West Ada to launch districtwide remote learning on April 13

Idaho’s largest school district will launch its remote learning program in two weeks.

As spring break ends in the West Ada School District, students will be able to take optional online courses beginning Monday. Teachers and staff will return to school to work on the online transition.

A big part of the job will be touching base with parents of the district’s 40,000 students.

After closing school two weeks ago in response to the coronavirus outbreak, West Ada launched an Internet access survey. The district has received more than 19,000 responses, and about 900 respondents said they don’t have Internet access.

“Teachers will help identify how many of the roughly 20,000 recipients who didn’t answer the survey have Internet access via computer at home to help us prepare for students who will need printed learning resources,” district spokesman Eric Exline said in a memo Saturday, posted on West Ada’s website.

Pickup sites for printed materials will vary by school.

All West Ada students will begin remote learning on April 13 — one week before the end of a four-week statewide school “soft closure.” The State Board of Education on Monday closed all K-12 school facilities to students until at least April 20.

As West Ada moves toward remote learning, other changes will follow:

  • It’s unclear when the school year will end. Under the current schedule, May 21 is the last school day for high school seniors, and June 2 is the last school day for other students. “Information about the exact date the school year will end will be provided after the Board of Trustees approves an amended school calendar for the remainder of this school year,” Exline said.
  • Free school lunch programs will continue at 13 schools, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Click here for a list of locations.)
  • With activities such as SAT Day and senior project days on hold, those classroom days will be school days.
  • Senior proms are canceled, and it’s not yet clear whether West Ada will be able to use Boise State University’s Extra Mile Arena for commencement. “We are working on how to recognize the accomplishments of our graduating seniors if the venue is not available,” Exline said.

Current COVID-19 Cases

As of Aug. 7, the state and its health districts are reporting 24,013 confirmed or probable cases of coronavirus, and 229 deaths from COVID-19. The state says 201,547 coronavirus tests have been administered statewide. Hover over each county for local numbers.

Kevin Richert

About Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on KIVI 6 On Your Side; "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television; and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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