Wasatch School District Answers Questions Ahead Of Two Week Dismissal

In order to respond to increasing questions, Wasatch School District Superintendent Paul Sweat along with Wasatch High Principal Tod Johnson recorded a video distributed along social media channels to inform the public about the district’s plans.

Superintendent Sweat first began the video by outlining what the closure means for the immediate future for students and district staff.

“Students will not show up to school on Monday morning, or at any time during the two week period, unless you’re invited to do so by one of your teachers or a principal,” Sweat continued. “We have almost 1,000 employees here in Wasatch County School District. Teachers and staff, teacher aides, even our bus drivers, we want all of our employees to please show up Monday morning at the regularly scheduled time; unless you’ve heard something different from your direct supervisor.”

Sweat noted that lunches will be available on a grab and go basis. Meaning students who want or need lunches can go to a nearby school and take a sack lunch to go, emphasizing students should not eat their meals together on school grounds. Additionally, busses will be sent with lunches to the Wallsburg Town Hall, and Todd Hollow areas. Sweat also clarified that the district will not be providing daycare for single parents or homes that have two working parents.

“We know this is a difficult time for some families with childcare,” Sweat said. “I believe the Governor made his announcement Friday to give you a couple of days to line up some sort of additional childcare than what you normally have. Unfortunately, that’s not something that the school will be able to help you with. We’re hoping that you can turn to extended family, neighbors, friends, and others in the community to work out your childcare situation.”

The district did send many elementary and secondary students home with electronic devices to continue work on Friday. Parents and students will be hearing from their teachers in the coming days about how instruction will continue, Sweat urged parents not to panic if they don’t hear from their teachers until as late as Wednesday as the schools make and finalize instructional plans.

Secondary students who forgot their devices at school can pick them up next week, they are encouraged to call ahead to schedule that pick-up. Sweat said the district believes 90% of their student population has internet access in their homes. Those who do not are encouraged to contact their school principal.

“We have some ways to help provide you with internet access during this two week time period,” Sweat explained. “We have some of our internet providers that are willing to go the extra mile to help you. So for that eight to ten percent in our district that does not have internet access, please let us know. Let your principal know. We’re going to help you out so that you do have it.”

Sweat said the secondary schools do still plan to end their 3rd quarter term on Thursday, but they will be giving students and teachers flexibility. The district does not know how long the dismissal will last, at the moment it’s been declared for two weeks, with re-evaluations taking place later on. Questions should be directed first to your school’s principal, questions can also be directed to the district via email to [email protected]. Sweat noted that the technological emphasis from the district has prepared the district for moments like this.

“We believe and have every intention of providing all of our students with a very meaningful, educational experience during these two weeks,” Sweat continued. “By meaningful, I mean activities that are directly linked to our learning targets. We do not plan on sending you any activities to do other than those that will help you meet those objectives that your teachers/principals have set forth for you as students.”

Sweat finally added that they are aware things will not be perfect, but the district plans to be flexible, fair and understanding of families and students. You can find a link to the full video here.

Read the original story at KPCW.org

Heber Valley Artisan Cheese held their 2nd annual Ice Sculptures Exhibition this weekend. Several local businesses sponsored the sculptures being displayed. There were also two different ice carving demonstrations. The event was free to the public.

The annual event began last year when Carolee Kohler saw ice sculpting on a Hallmark movie and thought it would be a fun idea for their farm. They are also considering a woodcarving event.

According to Lindsey Strother, social media and events coordinator, each sculpture takes between 1-3 hours to carve. “We contacted Amazing Ice Creations back in November, and we reached out to local companies to sponsor the ice sculptures,” she said. “Yesterday morning around 9 am, they came in a massive truck and dropped them all off for us, and we set them up.”

Along with the ice sculptures, sponsors receive a sign and canopy for the display and social media marketing. The sponsors decide what they want to have sculpted. After the event, they can take the ice sculptures and display them at their businesses. The creations normally last a couple of weeks. Some will be left in the field and can be viewed throughout the week.

The ice this year included Olaf, company logos, animals, and other items. Darron Kingston, the sculptor, has carved ice for over 10 years with his dad. According to Kingston, “I like sculptures that give me a challenge. Here, for example, my favorite was the lumberjack.” One of his favorite past creations was a 9-foot bear.

Grant Kohler, owner of Heber Valley Artisan Cheese, explained, “We decided to do something that was free and something that people could just get out and come and enjoy. Especially this year with Covid, it seems like Januarys are slow months. People are looking for things to be able to get outside and do.” He continued, “Businesses pay in and buy the sculptures, we have them sculpted, and then we just let people come and enjoy them.” Kohler estimated around 3,000 to 4,000 people will stop by the event.

The dairy farm also offers cheese-making classes and tours of their new robotic barn. “The tours are everyday except Sunday,” according to Kohler. “People hayride over, intermingle with the cows, see the barn and amenities, and watch the cows be milked. The cows will literally go get milked on their own.” Tickets for the tours and other events are available on the Heber Valley Artisan Cheese website: https://hebervalleyartisancheese.com/.