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Cd’A delays school reopening

by DEVIN WEEKS
Staff Writer | August 17, 2020 2:06 PM

The first day of school for students in the Coeur d’Alene School District has been pushed out almost a week from Sept. 8 to Sept. 14.

The decision was unanimously approved today during a special virtual meeting, in which trustees, district officials and local health officials discussed protocols for going back to school. The delay is expected to give teachers and staff more time to prepare and coordinate how to implement safety measures as students return to school buildings amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The school board also unanimously voted to reopen school in the “orange,” or moderate, COVID-19 risk level. This means blended learning will be in effect — students will attend class in person two days a week, with half on Mondays and Tuesdays and the other half on Thursdays and Fridays. Remote learning will take place three days a week. Masks will be required for everyone on school property and buses.

Board Chairman Casey Morrisroe said he is “disappointed” school won’t be starting in the minimal phase, but he agrees with Superintendent Steve Cook that while the data is trending better, it is uncertain the district will substantially be in the “yellow” phase in time for the first day of school.

“That was my hope, that we could be in the yellow category and be open for five days a week,” Morrisroe said. “Really, what Kootenai Health shared with us about the blips on the radar we’ve seen after the holidays and those sorts of things I guess gave me a little pause, that I feel more comfortable with opening in the orange.”

The board will conduct a final vote on reopening framework and discuss operations in further detail during a workshop at 5 p.m. Aug. 24.