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Coronavirus and the UEA

To comply with health directives, UEA staff will be working remotely until further notice. The UEA Building in Murray is closed but UEA staff are still available to meet the needs of our members. If you need assistance, please contact a member of our staff directly or call 801-266-4461 and leave a message. Someone will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Updates will be posted on this site as they are available.

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Utah State Board issues waivers for evaluation, re-licensure and pre-service requirements – April 6, 2020

The Utah State Board of Education (Board) waived several administrative rules in response to national and state declarations of emergency:

Educator evaluation requirements
The USBE granted to local education agencies (LEAs) a statewide waiver of the employee evaluation requirements of R277-531 and 533, including the requirement for an educator or administrator to have a certain number of observations or a summative rating for the 2019-20 school year.

Re-licensure deadlines
For educators whose licenses are required to be renewed by June 30, 2020, the USBE extended the June 30 deadline in Section R277-500-4 to October 31, 2020 to allow educators more time to renew their licenses.

Pre-service teacher requirements
The State Board issued five specific waivers for teacher, education leadership, and student support position candidates who are finishing programs by June 30, 2020:

  1. teacher candidates were granted a waiver of the minimum clock hours requirements for university students currently enrolled in a board approved educator preparation licensure program in Section R277-504-3; 
  2. teacher candidates were granted a waiver for receiving a C or better in all education related courses and major required content courses for university students currently enrolled in a board approved educator preparation licensure program and expecting to complete fieldwork/clinical experience requirements on or before June 30, 2020 in Section R277-504-3; (as long as the student receives as passing grade in the course.)
  3. granted a waiver to educational leadership candidates currently enrolled in a board approved educational leadership preparation program and expecting to complete educational leadership requirements on or before June 30, 2020, a waiver of minimum ck hour requirements for educational leaders in Section R277-505-5; 
  4. granted to School Psychologists, School Social Workers, School Counselors, Audiologists, Speech-Language Pathologists, and Speech Language Technicians candidates a waiver of the minimum clock hour requirements in R277-506; 
  5. granted a waiver for university students currently enrolled in a board approved licensure program and expecting to complete fieldwork/clinical experience requirements on or before June 30, 2020 in R277-506.

The NEA distributes summary explanations of CARES Act provisions – April 3, 2020

On March 27, the $2-trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law. The bill is a good start and, while not perfect, does address many needs of our students, educators, and schools. It is intended to help stabilize workers, families, and the economy during the COVID-19 public health crisis and is the third relief package Congress has passed during the coronavirus pandemic. NEA is also advocating for additional stimulus funds in a fourth package. NEA provided the following explanation documents:

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act: a summary of SNAP provisions – April 3, 2020

The Families First Coronavirus Relief Act, which was signed into law on March 18, contains provisions that affect school meals and other food security measures, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). See the complete summary.

State Board Provides Q&A for Student Data Privacy and Digital Learning – March 31, 2020

The Utah State Board of Education’s Student Data Privacy and Digital Teaching and Learning teams developed a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) help educators understand best practices in accordance with federal and state law. Local policies can be stricter than what is found in this document, so please consult your local policies as well.

State issues extension on K-12 school dismissal until May 1 – March 23, 2020

Gov. Gary R. Herbert and State Superintendent Syd Dickson announced that Utah’s K-12 public schools will extend their dismissal through Friday, May 1. They will continue to evaluate the situation to make a determination about the remaining school year. Gov. Herbert expressed his appreciation to the educators throughout our state who have quickly adapted their instruction to remote learning platforms. “These are unprecedented times in Utah’s and our nation’s history,” the governor said, “I have been overwhelmed with Utahns’ outpouring of support for one another, and nowhere has this been more evident than in the way our educators are supporting Utah students and families.” Distance learning will continue during the extended dismissal for all K-12 public schools, where feasible. Employees will be limited at school buildings, following the Governor’s and CDC’s guidelines to avoid gatherings of groups of ten or more. Teachers are being, and will continue to be, encouraged to telecommute when possible.

State Board waives testing and attendance rules – March 19, 2020

In its March 19 meeting the Utah State Board of Education:

UEA President invites educators to “share your ideas” – March 18, 2020

In a video posted on social media, UEA President Heidi Matthews provided a Coronavirus update and asked educators “to share great ideas on this new frontier of student learning, to lift each other up and to stay optimistic, powerful, and professional in these unprecedented times. Share ideas using the hashtag #UEAKeepOnTeachin.”

UEA gatherings cancelled/postponed in response to Covid-19 – March 17, 2020

More than three dozen UEA meetings and events during March, April and May 2020 are being transitioned to virtual format, cancelled or postponed in order to address safety and health concerns in accordance with health advisories. View the complete list.

UEA Headquarters Office staff to continue transition to and building accessibility – March 17, 2020

Beginning March 19, the UEA headquarters and state option staff will transition to a system of working remotely. “This will not interfere with our continued membership, legal, business, and other services and support,” said UEA Executive Director Brad Bartels in an advisory letter dated March 17. “It is our intent to provide an even higher degree of services in response to the current crisis. Our staff will continue to be available by email and by telephone to provide needed support.”

Testing: Board to review suspension of state assessments – March 17, 2020

On Thursday, March 19, the Utah State Board of Education will discuss a motion to suspend testing for this year. Many UEA members expressed concerns about testing and those concerns were shared with State Superintendent Syd Dickson. Several states have already announced testing suspensions.

NEA advocating for passage of emergency Coronavirus aid – March 17, 2020

The National Education Association actively advocating for passage of the federal HR6201 – the Families First Corona Virus Response Act that would provide for free testing, paid emergency sick leave and paid family and medical leave.  This Act also strengthens food security and health care for the nation’s most vulnerable – and gives additional unemployment compensation during this crisis. “Sometimes it is hard to see all that our Association does, but our NEA is at the forefront advocating for what is best for students, especially during this COVID-19 crisis,” said UEA President Heidi Matthews.

State and National Education Resources—

UEA Communications—