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School year delayed for Caldwell School District

Posted at 10:15 AM, Jul 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-22 12:17:07-04

CALDWELL, Idaho — The Caldwell School District announced in a Facebook post that the start date for students is changing from August 19 to August 27 or 28, depending on the group they are assigned to for blended learning. Teachers will still be reporting on August 13 and will use the time without students to prepare for blended learning.

Students in the Caldwell School District will receive instruction both in-person at school and online. All students will get a device to use at home. The blended learning model was changed on Tuesday by the Board of Trustees.

All students in Kindergarten through 5th grade will attend school in-person on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday during their assigned session. Students will have either the morning or afternoon off with work to be finished at home.

Students in 6th through 12th grades will attend school on an 'A' or 'B' schedule. 'A' schedule students will start school on August 27 and attend on Mondays and Thursdays. 'B' schedule students will start on August 28 and attend in-person school on Tuesdays and Fridays. Wednesdays will be a digital day for all students, K-12.

The blended learning model will be different from the spring's emergency learning plans. According to the Facebook post, students will get new content, and work will be turned in and graded. The district will release more information leading up to the school year, including assigned schedules and details on services for special education students, meals, transportation and more.

Schools in the Caldwell School District will be using strategies to support reducing the spread of COVID-19. Strategies include reducing group sizes, hand washing, isolating people who become sick and more cleaning.

"One essential prevention strategy requires your help and support in order to succeed: appropriate use of face coverings. Face coverings are important because there will be times in our buildings and on the bus when we can't maintain six feet of physical distancing," said Superintendent Dr. N. Shalene French in the post.

The Board of Trustees is requiring everyone, including students, staff and visitors, to wear face coverings where appropriate in the schools. They recognize not everyone will be able to participate, including those with a disability that prevents them from comfortably wearing or removing face coverings, those with respiratory conditions or trouble breathing, the deaf or hard of hearing and those advised by a medical, legal or behavioral health professional that wearing a face-covering may pose a risk to that person.

School District officials ask that your students have washable, reusable face coverings to use while in school. The Facebook post addressed what will happen if someone is diagnosed with COVID-19 and if schools will close. "It depends" is the answer, as health officials outlined the process similar to this in guidance to schools. The district had a person test positive over the summer with the sports conditioning programs. Close contacts were notified and the program closed for a few days for cleaning.

An online option through Idaho Digital Learning Audience is being offered to elementary, middle and high school students. Caldwell High's Karen Cameron will oversee the program for the district, and the fee for the program has been eliminated. More information on the online option will be available soon.

The reopening and continued operation plans for the 2020-2021 school year can be found here.