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Sage International School pushes back in-person learning for older students

Sixth- through 12th-graders are now set to return to the classroom for in-person instruction Nov. 9.
Credit: KTVB

BOISE, Idaho — Sage International School students in grades sixth through 12th did not return to the classroom as planned for in-person instruction Monday due to COVID-19 infections and staff shortages.

The Boise charter school is now aiming for a Nov. 9 return date for the older students. Kindergartners through fifth-graders will continue to come to the school for in-person learning.

"Our team worked tirelessly yesterday evening and throughout today to try to reach a result other than delaying the return of 6-12th students,"Head of School Kali Webb wrote in an email to parents Wednesday. "Regrettably, we were not able to do so.  We apologize for the short notice and understand the challenges families face - please reach out if you need assistance at this time."

RELATED: Kuna elementary school to transition to remote learning on Monday

According to the school, Sage International was informed on Thursday that two siblings - a second-grader and a fourth-grader - should be considered "probable cases" of coronavirus. Both children had been physically in their classrooms the day before. On Friday, school officials learned that one of the students and other family members had tested positive for COVID-19.

Both siblings were exposed to the virus outside of school, and there have been no cases of community spread at Sage international School, officials said. Both classrooms that the children were in will be quarantined until Nov. 4. 

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Instructors for those classes have also been asked to quarantine, and other school staff members who have children in those classes now need to be home in order to care for them, Webb wrote. 

"We also have additional secondary staff members quarantining due to recent off-campus exposures and/or because they are not feeling well," she wrote. "These staff members cannot return to campus for varying periods of time." 

In total, the school was set to have 14 employees out on Monday, leading to the decision to keep sixth through 12th graders remote. 

Other schools around the Treasure Valley have had similar issues, with Kuna Elementary students all transitioning back to remote learning Monday after three teachers tested positive for COVID-19.

RELATED: Idaho State Board of Education revises back-to-school framework

"While we are saddened to not welcome back our 6-12th students tomorrow as planned, we will continue to serve them and all students with excellent instruction," Webb wrote. "We are grateful to continue serving the Sage community and appreciate your continued support as we navigate these incredibly challenging times."

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