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Boise School District approves virtual start Aug. 17

Posted at 8:39 AM, Aug 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-05 08:02:38-04

BOISE, Idaho — The Boise School District Board makes a decision on how the upcoming school year will begin.

The board unanimously approved a plan to open schools virtually starting August 17 for three weeks until September 8. It also suspended extracurricular activities and competitions until Central District Health removes the Category 3 designation and the Southern Idaho Conference approves them to come back.

Before the Board made the decision parents, teachers, students and people from the community testified for an online or in-person start.

High school student Jillian Robinette testified in favor of in-person classes stating that online classes will not give students the proper education to succeed.

“As a high school student, I am here to say that it is true. We do not have the resources or capability to deliver an online education, sometimes you don’t even have the resources for an in-class education," she said. You guys cannot deliver an effective online education and expect us to learn everything we need to know to be prepared for our future.”

Tracy Bradraun, a parent of three kids in the Boise School District, testified in favor of virtual learning citing health and safety reasons.

“I do agree you learn better in the classroom, but not when your health is at risk," she said. "If you do not have your health, then you do not have a quality education, and with the stats that I have, 17 out of your 1700 and teachers would be losing their lives teaching."

The board hopes to reopen schools starting September 8 as long as there is less community spread, but the board says it'll need everyone's help to make that happen.

"I am begging our community. I am begging our parents, our businesses, our community members to do the hard work right now to get these numbers under control so that we can open our schools in person because I want nothing more," said board trustee Beth Oppenheimer.

The district says it will need two weeks to prepare for schools to reopen. A decision about in-person learning will be made by August 24.