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Post Falls schools to resume in ‘orange’

Staff Writer | August 19, 2020 1:08 AM

School board votes unanimously to reopen with A/B hybrid plan

POST FALLS — A unanimous vote by the Post Falls School Board during a special workshop Tuesday decided that schools will reopen in the “orange” risk level when school resumes this fall.

“It’s just due diligence on our part to see how this thing plays out,” Board Chairman Dave Paul said after the meeting, which was held in River City Middle School.

He said the board didn’t want to jump into making the call, “but yet we felt it important to give parents and teachers and the community time to make plans.”

“We kind of tried to find that happy medium where we could make a call, give enough time and let things play out a little bit, but enough time for people to plan,” he said.

This designation means the community is experiencing widespread and/or sustained transmission of COVID-19 with high likelihood or confirmed exposure within communal settings, with potential for rapid increase in suspected cases, according to the district’s reopening plan.

In this phase, Post Falls schools will follow an A/B hybrid schedule where learning will be part-time in person and part-time at home. This means one cohort of students will be in school buildings Mondays and Thursdays and the other cohort will go Tuesdays and Fridays with online learning when not physically in class. Wednesdays will be dedicated to online learning for all students with teachers providing online support as well as collaborating and participating in staff development. Additional cleaning protocols will also take place Wednesdays.

Superintendent Dena Naccarato said it’s prudent for the district to open in orange because it will be easier to social distance than in the “yellow” phase and it will overall be safer for students and staff.

“I think our families are going to be happy that we’ve made a color decision so they can make plans accordingly,” she said. “It’s important for people to realize that we recognize that this is different, it’s not perfect and we just appreciate people’s patience and understanding and good intentions as we move through this school year.”

Mom Rita Anderson and daughter Kyla Anderson, an incoming Post Falls High School junior, attended the meeting, where everyone was masked and seated six feet apart.

“I think as of right now, we’re opening where we should,” Rita said. “Let’s use this as a learning curve. If it works, we can transition slowly into yellow. If it doesn’t work, we’re not going to have everybody in here at the same time, so I’m for it as a good way to start.”

Kyla said she also thinks this is a good starting point.

“I think it will be interesting to see how it pans out and if anything changes,” she said.

“Sports have been going on too, it so far has worked out,” Rita added. “They’re really strict with all the guidelines, so if everybody adheres, I don’t see why it wouldn’t.”

The 2020-2021 school year in Post Falls is still expected to begin Sept. 8.

The Lakeland Joint School District will decide its reopening plans for Rathdrum-area schools when its school board meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Visit to review full details of each color in the Post Falls School District reopening plan.