Caldwell delays start to school year, shifts to blended learning because of coronavirus

CALDWELL — The Caldwell School District has delayed its reopening a week and will blend online and in-person instruction because of a surge in confirmed coronavirus cases.

Elementary students will return to school on Aug. 27, Caldwell spokeswoman Allison Westfall told EdNews Wednesday. Secondary learners will go back on Aug. 27 or 28, depending on their assigned blended-learning group.

Here’s a breakdown:

  • Elementary: Kindergarten through fifth-grade students will attend school four days a week in person: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday during assigned morning or afternoon sessions, with work to be completed at home.
  • Secondary: Sixth- through 12th-grade students will attend on an “A” or “B” schedule. Group A students will start school Aug. 27, and attend Mondays and Thursdays. Group B students will start Aug. 28, and attend Tuesdays and Fridays.

Wednesdays will be a “digital day” for all students, Caldwell Superintendent Shalene French announced on the district’s webpage Tuesday. All students will receive a device to use at home.

Cases have surged in Idaho since it entered the fourth phase of Gov. Brad Little’s reopening plan in June. Canyon County — home to the Caldwell district — has gone from “minimal to moderate spread” to “substantial spread” in recent weeks. As of Tuesday, Canyon County had 3,493 confirmed or probable cases and 20 deaths. Only Ada County had more, with 6,195 cases.

Caldwell teachers will still return to school on Aug. 13 and use their time without students to prepare for blended learning.

Click here for the district’s full announcement about the changes.

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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