Pocatello-Chubbuck stays with modified learning plan

POCATELLO — The Pocatello-Chubbuck School District will stick with a hybrid learning model and modified school schedules through February.

Trustees voted Tuesday to continue the instructional model aimed at adapting to COVID-19.

“The board will reconvene in mid-February to determine the course for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year,” district spokeswoman Courtney Fisher said after the meeting.

Tuesday’s decision keeps the district’s K-5 students in a “modified traditional instructional model,” which groups learners in cohorts to receive face-to-face instruction five days a week. Secondary students participate in a hybrid learning model, with two days per week devoted to in-person instruction and three days of remote learning.

Superintendent Doug Howell said the decision followed the board’s pursuit of “pertinent data to encompass the many complexities involved in making these tough, and not always popular, decisions.”

Frustrated parents have mobilized in recent months to recall board chair Dave Mattson and trustees Jackie Cranor and Janie Gebhardt over the board’s handling of recent issues, including the continuation of hybrid learning. Bannock County officials last month certified those petitions. The trustees will likely face a recall vote in March.

The district addressed the recall effort in a statement to EdNews last month, calling board members “well-trained and committed.”

“(Trustees) understand that not every decision will gain community consensus,” the statement reads. “It is important to note, however, that each member continually receives strong opinions on every side of topical issues.”

Idaho districts continue to reshape learning models amid the lingering pandemic and reaction from community members. Click here to compare school operational plans and county coronavirus risk levels across the state.

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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