts and charter schools as they create their plans to keep our students and staff safe this coming school year.”

Some of the requirements schools must implement include:

  • Education and training for faculty and staff on school’s protocol and action plans
  • A process for students and families and staff to identify as high risk to COVID-19 and have a plan in place for alternative learning arrangements if needed
  • An increased cleaning and hygiene regimen
  • Faculty and staff must wear face coverings when physical distancing is not feasible
  • Hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, soap and water must be readily available
  • A designated quarantine room to temporarily house students who are unable to return home

USBE has provided a handbook and template for schools to use while developing local plans. The board will update the handbook as further research, data, and resources become available. For updated information, visit

About the Author

Yvonne Marquez is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].