No more backpacks in Caldwell classrooms — that’s the district’s new procedure, which took effect Wednesday, March 7, at Caldwell High School. District leaders say the change was implemented due to safety concerns.
“We’ve been discussing this since the fall,” said Dr. Shalene French, Caldwell School District Superintendent. “…and the high school administration has wondered if this is the route we need to go.”
The new procedure comes after four local schools received threats in a two-day time span, including Caldwell High School.
“We do need to keep students safe, and this is one way to do that,” French said.
Every student at Caldwell was assigned a locker Wednesday, where they’ll store their backpack during the school day.
“It’s gotten to the point where I’ve realized that this is for our safety, and so I’m feeling a lot better about it,” said student Kayla White.
District leaders say this procedural change mimics what’s already being done at both middle schools in the Caldwell School District.
School officials say the only items students will need to bring to class are a binder, notebook and writing utensils — a benefit of incorporating technology in the classroom.
“Students are able to access information through the Internet or through Google Docs, or a different format of communication with their teacher,” French said. “It’s different than carrying around textbooks, although textbooks are there for resources.”
The West Ada School District also requires high school students to keep backpacks in lockers during the school day. In the Boise School District, however, that decision is left up to each high school.