Central District Health moved Boise and West Ada school districts to the highest risk category for COVID-19 spread on Tuesday. Because of that, both districts held special meetings Thursday to discuss learning plans going forward.
West Ada School District’s special board meeting began with the unanimous approval of Trustee Philip Neuhoff as chairman, following Ed Klopfenstein’s abrupt resignation from that position Tuesday evening.
After that, discussion swiftly moved to whether schools should switch to online-only learning.
Trustee Rene Ozuna said she understands teachers are fearful, but has concerns about transitioning back online.
“We had technology problems, and we don’t know what that would look like if we go fully remote. So we have to try and balance the two,” said Ozuna.
West Ada Education Association president Eric Thies said in-person learning isn’t safe right now.
“It’s not that teachers don’t want to [teach in person] ... it’s that we physically can’t,” said Thies. “We have too many kids and not enough classrooms.”
Thies said around 700 teachers are planning to call in sick on Monday if schools did not go fully remote.
Ultimately, both districts voted to continue with at least some in-person learning. Boise middle and high school students can return to classrooms two days a week on Monday. West Ada elementary students will switch to a hybrid schedule.
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