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Caldwell High School returns to fully-remote learning after coronavirus outbreak among staff members

In a letter to parents, the district described the change to online learning as "short term." All other schools will remain on hybrid schedules.

CALDWELL, Idaho — Caldwell High School will temporarily return to fully-remote learning after an outbreak of COVID-19 forced some staff members to quarantine.

In a letter to parents, the district said the outbreak resulted in more than 14% of Caldwell High's staff needing to quarantine. The affected staff members either tested positive or had significant exposure to people who tested positive and are required to quarantine until Nov. 2.

The move to fully-remote learning will begin on Wednesday, Oct. 21 and will last until at least Monday, Nov. 2. It only pertains to the high school; all other schools will remain on their hybrid schedules.

In the letter, Superintendent Shalene French said district officials did not make the decision lightly and promised to continue monitoring staff and student illnesses and absences, as well as substitute availability.

French noted that they have had problems finding substitutes for teachers who have had to quarantine, despite increasing pay and offering a bonus for substitutes.

While illnesses among students are low, the district said it cannot staff the school at a level to safely support in-person learning.

"We are hopeful that this time of remote learning will ensure our staff return to health and the spread of COVID is limited among the CHS community," French said.

District leaders plan to make a decision in the coming days about whether Caldwell High School will be able to reopen for in-person learning on Nov. 2.

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