Boise approves fall reopening plan

The Boise School Board approved reopening plans that allow families to choose whether students attend classes at school or online in the fall.

The board approved the plan Thursday, after district officials put forward a draft of reopening plans earlier this month.

In a recent survey, 70 percent of district parents said they would be comfortable sending their child back to school, if schools are open and if parents believe all reasonable precautions will be taken to ensure a safe and healthy environment.

Nancy Gregory

“Every student in our district deserves access to a great education, delivered by a highly qualified Boise School District teacher, regardless of whether the teaching and learning occurs in a traditional classroom or online,” board President Nancy Gregory said in a written statement.

Boise’s reopening decision aligns with the State Board of Education’s latest advice. On Wednesday, State Board President Debbie Critchfield said the state will leave it to districts to create their own reopening plans.

Also Wednesday, Gov. Brad Little announced the formation of two committees looking at reopening school in the fall. Critchfield, who will lead one committee, said the committees’ guidance will be instructional in nature, and intended to support local districts as they make their decisions.

Districts will not be required to adopt or adhere to any plans the committees release, Critchfield said.

“We can serve as a repository for information and support districts as they make decisions,” Critchfield said. “Districts will make the decisions and we want to encourage that.”

Throughout the spring, Little has said one of his top priorities is to reopen schools in the fall.

Serving about 25,500 K-12 students, Boise is Idaho’s second largest school district. The district’s plan calls for offering Monday through Friday in-person learning at all schools starting Aug. 17.

Registration for online learning will be available July 13-31.

More specific, school-level plans and guidance regarding athletics and activities will be available in the near future, district officials said.

“The plan we adopted today creates a framework for our principals to work with in customizing their own building plans,” Gregory said. “It also honors the choice of families and provides flexibility to respond to changing conditions in our community.”

Boise’s fall reopening plan is available to read online.

Clark Corbin

About Clark Corbin

Reporter Clark Corbin has covered Idaho government and education for more than a decade. He’s followed every legislative session, gavel-to-gavel, since 2011. Clark is a co-host of the Extra Credit podcast with Kevin Richert published on Fridays. You can follow him on Twitter: @clarkcorbin. He can be reached by email at [email protected]

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