Boise Schools will put students back in classrooms next week after two-month break

Posted at 7:42 PM, Jan 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-12 10:23:18-05

This article was originally published by Chadd Cripe in the Idaho Statesman.

The Boise School District will return to a hybrid learning format next week — ending two months of remote-only learning.

Students will be in classrooms two days per week and learn remotely three days a week. The hybrid schedule begins Tuesday, Jan. 19, because of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday on Monday. Mondays are remote days for all students.

The district decided Nov. 12 that it would end its hybrid plan at the Thanksgiving break with a target of returning Jan. 19. The last day of in-person schooling was Nov. 20.

District officials updated the board of trustees Monday and indicated the plan to return to the hybrid model would proceed. No vote was necessary.

Students returned from winter break earlier Monday for a week of remote learning.

The remote-only change was prompted by staffing shortages created by the Treasure Valley’s rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in the fall, the district said. The number of staff and students in quarantine reached 1,788 the week of Nov. 19, according to the district.

The area’s COVID-19 situation has improved since then, including less strain on hospitals. However, Ada County’s case rate has ticked up in the last two weeks. Central District Health reported a two-week average daily case rate per 100,000 people of 90 for the week beginning Nov. 29. That dropped to 41.8 in late December but has climbed back above 50.

The district plans to begin looking into how and when it could return to in-person school on a daily basis. Hybrid learning will continue for at least a month, Superintendent Coby Dennis told the board of trustees.

The district also hopes to find a way to make reopening decisions on a school-specific or level-specific basis rather than district-wide.