Blackfoot charter closed after 8 teachers exposed to COVID-19

BLACKFOOT — The Idaho Science and Technology Charter School closed its doors to students Monday after at least eight teachers came in contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19.

The exposure occurred at an event Friday, the school’s principal, Tammy Dortch, told EdNews Monday morning.

Dortch decided to close school Monday while she and other local leaders work with Southeastern Idaho Public Health to do more contact tracing and develop an outlook for moving forward.

The school’s governing board will consider those recommendations at a special meeting Monday night, according to an agenda on the school’s website.

Monday’s closure follows the school’s decision last week to continue in-person teaching and learning after local health officials put Bingham County — and six other area counties — at a moderate risk level for coronavirus.

That decision prompted the neighboring Blackfoot School District to move its students to a partial at-home learning model for at least two weeks.

ISTCS enrolls about 340 students and has 25 teachers on staff. The school has an online option for families.

Compare school reopening plans and county coronavirus risk levels across Idaho here.

Devin Bodkin

About Devin Bodkin

Reporter Devin Bodkin covers education issues in East Idaho. He is a former high school English teacher who specializes in stories about charter schools and educating students who live in poverty. He is a 2019 Solutions Journalism Network fellow and the Idaho Press Club's 2019 print reporter of the year. Follow Devin on Twitter @dsbodkin. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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