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Boise School District sets plan for in-person learning, all students back by end of March

Boise School District will have all students back in the classroom by the end of March.

The BSD Board of Trustees voted unanimously on a plan to return all students to in-person learning in a phased approach, with everyone back in the classroom by March 29.

Board members motioned for the second option presented of four. The approved plan brings kindergarten through 6th grade students back on March 9 and all students March 29. The second plan proposed phases students back in to “ease operational impact” and add consistency for elementary families.

All plans specified no plan should take place before March 9 to allow all staff time to be vaccinated and fully immunized.

The Boise School District Board of Trustees met Feb. 8 to discuss returning students to full time, in-person learning. An exploratory committee with the district surveyed students, staff and families on concerns and solutions to getting back to the classroom.

The district considered four different plans to continue the remainder of the school year, ranging from returning all students in phases throughout March to keeping some students in hybrid learning.

More: Boise meeting foreshadows statewide debate around full-time instruction

One of the concerns discussed by trustees and committee members was the lack of social distancing in school buildings when students all return. Of the parents surveyed, more than 65% of parents and guardians said they are comfortable with less than 6 feet of social distancing, while 47.5% of staff and nearly 59% of secondary students reported being comfortable. When surveyed on concerns, the staff’s largest concern was lack of social distancing.

More than half of parents and guardians of pre-K through sixth graders surveyed said they support students returning to in-person learning five days a week. Just under 40% of staff support in-person, while 32.5% reported they prefer continuing with hybrid model. Nearly 49% of parents/guardians for students 7-12 grade support full time in-person learning, while less than 34% of staff do.

The decision follows right behind that of West Ada School District and Nampa School District. Both the West Ada Board of Trustees and the Nampa Board of Trustees recently approved plans to bring students back to the classroom by March 29.

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