Bonneville, Pocatello-Chubbuck shape reopening plans around COVID-19

East Idaho’s two largest school districts have shaped their preliminary reopening plans for more than 25,000 students around the coronavirus, and they’re asking patrons for feedback.

Bonneville School District’s 13,300-plus students could resume learning this fall under one of four scenarios determined by their risk of contracting the virus. The 12,500-student Pocatello-Chubbuck’s draft “Roadmap for the 2020-2021 School Year” provides similar flexibility, with three scenarios built around different levels of community spread.

Both plans include possible in-person or online instruction, or combinations of the two.

Bonneville’s ‘phases’

Bonneville’s four scenarios, or “phases,” revolve around risk of contraction. They include:

Phase 1, “low risk”: Under this model, schools will be open for in-person instruction, with some modifications:

  • Elementary students will learn in-person Monday through Friday, except for the second and fourth Mondays of every month. These non-instructional days will allow for teacher collaboration and professional development.
  • Middle schoolers and high schoolers will attend classes Tuesday through Friday, with Mondays reserved for online learning.

Phase 2, “moderate risk”: In-person learning will be reduced to two days per week, with students participating online from home on the days they are not in school.

Students’ last names will determine when they attend:

  • A-K will go to school on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
  • L-Z will go on Thursdays and Fridays.

Mondays will be student support and teacher collaboration days.

Phase 3, “high risk”: Students will attend class one day per week, depending on their last name:

  • Tuesday: A-D
  • Wednesday: E-K
  • Thursday: L-R
  • Friday: S-Z

Students will learn online from home when they aren’t in class. Mondays will be student support and teacher collaboration days.

Phase 4, “critical risk: All students will learn online from home, Monday through Friday.

Pocatello-Chubbuck’s ‘flexible framework’

The district provided families with a flowchart of its “flexible framework.”

Various learning models follow the Center for Disease Control’s categories for community spread:

  • “Low or no spread” would allow for regular classes with an extra focus on prevention, from signs about how to stop spread in classrooms, hallways, cafeterias and building entrances to daily disinfecting of surfaces throughout schools.
  • “Minimal to moderate spread” would prompt a shift to “modified traditional learning” that would require alternating attendance schedules for a combination online and in-person models. The plan would also feature enhanced efforts to prevent spread, including turning off water fountains and increasing circulation of outside air.
  • “Substantial spread” the district would turn to remote learning, which could include targeted, short-term or extended closures. Under this approach, schools would be closed.

Click here to provide feedback on Pocatello-Chubbuck’s plan, and here to give input on Bonneville’s.

Devin Bodkin

Devin Bodkin

EdNews assistant editor and reporter Devin Bodkin is a former high school English teacher who specializes in stories about charter schools and educating students who live in poverty. He lives and works in East Idaho. Follow Devin on Twitter @dsbodkin. He can be reached by email at [email protected].

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