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Borah moves to 'red' COVID level

| December 16, 2020 1:00 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — Borah Elementary was elevated to the "red" COVID risk category on Tuesday and will shift to at-home learning for the rest of the week.

A staffing shortage related to COVID-19 positive cases and associated quarantines has reached the point that the school is unable to continue to fully provide on-site services this week. The building closure includes the School PLUS child care program at Borah. The district is arranging for its custodial team to deep clean the building this week.

Today will be a normal remote learning day. All students will be in remote instruction Thursday and Friday. The district is working on a plan to make school meals available for pickup Thursday and Friday and will send families the details. Grab-and-Go student meals can be picked up at no charge 10 to 10:45 a.m. today at Lakes, Canfield and Woodland middle schools. Children do not need to be present.

A letter to families explains that the district expects to resolve this staffing challenge before the end of winter break, and to resume the usual schedule of in-person attendance four days a week starting Jan. 4. An email update will be sent out by Jan. 1 to confirm.

Staff absences have led to a reliance on substitute teachers. District resources have been shifted to ensure buildings remains open and functional.

"This week, however, we reached critical shortages among teachers and instructional support staff, as well as in other key positions supporting school operations," a Tuesday letter to Borah families states. "It became clear that these shortages would compromise our ability to effectively serve students in the building.

"We understand this announcement gives you little time to prepare for having your students stay home the rest of this week and be ready for remote learning. We will do all we can to support students over the next few school days and provide a positive learning experience for them, despite the need for this temporary building closure."