Middleton to open next week in a hybrid-learning model

Middleton School District’s board of trustees decided Monday to start school Sept. 8 using a hybrid of in-person and at-home learning.

Trustees had postponed the first day of school and decided to use more specific health district data to determine its reopening plan.

The district will use Southwest District Health’s seven-day incident data for Middleton’s zip code to determine what model to reopen schools in. The board decided following Canyon County’s totals was inappropriate since Middleton has less cases than larger cities in the county.

The board said Monday that the seven-day average of daily incidence rate per 10,000 people was 2.4, in the 83644 zip code area. Last week the rate per 10,000 people was 1.7.

The board decided the 2.4 incidence rate will allow the district to open in the hybrid model, with students attending face-to-face instruction two days per week and distance learning two days per week.

The board will meet every two weeks to analyze the seven-day average and make a decision on what status to proceed with.

Board members have indicated their goal is to get students inside the classroom as much as possible.

Middleton’s decision to open with a hybrid model comes after the Boise, West Ada, Nampa and Caldwell school districts decided to pursue an online-only model to begin school. The Vallivue, Kuna and Notus school districts are the only others in the Treasure Valley that have opened in a hybrid model.

In its Monday meeting, the Middleton trustees added language to its reopening plan to provide wifi hotspots to students who identify as migrants or homeless.

The board also added language to encourage students and staff to wear masks when attending school. The amendment to the plan does say the district cannot mandate masks unless the city or county passes an ordinance to mandate masks.


Rachel Spacek

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