Park City High School And Treasure Mountain Junior High Close For 10-Days Due To COVID Spike
Park City High School and Treasure Mountain Middle School will go to remote learning starting Wednesday. On Monday, Park City High School reported 16 COVID-19 cases which exceeds the threshold of 15 cases per school facility. The number of active cases has triggered a shutdown of in-person learning.
Park City School District Superintendent Jill Gildea issued a press release announcing the closure of the two schools to in-person classroom learning effective Wednesday, January 13. Ecker Hill Middle School and all four Elementary Schools will remain open.
The decision is based on initial case counts following the return from Winter Break. The Park City District COVID-19 dashboard, as of Monday, January 11, showed 16 active cases of COVID-19 in the high school. Treasure Mountain Junior High School showed six active cases. According to the COVID-19 school manual, 15 active cases is the threshold used to close schools and move to remote learning. Both the high school and junior high will return to in person learning either on, or no later than Monday, January 25, 2021.
The school district is also rolling out a free rapid testing program available immediately at the Park City High School from 12:00 to 7:00 P.M. Other testing events are available through TestUtah.
The Test to Stay program will be used to all in person secondary school students and employees before returning to school later this month. The Administration requests families enroll in the Test to Stay program immediately.
The Summit county transmission index is spiking with 1,700/ 100,000 14-day active cases and a positivity rate over 25%.
McPolin Elementary, Jeremy Ranch Elementary, Parley’s Park Elementary and Trailside Elementary, along with Ecker Hill Middle School will remain open for In Person Learning.
Park City School District Chief Operations Officer Mike Tanner said the decision to move to in-person learning is one they take very seriously. He reminds the public that schools are not the primary driver behind increased infections in the community. However, he said the school district shares in the burden to reduce infections. He said due to the Park City High School Case count, it is most prudent to close secondary schools for 10 days. Many Treasure Mountain Junior High students participate in high school classes each day and therefore will also go to a virtual learning model.
The spike in case counts to 16 is attributed to a post-holiday surge. Tanner said the work to mitigate the spread of the virus during the first semester was successful in allowing the district to keep schools open. He said they’re confident closing the high school and junior high for 10-days will slow the spread.
Teacher and staff vaccinations will begin this week.