Utah College District’s Early Disaster Plan Included ‘Template Letter’ for Deaths


A safety guard wears a protecting masks as he displays a coronavirus drive-thru take a look at clinic on the San Mateo County Occasion Heart on March 16, 2020.

Mother and father found that one model of the college reopening plans for the Canyons College District in Utah included a suggestion that disaster communication workers have a “template letter” prepared in case a pupil or instructor died. The reference went viral on social media. Whereas it’s common for a corporation to have a disaster plan in place in case somebody dies, the inclusion brought on fear amongst mother and father. A more recent model of the district’s plans doesn’t have that reference. Heavy has reached out to the Canyons College District for remark.

Mother and father & Others Mentioned the Template Letter Was Listed on a Reopening Proposal from June 30

Pictures of the rules went viral on Twitter and Fb.

Thompson stated on Fb that the authenticity of the doc was confirmed by Elizabeth Payne, who’s on the college board for a neighboring district.


On Fb, a lot of individuals shared that they noticed the June 30 model earlier than it was taken down. They stated they discovered the doc as a part of the Canyons Board’s back-to-school proposal. That model now not seems on the webpage.


A hyperlink that a lot of individuals posted as going on to the PDF now solely brings again an error message.


On Twitter, a number of individuals saved the unique PDF and posted it on separate webpages.

You possibly can view the complete PDF right here. Heavy has not been capable of personally confirm the PDF, because it was has been taken down from the college district’s web site. Nonetheless, the PDF does match the screenshots which are circulating and {that a} neighboring faculty district member confirmed. And it’s an identical to the district’s present reopening doc apart from a couple of adjustments, together with the letter template — which is now eliminated.

The doc with the “demise template” that’s gone viral is labeled as a June 30 model for the reopening suggestions. Listed below are screenshots of the primary 4 pages of that model:

Google Drive

Google Drive

Google Drive

Google Drive

The half that individuals had been involved about was on web page Four underneath Disaster Communication (the final screenshot within the group.) It lists a lot of proposals for Disaster Communication underneath the heading of “District Advisable.” Amongst these proposals is a closure letter for fogeys, closure info for workers, Skylert message, publicity letter, distance studying plan info, template for an online merchandise, template for social posts, and “Template letter for demise of a pupil, instructor.”

A former instructor in Utah commented on the inclusion again on July 6.


She wrote, partly: “Lecturers are scared. We love our college students and we wish them to be secure. However our present state and district plans don’t maintain our college students, our communities, or us SAFE… My native faculty district acknowledges this and has a “template letter for the demise of a pupil, instructor” able to go. (Web page 4 –https://web.canyonsdistrict.org/…/canyons-board-administra…/). Sadly, our native colleges have their palms tied till the State College Board makes adjustments to it’s re-opening plan.” [sic]

It’s common for a college district or any massive group to have a template letter or different plans in place for an sudden demise as a part of their disaster communications plans. Actually, Canyons College District has a Disaster Response Handbook revealed for 2017-2018 (lengthy earlier than COVID-19) that features a complete part about procedures in case a pupil dies.

Canyons College District

Canyons College District

So it’s common, however mother and father and others have nonetheless expressed unease on social media concerning the inclusion.

The Canyons College District’s Newer Plan Does Not Embrace the Template Letter

The Canyons College District launched an up to date plan on July 9. Yow will discover it by going to this hyperlink, clicking on Govt Research Session and Board Assembly (July 14), then clicking on View the Agenda.

On July 11, the Canyons District stated on Twitter: “The Canyons Board of Schooling is reviewing the newest model of our proposed back-to-school plan on Tuesday, July 14. This model has been up to date to mirror new steering from state officers.”

For those who then scroll down far sufficient, you’ll see #7D: “Canyons College District opening faculty motion plan proposal.”

Canyons College District

Click on on that, and also you’ll see two hyperlinks to the proposal in its present type, up to date on July 9. The July 9 PDF is at present right here.

A couple of issues have modified for the reason that June 30 model. Listed below are the screenshots for the primary 4 pages for the July 9 model.

Canyons College District

Canyons College District

Canyons College District

Canyons College District

One of many largest adjustments is that the template letter in case a pupil or instructor dies has been eliminated. Underneath Disaster Communication it now merely reads:

Be ready for locally-driven disaster response communications

In session with native well being, pre-write/draft statements for various conditions concerning outbreaks, optimistic instances, and many others.

Plan to incorporate messaging to counter stigma and discrimination

The up to date plan is being introduced to the Board of Schooling on Tuesday, July 14, in accordance with Canyons College District. A ultimate model is anticipated to be prepared earlier than faculty begins on August 17.

The college district wrote on its web site:

The brand new model of the plan, drafted with enter from practically each educational and operational division in Canyons District, lecturers and households, consists of some adjustments made after receiving new steering from state authorities, training, and well being officers.

The up to date proposal — the ultimate model of which have to be submitted to state training officers by Aug. 1 — is topic to alter based mostly on choices by state and native authorities leaders.

Whereas the intent is to return to lessons within the fall, the District is planning to supply on-line choices. In accordance with CSD’s present proposal, households who are usually not comfy sending their kids again to high school, both for well being or different private causes, can have the choice to take part in CSD on-line studying. The plan requires the District to concern online-enrolled college students a tool, plus organize for connectivity, so the coed can take part totally in on-line studying.

You possibly can learn the complete agenda for the July 14 assembly right here. A closed session can be held at 4:30 p.m., adopted by a enterprise assembly that begins at 7 p.m. native time. The agenda notes: “If you need to take part remotely in the course of the patron remark interval of the assembly of the Canyons Board of Schooling, please ship through e-mail your title and cellphone quantity to [email protected] by 5:00 p.m. the day of the scheduled assembly. Within the e-mail, please point out the merchandise or matter you want to deal with. The Canyons District Workplace of Public Communications will then ship you an e-mail message with detailed info concerning find out how to entry the teleconference system that can be used to facilitate the patron feedback.”

Folks Are Posting Their Ideas On-line In regards to the Letter Template’s Inclusion

Plenty of persons are speaking on-line concerning the letter’s inclusion.

Wendy Fry wrote a public publish and defined: “Colleges have all the time needed to have some form of emergency plans for numerous conditions. Included in these plans was all the time some form of “severe sickness” disaster plan (in my thoughts, that all the time meant some form of dangerous flu or abdomen flu season). Sadly, typically a demise of a instructor/employees member or pupil happens and there must be a plan for what to do, corresponding to the way you notify college students and employees, which counselors and clergy and different assist you may name in, and many others. As a instructor, sadly, we’ve had to make use of our plan a couple of occasions throughout the a number of districts I’ve labored at.”


One particular person responded: “That is completely heartbreaking.”

Heavy has reached out to the Canyons College District for remark.

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