Middleton school employee dies from COVID-19

A Middleton School District employee has died from COVID-19, Superintendent Kristin Beck told trustees Wednesday. The employee did not have contact with students.

Beck also said other employees have tested positive and have not yet recovered, Middleton High School students and staff have been exposed to a positive test and are in quarantine and an elementary teacher is in quarantine and “is not doing well.”

Beck declined to give specific details about the employee’s death and the other COVID-19 cases within the district, citing privacy concerns, but offered condolences.
“It’s a very sad situation for the Middleton School District and my heart breaks for the employee’s family, friends and co-workers,” Beck said. “The dangers of COVID hit close to home, and this death underscores the need to take the necessary steps to keep our staff and students safe.”

The board met to discuss the potential move from a hybrid learning model into a modified hybrid model where kindergarten through fifth-grade students would start moving into full-time, in-person learning.

Board Chair Kirk Adams expressed concern for teachers and staff, as the district pushes towards a complete reopen.

“We know the risk for our students is quite small, but the risk for our staff is greater,” he said. “Twenty-five percent of our staff has compromised health. We’ve already lost a staff member.”

Trustee Derek Moore suggested moving kindergarten through fifth-graders to a morning and afternoon schedule, so students could go to school every day, but in smaller groups.

“We can’t run and hide,” Moore said. “I know we have cases, but we cannot decide not to move forward. There are going to be hiccups in the road.”

The district will make a final decision on the move to a modified hybrid model of learning at its next meeting on Oct. 12.

Glenns Ferry will move to remote learning starting Monday

Students in the Glenns Ferry School District will move to an online learning model Monday after “multiple” confirmed cases of COVID-19 surfaced in the district.

Students will learn remotely from Monday, Sept. 28 to Monday, Oct. 5, according to a letter sent to parents Wednesday. During that time, there will be no practices, games or other extracurricular events.

The district is working to identify others who may have been in contact with those who tested positive.

Glenns Ferry Superintendent Cody Fisher did not immediately respond to an email request for the number of known cases in the district.

Emmett High School to shut down Friday

Emmett High School will close after one student tested positive for COVID-19 and two others were designated as “probables” for contracting the disease.

“At this point, we’re only closing the high school for Friday,” principal Wade Carter said in a news release from the Emmett School District Thursday.

Local health officials are notifying students and staff believed to have been in contact with the students.

Scheduled athletic events will go on as planned, the district said.

For a list of the reopening status of all Idaho schools and the county coronavirus risk status, click here.

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