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D91 discusses split session schedule after failed bond


IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - Idaho Falls School District 91 is looking for solutions after their most recent bond failed in November. Among the projects in the bond, the district was looking for a new building for Idaho Falls High School.

Now, some tough decisions will have to be made as the district tries to figure out how to address overcrowding. One of the options talked about at the December 14 board meeting was a split session schedule for Idaho Falls High School.

In a split session, half of the school would run on a schedule that goes from 7:00 am to 1:25 pm. The other half of the school would go to school from 1:30 pm to 7:55 pm. The school calendar, in regards to school starting and end dates, would remain the same.

The concern with the plan was brought up immediately by superintendent Dr. James Shank.

"Everybody that you talk to that's actually gone through split sessions themselves personally has come out with a very negative experience."

Paula Trudell, a teacher and golf coach at Idaho Falls High School, expressed her concerns with split scheduling.

"As a teacher, I know that this schedule is not effective for kids, but mostly for a mom, this schedule makes it impossible for me to work here, and that's the part that upsets me most."

Principal Dr. Christopher Powell added his apprehension about the potential effect on his staff.

"We have great teachers and they will be picked up in a heartbeat if they put their applications out. That's going to destroy more than just the school, it will have a negative impact on the district for a long time."

The board agreed to pursue other options for the 2023-2024 school year and put off any split sessions, for now. However, board member Paul Haacke pointed out that the possibility still looms if the situation does not change.

"If we're never going to build another facility, another high school, split sessions will be part of this district."

Other potential options for next year include adding a zero hour at Idaho Falls High School or finding classroom space at some off-campus buildings within the district.

To address the needs of the elementary schools affected by the failed bond, the district will look into potential boundary changes in upcoming board meetings.

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Dylan Carder

Dylan is a morning news anchor for Local News 8.


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