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West Ada prepares to welcome more students for in-person learning on March 30

Posted at 6:50 AM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-18 10:00:45-04

IDAHO — Sixth to 12th-grade students in the West Ada School District are about to spend more time in the classroom.

They'll transition back to four days a week, in-person learning on March 30 with Mondays remaining a remote learning day.

“Teachers have been preparing for this for several weeks so they have a lot of special events planned for when the kids come back on the 30. Just making them feel like it is that first day back because this will be our first day in a year that all of these students in grades 6th through 12th have been together,” said Char Jackson, Chief Communications Officer for the West Ada School District.

Jackson said it will be a challenge to follow the six feet social distance guidelines, but they're using more mitigation efforts, including new hand sanitizer dispensers, social distance signage, and face coverings.

The school district has also been working to recruit necessary school staff.

“Our paraprofessionals and our bus staff were a little lower than we would like to see it when we started talking about our students coming back to full-time. We did some advertising and trying to get those positions to fill, and we have been successful in getting those staff numbers up, so we feel confident coming back on March 30 that we are going to have all the staff that we need to make that a successful return," Jackson said.

Middle and high school students will continue with remote learning on Mondays until the end of the school year. Kindergarten through 5th-grade students will attend school Monday through Friday but will have an early release day on Monday. That allows teachers to have instructional prep time and collaboration.

Renaissance High School Shana Hawkins said in addition to having students back in the classroom more, students studying in CNA coursework will get the chance for hands-on training.

“Students this quarter will have an opportunity to get into the health care facilities for the first time since this started over a year ago and will take place after the break. The teachers really stress over the importance of making good choices over spring break, to be aware because they do have to follow the facility's requirements with being COVID tested,” Hawkins said.

The district will continue to monitor its mitigation efforts when full-time instruction begins.

“I think everyone wants to do that thing that is right. We can keep students in school and we can show that schools are safe and we do have good building healthy safety plans in place and that this is the best place to have or students in schools at this time and they do need to be in the school for those routines and those educational experiences,” Hawkins said.

Below you’ll find more information about West Ada School District's full-time learning plans.

Returning to Full Time Learning Means:

  • All middle schools will need to meet the criteria and return to daily in-person learning at the same time.
  • All high schools will need to meet the criteria and return to daily in-person learning at the same time.
  • Monday will continue to function as a remote learning day, in-person learning will occur on Tuesday-Friday.
  • The mask requirement will remain in place at a minimum through the end of the 2020-21 school year.
  • Continued focus on mitigating measures - hand hygiene, sanitizing, and continuing to facilitate as much physical distancing as possible.
  • Six-feet of physical distancing will not occur when all students are back in the building.
  • Teachers at middle school and high school are expected to deliver fully synchronous learning to students on quarantine/isolation.
  • If any middle school or high school needs to transition to full remote learning due to positive cases, clusters, or outbreaks in the two weeks prior to fourth quarter, then school district administration will evaluate whether the situation necessitates a delay to returning to full, in-person learning.