Coeur d’Alene Schools drafts reopening plan; currently at ‘moderate’ COVID-19 risk

COEUR d’ALENE, Idaho — Coeur d’Alene Schools has released a draft plan for reopening in the fall.

The plan still pends approval from the Board of Trustees, but if passed it will go into effect August 24.

According to the draft plan, the first choice is for students to attend in-person every day of the school year. The school district is prepared to switched to blended learning if COVID-19 continues to transmit, meaning a blend of in-person and remote instruction.

In this blended learning model, students will go to school two days a week, and then use school technology and study at home the rest of the week.

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“With only half our students in our buildings at a time, it will be easier to spread out and lessen the risk of virus transmission,” reads the draft plan.

If COVID-19 becomes too active in the community, Coeur d’Alene schools says they will move all instruction online.

Today we are releasing our draft plan for the 2020-21 school year. An overview of the plan and more details are at…

Posted by CDA Schools on Monday, August 3, 2020

Additionally, for parents understandably concerned about sending their kids to school during a pandemic, the school district has also launched CDA eSchool, a fully online learning option now available for registration.

Nicole Vatson, the parent of a 4th grader wants her son to be safe but also engaged.

“He’s such a social kid but I feel like if I don’t send him back he would fall behind so it’s just a lot to think about right now.”

Vatson said some members of her family are in the “high-risk” category, her son also has asthma.

Decisions for when to move to blended or online instruction are based on criteria like active COVID-19 cases, positivity rate and hospitalizations—which the school district has condensed into the risk categories minimal, moderate, substantial and crucial.

As of now, Coeur d’Alene Schools believes that they sit at moderate, bordering on substantial risk. Under that category, students and staff are required to wear masks. Trae Mcluskie, an incoming junior at Lake City High School said he wouldn’t mind wearing one if it meant getting back in school. He is not a fan of virtual classes.

“I didn’t like it. It didn’t really feel like school and I didn’t feel like I learned that much,” the 17-year-old said. “I personally learn better in a classroom with other kids…”

The school district will follow up on August 17 with an update on the risk category and learning model for the first week of school.

Written comments on this draft plan will be accepted until Thursday, August 20. You can send your comments to Board Clerk Lynn Towne at ltowne@cdaschools.org.