TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Navigating the new school year can be confusing, but it's especially hectic this year because of the coronavirus.
The Twin Falls School District has released these pointers for parents:
- If your child has any signs of COVID-19 keep them home from school. Visit with your child daily about how they are feeling. Know the symptoms of COVID-19. We have waived attendance requirements and students will not be penalized for staying home if they have COVID-19 symptoms. We encourage parents to screen students every morning before attending school and keep symptomatic students home.
- Teach and practice good hygiene practices in your home like covering your mouth when you cough and washing your hands. These are simple ways we can stop the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses.
- If you or someone in your household has been tested for COVID-19, keep your child home from school. Even if your child doesn’t have symptoms, they could carry COVID into our school system which could cause schools to close for an extended period of time. Students will not be penalized for missing class and homework will be provided to them.
- Encourage your child to wear a face-covering when they cannot practice social distancing. Practicing these habits at home and outside of school will help students be prepared to return to school. Remember that face coverings will be required within our schools, must be made of protective material, and must cover the mouth and nose. The District will provide each student with three washable masks and face shields will be provided upon request. Considerations/exceptions will be made for staff and students who provide documentation from a state-licensed medical professional stating the wearing of a face-covering could be a health risk for that individual. Considerations/exceptions will also be made per IEP/504 team recommendation.
- Stay in communication with your child’s teacher and school if they need to stay home from school. We have tools in place to help keep students on track if they need to stay home from school. Make sure your contact information is up to date and you know how to contact your child’s teacher(s).
- Be prepared for school closures. Have backup plans in place in case schools need to close due to an outbreak in one of our buildings. We don’t want to close schools but if we have an outbreak we will be forced to protect the health and safety of our staff members and students.
- Stay healthy, physically and mentally. Changes can create stress for students and parents. Make sure you are talking to your child about how they can stay healthy, practice good healthy habits, and make mental health a priority.
- Reach out to your child’s school if you need assistance. We are here for you. We will do what we can to take care of our families. We can help with many things, from supplying food for our District’s students, to helping work through challenging homework assignments.
- Help your child prepare for back to school by going to your school’s open house and picking up school supplies.
- The District announced that based on the metrics developed by the South Central Public Health District, the 2020-21 school year will begin in the Yellow level protocol. Please check your email and/or the district website for information about what that color means for your child’s school’s operations. Read the complete protocol plan here.
The district says one of the best things parents can do is have a positive attitude.
"The important people in that child's life, the attitude they bring to any situation, that child is going to reflect that. They're going to see that attitude and that's what they're going to approach this situation," explained Eva Craner, the district's public information officer. "We know that it's hard and there's a lot of anxiety but for our students, we want to make sure we're supportive of them. We recognize they have these emotions and it might be scary and hard but we're going to try our best to make this year a good one."
The first day of school is August 19th.