Boundary County School District 101 Superintendent Jan Bayer sent out the district plan for reopening schools this fall, and right from the outset, she recognizes that it won't be merely a district effort, but one to be undertaken by the community as a whole.
"Boundary County School District #101 will work diligently to reopen schools for the 2020-2021 school," she wrote. "In the process, we will need help and support in order to protect the health and safety of our students and staff. We believe strongly our students need to be in school, while reducing risks and minimizing the spread of COVID-19 with the most current information available."
Part of the plan is the formation of the BCSD 101 Reopening Committee; Bayer and teachers Kari Dameron, Josh Knaggs and Luke Omodt, special ed director Sara Yoder, principals Harmon Newhouse, Gina Brown, Kevin Dinning and Lisa Iverson and department directors Bill Irwin, transportation, Andrea Fuentes, instruction, and Tammy Schneider, and close coordination with local health experts, the state board of education, the governor's office and more.
The core of the plan is the creation of three categories that will guide the plan, allowing flexibility as conditions change and using the best available objective infomation to define those conditions:
Category 1 (Green): No or isolated community transmission: Students will attend school full time, with social distancing in effect and a remote leaning option available.
Category 2 (Yellow): Minimal/moderate community transmission: Students will attend school two days per week and learn remotely two days. Group A will attend classrooms Mondays and Tuesdays, Group B Wednesdays and Thursdays. Staff is working to ensure that students in the same family belong to the same group to the greatest extent possible. A remote learning option is available.
Category 3 (Red): Substantial community transmission: Students will attend school remotely. Individualized plans will be in place for at-risk students.
In categories one and two, masks or shields will be required for teachers and staff and recommended/expected for students and only essential school visits will be allowed. In category three masks will be required for all people in school buildings and visits must be scheduled.
Students will be assigned seats in classes and buses to maintain social distancing. Extracurricular activities, including sports, will be in accordance with Idaho High School Athletic Association guidelines in categories 1 and 2, and cancelled in Category 3 conditions.
"We are extremely fortunate to live in our community," Bayer wrote. "In difficult times, we come together to support and protect each other. As we reopen schools, please be mindful that decisions change rapidly and we want to minimize the stress on our students. Our students and staff need your support, care and trust now and in the future. Thank you in advance for helping us have a safe, healthy, and productive 2020-2021 school year!"
The full reopening plan is here.