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I.F. teachers union not happy with D91’s plan to reopen

IFEA President Angela Gillman

The Idaho Falls Education Association released a statement Friday that it was sideswiped by Idaho Falls School District 91’s plan to reopen.

“The new option the board adopted came out of the blue, with no input or prior knowledge from district staff or the Association,” said Angela Gillman, President of the Idaho Falls Education Association.

District 91 trustees voted 3-2 to move forward with a plan that has students attending class in-person four days a week, Monday through Thursday for the first six weeks, with online classes on Fridays.

Gillman said the plan was never discussed before the meeting.

“The trustees disregarded the hard work that went into a plan that our Superintendent, educators, administrators, patrons had worked on the past 3 months,” Gillman said.

IFEA said they met a ‘yellow’ plan that was adopted in a previous school board meeting in July. The plan had three phases for opening safely. It included returning to school in person with precautions for both students and staff.

“We're looking at high schools with 1200 - 1500 students. It's impossible to do social distancing when it's time to change classes in the hallways... It can't happen,” Gillman said. “Our classes are already full, they're already crowded, then to put another layer like this on top of it just exacerbates the problem. We want to stay open and we feel that if we open in this way we are going to end up closing real soon.”

The association said they aren't against the board members themselves, just their decision.

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