BOISE, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - The Idaho State Board of Education voted Wednesday to extend a partial waiver of the Board rule requiring high school seniors complete a senior project in order to graduate during the 2020/21 school year.
A partial waiver enables schools that want to maintain the requirement for the current school year if they choose to do so. In March, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Board initially approved the partial waiver for the 2020 graduating class.
“Our students, teachers and administrators are dealing with a lot this year as a result of the pandemic,” State Board President Debbie Critchfield said. “Like last spring, the Board believes it will be very difficult to complete and manage senior projects on top of everything else that is happening this year and so we have waived the requirement for graduation, letting local education leaders to decide if they will be required in their schools.”
Back to School Framework Amended
The Board also approved amendments to the Idaho Back to School Framework, approved last summer in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The amendments increase the categories of community risk levels from three to four. The risk levels are identified by color.
Wednesday's action adds a new “orange” category meaning the order of risk levels in the amended Back to School Framework are now green, yellow, orange and red. The amendments reflect changes made by six of Idaho’s seven health districts, which have already adopted four risk levels. The changes allow more options in the red category than just remote learning.
The Back to School Framework provides guidance to school districts and public charter schools for making decisions in consultation with their local health district to safely operate their schools during the pandemic. The amended Back to School Framework is posted on the State Board of Education website.
Consolidation of Functions to Achieve Efficiencies
The Board approved the consolidation of risk management and internal audit functions at the four-year institutions into the State Board of Education Office in order to achieve efficiency and financial savings. In partnership with the institution presidents, this consolidation continues to demonstrate the Board’s commitment to operationalize recommendations developed as part of a system optimization study funded by the legislature.