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Boise School District creates online option for upcoming school year amid coronavirus concerns

The Boise Online School will have its own principal, counselors, and teachers.

BOISE, Idaho — The Boise School District created Boise Online School for families that don’t feel safe sending their kids back to class in August amid the coronavirus.

“We knew that not every family would feel comfortable, no matter what precautions we put in place, to return to school,” said Debbie Donavan, an area director for the Boise School District. “We also thought we better prepare in the event that we need to do a full closure like we did in the spring.”

Boise Online School will be a completely new school within the Boise School District, with its own principal, counselors, and teachers.

“We’ve had teachers working this summer to flip the curriculum to an online format,” Donovan said.

One of the school district’s goals is to make online learning as interactive as possible, so they have programs to help based on different grade levels.

RELATED: Boise students will get option of in-class or online learning in the fall

For example, grades K-2 will use a program called “Seasaw” for their lesson plans.

“There will be some parent involvement and parent support,” Donovan said. “Obviously in the primary level, kindergarten through second grade, it’s going to be a little bit more.”

The Boise School District will provide digital bootcamps for students and parents before the school year begins so they can get familiar with the programs.

Enrollment for the Boise Online School is July 13-31, but parents can still decide after that period if they want to enroll their children.

“We do know that some families maybe won’t make that decision until closer to the first day and some may not make that decision until September,” Donovan said. “We want to be flexible with our families when they enroll.”

RELATED: What will Idaho schools look like in the fall?

Boise Online School will be made up of teachers already working in the school district.

Administrators will have a better idea of how many teachers the online school will have after the enrollment period ends, July 31.

“This is a very big decision for families, we don’t take this lightly,” Donovan said. “We have worked hard to prepare the best opportunity for students whether it’s in person or online.”

Boise schools, both online and in-person, will begin August 17.

For more information on the Boise School District’s reopening pandemic plan, visit their website or call 208-854-4000.

RELATED: West Ada will seek voter approval of supplemental levy in August

At KTVB, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the virus. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: www.ktvb.com/coronavirus.

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