RUPERT, Idaho — The first day of school is right around the corner, and school districts across the state are putting finishing touches on their back to school plans.
For the Minidoka County School District, it's been a busy summer. Their superintendent started on July 1--right in the middle of the back to school planning process.
"This has been quite an ordeal, for all parties. Parents, employees, employers. It's a different game we're just not used to," explained James Ramsey, who took over for Dr. Ken Cox this summer. "I've been an administrator for 19 years, and everything's the same and then you dump this covid-19 on top of it and it takes precedent over everything you know."
The district has been working closely with other districts in region 4 to develop their back to school plan. That's why theirs mirrors the Twin Falls School District's color-coded, levels plan.
The four levels are determined by the amount of community spread in the county.
- Green: Means it's business as usual for the schools, with in person classes and typical school protocols
- Yellow: Stricter focus on COVID-19 precautions (social distancing etc.)
- Orange: A "hybrid" between online and in person. Half the students would be in-person and the other half would be learning online. It would rotate on an "A" day "B" day type schedule.
- Red: Complete return to distance learning (similar to what we saw this spring)
"We will, according to the guidelines go back to school august 20 in the yellow phase with heightened sanitary protocols," Ramsey said.
Though the plan could change as we learn more about the virus, Ramsey says one thing will stay the same: the students' best interests are the top priority.
"That needs to be the end game, or our primary goal, or whatever you want to call it. That's where my head's at," Ramsey said.
The district also has an online option for students who don't feel comfortable attending school in person this fall.
The district will present their back to school plan to the school board on August 3.