The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) on Tuesday released recommendations for K-12 schools amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Utah Department of Health recommends local health departments and schools use what it calls a layered prevention approach, including encouraging vaccination and mask-wearing.

According to Dr. Michelle Hofmann, deputy director of the state health department, doing so can help minimize the disruptions of COVID-19 on schools while maximizing opportunities for children to participate in in-person learning and extracurricular activities.

Kristin Murphy Deseret News, pool photo

Utah Governor Gary Herbert announced public and charter schools will be closed through the end of the school year.

Under order from the Governor, all of Utah’s schools are recessed until May 1. Teachers and administrators from school districts along the Wasatch Back, more than ever, must rely on students having access to the internet.

North Summit School District Superintendent Jerre Holmes says they distributed tablets to all their elementary students after concluding that not all homes had devices. Thanks to the help of a local internet provider, All West Communications, every family in his district has access to Wi-Fi.


The Park City School District selected the firm MHTN as bond architects to take on the next phase of the 18-month master planning effort.

It’s not a forgone conclusion that the school district will issue a general obligation bond to complete the master planning steering committee recommendations. As KPCW has reported, community and education stake holders advocated for grade realignment, which would move 9th grade to the high school, create one or two 6th through 8th grade middle schools and provide district-wide universal pre-k in the elementary schools.


 Kids in Park City go to school even when traffic is snarled due to slick roads caused by winter weather. On Friday, a fast-moving snowstorm hit Park City and the surrounding area just in time for the morning commute.According to Park City School District Communications Director Melinda Colton school attendance on Friday was 58%. They don’t know how much was weather related. She says 42 % of students missed at least on class. It’s rare for the Park City School District to call a snow day. According to Colton there have been four in the last 23 years.

PCHS Jazz Ensemble

The Valentine's Sweetheart Gala usually sells out in advance. The Park City High School and Treasure Mountain Junior High School music program benefit from the proceeds raised.

Those who attend will be entertained by the Varsity Jazz ensemble.

The Sweetheart Gala is Friday, January 31st. Tickets are $60.00 for standard seats and more if you want a table close to the dance band. Band Director Brett Hughes says the ticket includes a three-course catered dinner, dancing, a silent auction.

The Utah State Board of Education will consider designating recess periods for K through 8 as instructional time by providing more structure to the play time.  A board-appointed committee approved the plan and now a decision will be voted on by the State Board of Education in early January.


The Park City School Board of Education gave the thumbs up to district administration to hire a bond architectural firm and begin the work of putting price tags on recently approved master planning programs.

Five bond architects responded to Park City School District’s request for proposal. A committee has been selected to choose one firm by the first of the year. Once identified, they will provide detailed costs for each of the initiatives that have come out of the year-long master planning effort.

The Market At Park City

A local grocery store has reached its breaking point on frequent shoplifting during lunch hours. Since the first of November the police have been called on three separate days to detain students from Park City High School who have been accused of stealing food.

The Market at Park City Store Manager Rush Hotchkiss told KPCW the market has tried for several years to address shoplifting by students during lunch, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Summit County

Fourteen South Summit School District football players have been disciplined for using vape products on school buses while traveling to and from football games. Although the Wildcats were the 2018 state champions, it’s a little tougher to get enough players on the field as a result of the incident.


The Park City School District has instituted changes this year to the way students are referred to the Learning Center which is an alternative learning environment. The results are fewer students at the academy and more main streamed into the high school.

Last year, there were about 70 students enrolled at the Park City School District Learning Center. Associate Superintendent of Wellness, Ben Belnap says they’re trying to reset the referral model and meet the needs of each student.

Summit County


The National Institute of Health, in their annual study found sharp increases in teen vaping. Local school districts are arealso seeing higher usage of vape products amidst the growing concerns about the dangerous health effects.

In 2018 the NIH surveyed 44,000 students asking about drug, alcohol, and cigarette use in 8th, 10th, and 12th graders.  About 37% of 12th graders reported vaping in 2018, compared with 28% in 2017. Vaping of each substance that was asked about increased. This includes nicotine, flavored liquids, marijuana, and hash oil.


The Park City School Board received an enrollment update in Tuesday’s meeting that shows 15 fewer students in the district compared to last year.

Park City School District Business Administrator, Todd Hauber says the enrollment variance from last year to this year is so small it’s considered flat.

Carolyn Murray / KPCW Radio

Utah’s Attorney General launched the state’s anti-bullying campaign during the Park City High School Monday morning assembly. Joining him was a man who travels the world speaking about kindness and self-love. Despite his physical limits and small stature, he kept some 1500 students captivated for an hour.


The Park City High School has a new program that helps special needs students transition to careers after graduation. The special education department has a new teacher who was hired to help kids make that transition.

Special Education Teacher Trainer Kara Brechwald explains the objectives the special ed team has for preparing students for the work world. She says developing technical skills is one thing but communication skills are also important so kids can advocate for themselves or make changes in their career paths once they are out in the working world.