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West Ada prepares for hybrid model, still facing technical difficulties

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West Ada prepares for hybrid model, still facing technical difficulties
Posted at 6:13 PM, Sep 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-11 11:08:33-04

BOISE — Ada county schools move into the yellow category, meaning districts move into their in-person learning plans next week.

The West Ada school district still works to remedy the frustrating hiccups of remote learning while shifting their kids into the classroom next week.

Parents, even teachers, have been frustrated by the connectivity issues in the first week of remote learning.

"We did have training; Unfortunately, there's no real way to test what will happen with 40,000 gets on a device until 40,000 people get on a device, so there was really no way before the start of school to do that test," said Char Jackson.

Connectivity could improve now that the district will only have 20,000 students online at a time. Starting Monday, the district turns to a hybrid model. Half of the students will be in class Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and the other half on Tuesday, Thursday.

"Some students will be doing teacher-led activities while some will be doing their online activity, so it's going to be a lot different," said Jackson.

It's still a work in progress.

"There's no black and white answer for how this can work, and teachers are left to their own creativity, and lesson plans to initiate this yellow scenario," said Jackson.

Changes are coming for the virtual schoolhouse, too. Parents can now un-enroll their kids from the virtual program and back in brick and mortar schools.

Jackson says the district is working on a 'backup plan' if they're unable to get the technical issues resolved in the hybrid model.

"They have worked overnight trying to remedy this issue, but we've not been able to come to a resolution for 100% of our students," said Jackson.

Face coverings are required for students and staff in the schools starting September 14 when the alternating schedule begins.

Jackson says there are many reasons the September 11 deadline:

One was to respond to parents/guardians/students who wanted to return in yellow. Another [reason] was to give students on the waitlist an opportunity to join VSH before the Semester progress further instruction. The number of students on the waitlist who will be able to transfer to VSH will depend entirely on enrollment and space availability in core classes. A third was to give brick and mortar enrollment and scheduling teams an opportunity to enroll students as soon as possible before the Semester progresses further.