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District 93 shares reopening plan for school year, asking for feedback

Education

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EastIdahoNews.com file photo

IDAHO FALLS — After weeks of working on their COVID-19 reopening strategy, Bonneville Joint School District 93 released their plans Tuesday evening.

In an email to families, the district explained what to expect during the upcoming school year in the midst of a global pandemic. The letter says that this week, District 93 received tentative approval from both their local school board and Eastern Idaho Public Health on the plan.

“Here in the District Office, we’ve been working hard to develop a plan to bring students back to school this fall. This has been a challenging task, and there are no simple or easy answers when it comes to safely opening our schools again,” Superintendent Scott Woolstenhulme said in the letter. “Thanks to the efforts of our school principals and teachers, we feel that we now have a workable plan.”

The district’s plan is based on four different phases:

  • Phase 1 – Low risk: All schools will reopen for in-person instruction, but there will be a few modifications.

    Kindergarten through 6th grade will meet Monday through Friday at school with the second and fourth Mondays of the month being non-instructional days for students. Those days will be designated as Professional Learning and Collaboration days for teachers where they’ll develop online and face-to-face instruction for students.

    Seventh through 12th grade will go to school Tuesday through Friday. Mondays will be designated as an online learning day with students completing learning activities online.

  • Phase 2 – Moderate risk: All students will attend school two days per week and do online learning at home the remaining three days.
    • Students with last names that start with A-K will attend school on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
    • Students with last names that start with L-Z will attend school on Thursdays and Fridays.

    Mondays will be scheduled for student support and teacher collaboration.

  • Phase 3 – High risk: All students will go to school one day per week based on the schedule below, and the other four days will be online learning at home.
    • Tuesday: Last names from A-D
    • Wednesday: Last names from E-K
    • Thursday: Last names L-R
    • Friday: Last names S-Z

    Mondays will be scheduled for student support and teacher collaboration.

  • Phase 4 – Critical risk: All students will do online learning Monday through Friday.

“It is almost a certainty that some of our students and staff members will become infected with COVID-19 this year,” Woolstenhulme said in the letter. “We have to plan for that certainty.”

Along with the four phases, the plan explains that when staff members or students are diagnosed with COVID-19, the superintendent/designee will coordinate with Eastern Idaho Public Health to take necessary precautions. In those instances, they plan to take actions such as closing the school where the staff/student attends for 72 hours and anyone who has been in close contact with that person must quarantine for 14 days.

To learn more about the plan’s details, click here.

District 93 would like to hear family’s thoughts on the plan before the board finalizes their approval
of it. To share feedback, click here.

The district will also host a family meeting on July 16 at 8 p.m. on Facebook Live for parents to ask questions regarding the district’s plans for reopening schools this fall.

“We really can’t thank Eastern Idaho Public Health enough for the continued guidance throughout all of this,” district spokesmen Phil Campbell told EastIdahoNews.com. “We are looking forward to tonight’s Zoom meeting with our faculty and staff to discuss and further refine this plan. We are also looking forward to hearing from our community during tomorrow night’s Facebook Live. These are both critical components as we work together as a community to develop and finalize a plan during these unprecedented times.”

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