Celebrating love and friendship from 6-feet apartFeb 24, 2021 01:09PM ● By Katy Whittingham
Valentine’s Day treats received by a child in Sandy. (Katy Whittingham/City Journals)
By Katy Whittingham | [email protected]
Valentine’s Day, like most everything, was celebrated differently this year at local schools. Safety protocols for reducing the risk of COVID were in place for this year’s holiday.
Ann Kane, the principal of Mill Creek Elementary, said that the “PTA provided each class at our school with a ‘Valentine Party in a Bag’ and teachers let parents know the specifics for the parties within their class.”
Some schools like Edgemont Elementary in the Canyons School District allowed students to bring in valentines and individually wrapped store bought candy and other treats, but required that cards and treats be brought to school on Feb. 4, a full week ahead of their celebrations on Feb. 11 so they could quarantine.
Quarantining cards is one of the measures the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended to keep celebrations for the holiday safe. The guidelines include at least 72 hours of quarantine, the generally accepted amount of time the virus can live on a surface. On their website, the CDC also suggested that children wash their hands and wear masks while preparing their valentines for distribution.
Some schools similar to the Mill Creek Elementary celebrations, like Bell View Elementary in Sandy, provided materials at school for making cards and asked students not to bring in any items from home. Their PTA provided treats for the celebrations and sponsored sending valentines to “adopted grandparents” at local nursing homes.
Mary, a teacher from Sandy, said her second-grade class “brought in valentines and individually wrapped treats a week ahead of time, and all valentines had to be distributed by teachers rather than students. All valentines were to remain untampered with until the child brought them home at the end of the school day.”
Celebrations for virtual learners seemed to vary as well. Kam, a mother of a son in first- grade remote learning, said, “packets were provided by the school to pick up for a virtual celebration that included an art project and cookie decorating that they could all do together.” Jen, a mother of a virtual learner in the Salt Lake City School District, said that her “class did not celebrate the holiday, and I was a little bummed, but my daughter didn’t seem to mind, so it was OK. There’s always next year!”