Friday, September 18, 2020
Blaine School Students to Mix Up Education. Will Face Masks Get Extra Credit
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Saturday, August 8, 2020
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

Students in the Blaine County School District will receive a mix of online schooling with classroom schooling when they return to school on Sept. 8.

The district’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously Thursday night to have students attend school two days a week.

Board President Keith Roark said he didn’t think current COVID conditions in the county permitted having children in the classroom five days a week.

Eight Blaine County residents tested positive this past week—four of them in the past two days.

The board had looked earlier at a plan that would have had kindergarten students through third-graders attending school five days a week. It’s believed younger students do not respond as well to online instruction as older students.

Those whose last names are in the first half of the alphabet will attend on Mondays and Wednesdays. The rest will attend on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Students will engage in online instruction on the days they are not in the classroom, including Fridays.

In Ada County Central District Health has recommended that all schools start the year online due to substantial community spread of COVID-19 in Boise and surrounding cities.

But Bishop Kelly High School—a private Catholic School—announced Thursday night that it will open its doors on Aug. 17, using protocols administrators believe will keep its 800 students safe.

That school, too, will use an alternating schedule to limit the number of students on campus at one time. Juniors and seniors will be on campus two days a week and freshmen and sophomores, two to three days a week.

Students will wear masks and additional teachers have been hired so that class sizes can be limited to 16. The school also installed a $75,000 air filtration system.

Elsewhere, an Oklahoma teacher, who is also a 72-year-old prostate cancer survivor, says he will offer extra credit to students who keep their face masks on during class, even though students in his school district are not required to wear masks.

Some teachers also have purchased medical-grade air purifiers for their classrooms, according to NBC News. And those who want them will have clear shower curtains to hang around their desk and near the interactive whiteboard to shield them from the virus.

 COVID UPDATE

After 692 new cases on Thursday, Idaho reported 523 new cases on Friday for a total of 23,922. It gained six more deaths for a total of 229.

 Blaine County held steady at 575 cases.

 

 

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