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After contentious meeting, West Ada School Board turns to a new plan for teaching in red category

On Tuesday, the board of trustees held a four-hour meeting that ended with the chairman resigning. On Thursday, they will revisit a new proposal on remote learning.

MERIDIAN, Idaho — In a board meeting on Tuesday night, the West Ada School District did not make a decision on a new proposed plan to operate under the red category.

The meeting lasted over four and a half hours. The Board of Trustees and the West Ada COVID-19 Task Force talked about several issues surrounding data transparency, recommendations from CDG as well as a new plan for operating under red.

Assistant Superintendent Brett Heller drafted up a proposed plan for operating under the red category. Under the new plan, all students would be remote on Mondays.

Team one would report to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays and team two would go to school on Wednesdays and Fridays. Heller said this plan would give more time for teachers to plan for the rest of the week.

MORE:  West Ada School Board chairman resigns: 'The board does not appreciate the work that I'm doing'

“I think the answer is we are going to give teachers as much time as we can, as much guidance as we can we are going to roll up our sleeves and continue to work together and do a better job every day, “said Heller.

Heller also talked about survey results sent out earlier this month. The survey was intended to get a feel from teachers, students, and staff about how comfortable they are with in-person learning. 

Most parents said they were comfortable with it, while teachers were not comfortable with daily in-person learning in a yellow category, or hybrid learning in a red.

Most teachers at Tuesday night’s meeting cited concerns with following safety protocols.

“I do understand the parents who want or need their students to be in school. What I do not understand why the same parents are refusing to have their students wear masks that would keep us all safe,” a West Ada teacher said.

The board expressed concerns about technology issues if they go fully remote on Mondays. They thought back on the issues they had during the first week of school when students and staff struggled to start the school year online.

The board did not approve or deny Heller's proposals in his presentation. The Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting on Thursday at 3 p.m. to make a final decision.