Caldwell pivots to start school online this fall

Caldwell School District students will be learning online through at least October 2, the school board voted on  Monday night.

The district had previously planned to open the year in a hybrid model, with students in school some days and learning from home other days. But Superintendent Shalene French said on Monday that the virus has “continued to worsen” in the Canyon County community and the district opted to close its doors.

“I am incredibly struggling with this,” Trustee Andrew Butler said before the vote. “Months ago when we started making this plan the hope was that we wouldn’t be at this point. And so it’s a real struggle. I would like to see the kids back in the classroom as soon as possible.”

The regional  health authority Southwest District Health continues to list Canyon County in the “high-risk” category  for COVID-19.

The district plans to re-evaluate its operations in late September and could at that point decide to move to hybrid-learning if the spread of the virus has declined.

In an email to staff, French said digital instruction for the district’s 6,000  students “will be very different from last spring’s emergency lessons.” Teachers will hold office hours and all students will be able to pick up a learning device.

The district is working with its nutrition services department to develop a plan for food distribution, French said during the board meeting. All students in the Caldwell School District are eligible for free and reduced meals through the schools.


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