No change for Coeur d’Alene Schools; board votes to stay in ‘orange’ category

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — Students in the Coeur d’Alene School district will remain in a hybrid education model, as the school board voted Monday not to move the school district risk level from orange/moderate to slight/yellow.

Right now, Coeur d’Alene Schools are in “moderate” risk, which means kids are doing a mixture of in-person and online learning, with groups alternating days of the week. Masks are required on school buses and on school property.

In moving to yellow, schools would be fully open, including gyms and cafeterias. Masks would still be required and social distancing would remain in place “when possible.”

The board made their decision as health officials shared data showing there has been an uptick in the rolling average of new cases and an increase in hospitalizations.

Despite saying he was “alarmed” by recent trends, board trustee Casey Morrisroe was the only board member who supported moving into the yellow category.

“With flu season coming, we may never have a chance to be in yellow,” said Morrisroe.  “I would still be supportive of moving to yellow.”

Other trustees disagreed with making the change, especially based on the numbers put forth by the health district.

Trustee Jennifer Brumley said she came into the meeting planning to vote to move to yellow, but that changed when she saw the most recent data showing an uptick in cases.

“This sucks, let me just say that,” Brumley said. She said she and other board members want to get kids back into the classroom, but did not feel it was responsible based on the data.

Coeur d’Alene Schools just went back to school last week. Already, they have see one school with a COVID-19 outbreak. The board said Monday they have also had 30-40 staff infected, but not through school activities.

For complete information on how the school district will make these decisions and what a transition of phases will look like, you can read the reopening plan at this link.

The next school board meeting was not yet set.

PAST COVERAGE: Coeur d’Alene Schools to start year under ‘moderate’ COVID-19 risk