Coeur d’Alene students return to hybrid learning amid COVID-19 spike

COEUR d’ALENE, Idaho — High school students in Coeur d’Alene are getting ready to return to hybrid learning.

The district just brought its students back into the classroom full time on October 5, but now they’re reversing course. The school district says a mix of in-person and online classes is the safest option as COVID-19 cases spike in schools.

“It’s interesting, it’s tough, it’s hard.”—That’s how freshman Kaydance Bean sums up this school year.

The Lake City freshman started the year switching between online and in-person classes. She said that at one point, 20 kids were gone from her band class.

“It’s a lot of people gone, and it’s kind of scary to think that I could be someone who ends up going, leaving because of COVID,” said Bean.

Just last week, the school district said nearly 14-percent of Lake City High students were in quarantine because they either had COVID-19 or were exposed to it.

RELATED: Nearly 15 percent of Lake City High School students quarantined

“It’s a little expected having more students there,” said student Jaron Bean. “Its just a natural consequence.”

In the hybrid model—from September 16 to October 1—14 people in the district tested positive for the virus.

Students returned to class October 5th.

Between then and now, the number of positive cases has more than doubled. 34 people tested positive and hundreds are quarantining.

RELATED: LIST: Keeping track of COVID-19 in local school districts

Panhandle Health recently moved Kootenai County into the ‘moderate risk’ category, reporting the two highest days of positive cases since the pandemic began.

The school board meets Monday to decide whether the entire district should be hybrid learning. It’s a move that worries mom Andrea Bond, who has a second grader.

“When you watch your kids struggle, you as a parent struggle,” said Bond. “You want to get angry, you want to get mad and you know you can’t.”

The school district also wants to change the hybrid schedule for elementary and middle school students. They’re looking into having those students at school four days a week and learning from home on Wednesdays instead the two days at school, and three days from home.”

Bond said that’s a step in the right direction but it doesn’t solve everything.

“When they stop feeling comfortable and they start feeling miserable and not wanting to go, I feel like the learning is going to decline,” said Bond. “I want the best for my kids, I want the best for everybody’s kids.”

The school board will meet tomorrow at 11:30 p.m., and will broadcast the meeting live on YouTube.