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Days after opening their doors, Kuna schools report coronavirus cases

School safety expert says transparency during school lockdowns is needed
Posted at 10:00 AM, Sep 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-08 12:00:24-04

KUNA, Idaho — This article was written by Kevin Richert of Idaho Education News.

Days after opening for in-person classes — against the recommendation of local health officials — the Kuna School District has reported at least two coronavirus cases.

A second-grader at Crimson Point Elementary School and a Kuna High School student tested positive for coronavirus, Superintendent Wendy Johnson said in a memo posted on the district’s website Friday. The district also has a third probable case, also involving a Kuna High School student.

Still, in her memo, Johnson said Kuna had a “great first week back!”

Said Johnson, “While we have two confirmed positive cases and one probable case this week, the good news is that our safety practices of face coverings and physical distancing has prevented mass quarantining of entire grade levels or schools.”

The Kuna High School student who tested positive attended school Aug. 31, and the Crimson Point student attended school Sept. 1. Neither student returned after testing positive.

Kuna opened on Aug. 31 with a hybrid learning model, with half of their students in class. Students will attend schools two days a week, on an alternating schedule. Students attend school virtually the rest of the week.

However, the Central District Health department has recommended online-only classes in Ada County — a recommendation that has been in place since August. The Boise district began the school year on Aug. 17 with online classes; the West Ada district is opening today with online school.

The Kuna district decided in late July to open with a hybrid schedule, at least through Sept. 30. District officials said they opted for the hybrid model because CDH had said coronavirus case numbers would likely slow in August — allowing the health district to recommend a hybrid schedule.