BOISE, Idaho — Editor's note: In the above video, Idaho State Board of Education president Debbie Critchfield discusses what the upcoming school year will look like for returning students.
Since Idaho confirmed its first case of COVID-19 in March, nearly every school in the state closed its doors. The unprecedented closure caused schools and universities to transition to remote learning for the remainder of the school year.
Now the school year is over, but Idaho's number of confirmed cases recently surpassed 3,000. While the number of confirmed cases has increased significantly since March, Idaho recently transitioned into Stage 4 of the Idaho Rebound Plan, meaning 100% of businesses and facilities can reopen as long as certain safety precautions are taken.
All businesses will soon be open to the public, but parents and college students are left to wonder what the upcoming school year will look like. Here's what we know so far:
Boise School District
The Boise School District on Wednesday released its tentative plans for reopening schools to in-person learning in the fall.
The draft plan provides recommendations for keeping students and staff healthy and includes the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), social distancing and various sanitation efforts.
The district is asking parents, patrons and staff to weigh in on the draft plan. It's available to view online here and comments will be accepted here until 5 p.m. on Monday, June 15. The plan and public comments will be presented to the Boise School Board for final review on Thursday, June 18.
You can read the full reopening plan here.
Boise State University
Boise State University will welcome students back to campus on time this fall.
Boise State announced they will have a mix of face-to-face learning, online courses and hybrid classes beginning August 24. However, faculty will transition most classes to remote delivery for the final three weeks after Thanksgiving break.
You can read the full campus reintegration plan here.
Kuna School District
Kuna School District officials have not made final decisions regarding whether students will be welcome back in the fall. Parents, however, did have the opportunity to complete a survey regarding their child's experience learning remotely.
When asked if they would send their children back to school in August should the district reopen, over 70% of parents answered yes. Many respondents said their child would benefit from a blended learning environment, in which half of their work is done in the classroom and half is done at home.
The district is planning a virtual town hall for mid June and will be following up with further directions on how parents can attend for those who indicated their interest in the survey.
West Ada School District
Several weeks ago, we told you about a survey the West Ada district sent out. The goal was to figure out what families wanted to see.
West Ada District spokesman Eric Exline says the results are now in.
“We know that there are a lot of differences in terms of what families expect, and what they need,” Exline said.
Safety and sanitation will be a key this fall.
Immediate seclusion of students showing signs of COVID-19 and no large gatherings, such as assemblies, were also popular responses.
District leaders know that even with all of those measures, some families will be uncomfortable with sending their students in. The district says in those cases they will work on an individual basis.
Read the full response from parents in the district here.
This is a developing story and information will be added as it becomes available.
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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