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Boise School District To Consider An Online Start To The Year

Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce via Flickr

After initially planning to re-open Boise schools for in-person instruction, the district’s board of trustees will now consider a virtual start to the year for students.

Back in June, Boise School District released guidelines on how it thinks teachers and students could meet up face to face in the classroom, with an online option for parents who objected. 

But after pushback and a rise in cases of COVID-19 across the Treasure Valley, the district’s board of trustees will consider making online education mandatory. They’ve called for an emergency meeting Monday night.

Earlier this month, Gov. Brad Little joined a host of politicians, including President Trump, by saying he wants schools to allow students back into physical classrooms this fall.

The governor has left decisions about masks and other safety protocols up to individual school districts. The Idaho State Board of Education released guidelines districts could follow – or ignore.

The safety of reopening schools – for parents, teachers, school staff and students – has been a flashpoint across the country. The American Academy of Pediatrics vocally supported the move initially, saying it’s in the best interest of children’s mental and social health, in addition to better benefiting learning. The group stepped back slightly from their full-throated defense of the move recently in a statement issued with national teachers unions and a superintendent interest group.

Instead, the AAP said the level of community spread in each area should factor into whether schools could safely reopen.

The public can send in written comments to Boise school trustees, or sign up to testify virtually. All comments to the board must be received by Monday at noon.

Comments can be sent the following ways:

Email: sharon.mast@boiseschools.org

Traditional mail: Boise School District, Board of Trustees, Attn. Clerk of Board Sharon Mast, 8169 W. Victory Rd., Boise, ID 83709

Those interested in testifying should send an email to sharon.mast@boiseschools.org or call (208) 854-4123.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season. If you have a tip, please get in touch!