Boise to advance to second phase of in-person learning plan

The Boise School District will move into the second phase of its reopening plan Monday, sending pre-K through sixth-grade students back for in-person instruction on alternating days.

Trustees and Deputy Superintendent Lisa Roberts discussed the move during a special board meeting Thursday.

The second phase expands on the first phase, which allowed pre-K through second grade and special education students to return for in-person learning Sept. 21.

All pre-K through sixth-grade students will alternate between in-person and virtual days.

Boise officials said they spoke with Central District Health and St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center officials several times this week about advancing to the second phase.

Although cases in Ada County and Idaho have been rising recently, Roberts said the district’s quarantine and safety protocols have been effective.

“That really is going quite well; teachers have been diligent about safety protocols and students have been great about it,” Roberts said.

“The good news is we are not seeing transmission in our schools, which I think is really important.”

Central District Health has the Boise School District listed in its “yellow” risk category this week, which aligns with nonbinding state guidance that allows schools to be open with limited or staggered capacity. (Click here for Idaho Education News’ map of coronavirus risk levels and reopening plans across the state.)

Boise administrators and trustees plan to monitor phase two of the in-person plan for two weeks.

The third phase would allow all K-12 students to return to school on alternating days, beginning Oct. 19.

Boise is Idaho’s second-largest school district based on enrollment, serving about 26,000 students.

Trustees accept Rohn’s resignation

In other action Thursday, trustees voted to officially accept the resignation of former board member Troy Rohn.

Troy Rohn

Last week, Rohn submitted a letter of resignation to President Dave Wagers, criticizing the state and federal government for pushing reopening and closing decisions to school boards amid the pandemic.

Trustees will seek nominations from the community starting Monday and hope to name a successor Nov. 9. The appointee would stand for election in 2022.

A search committee meets this week to begin developing a questionnaire and discussing the qualities the appointee should have.

In his resignation letter, Rohn suggested the board hire someone with medical experience. On Thursday, trustee Beth Oppenheimer suggested the board appoint someone who has children attending school in the district.

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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