Idaho Education Association discusses possible fall operations

Posted at 8:17 PM, May 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-24 00:52:23-04

BOISE — Lindsay Mangum hopes to see her fourth graders in person this fall. 

"For me right now I'm still really hoping we can be back to face to face," said Lindsay Mangum, 4th grade teacher at Desert Springs Elementary.

That decision has yet to be made, however. If schools are able to open their doors, worries rise about maintaining the safety precautions. Mangum says kids learn pretty quickly and it would just be a new routine. 

“So we’d start with the very beginning we’re going to do routine we have wash our hand we have to maintain distance the best that we can," said Mandum.

Even so, social distancing will be the toughest to accomplish. 
"Not even just me but other people have 25-30 kids maybe more students in a classroom to try and keep them 6 feet apart, I don’t know how that would work," said Mangum.

For younger students, a big part of school is learning through social interactions. Districts will need to be creative for that if class remains virtual.

“Being able to pivot and do some of those skills on the computer is something that know they’re looking into right now so if we have to do this emergency online learning or some kind of blended learning in the fall, they're ready," said IEA president Layne McInelly.

Mangum thinks a flipped classroom will be the best approach for more successful online learning. 

“I wouldn’t want to do something like this where I'm the only one talking, I would want to give them their assignments and then have them come to our virtual classroom ready to discus and ready to participate," said Mangum.

Regardless of where school returns in the fall, one thing is for sure: lots of material review will be necessary. 

“We’re working with our 3rd grade colleagues figuring out where their hard line was that they stopped with the new content so next year when we start with our 4th graders coming in we can go back to that stuff," said Mangum.

IEA originally called for schools to close months ago, and a similar recommendation could happen, if cases rise in the fall. 

“We will be advocating on behalf of all the schools in Idaho to make sure that it is safe and we’ve got a great learning environment," said McInelly.