POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - UPDATED 7:00 p.m. Jan. 5, 2021: Middle school and high school students in Pocatello and Chubbuck will continue learning from home part-time until March.
The School District 25 Board of Trustees voted 4-1 in favor of keeping secondary learners in the Hybrid Instructional Model until March 1, the start of the final trimester. The Board plans to reevaluate in late February, before making the switch to the Modified Traditional Instructional Model, which would send students back to in-person school 5 days a week.
Jackie Cranor, one of the three Board members facing a recall election in March, was strongly in favor of having secondary students return to full in-person learning in January.
"I think we have tried our best but at some point, we've got to get our kids back in school," Cranor said.
However, the rest of the Board raised several concerns about returning to the traditional model too soon. The Board worries that having all the older students in class every day will make it harder for teachers to social distance and stay safe while waiting for the vaccine.
Another concern was the students who would like to move online when the district moves back to full in-person learning, as they would have to wait until March to switch to online class.
For now, secondary students will continue the hybrid schedule, going to school twice a week and working from home three times a week.
No changes were made for elementary school students.
ORIGINAL: Students in School District 25 have been learning in a hybrid model for months, in order to help slow spread of the coronavirus.
On Tuesday evening, the Board will consider changing the hybrid schedule or leave it as is.
Currently, the district is using a modified traditional instructional model for elementary learners and a hybrid instructional model for secondary learners.
School district administration will present three option to the Board to consider moving forward:
Option 1 - Remain in a Modified Traditional Instructional Model for elementary classes for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year and transition from Hybrid to a Modified Tradition Model for secondary classes effective March 1, 2021.
Option 2 - Remain in a Modified Traditional Instructional Model for elementary classes for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year and transition from Hybrid to Modified Traditional for secondary classes effective Jan. 19, 2021.
Option 3 - Remain in a Modified Traditional Instructional Model for elementary for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year; transition from Hybrid to a Modified Traditional Model for middle school effective Jan. 19, 2021 and transition from Hybrid to a Modified Traditional Model for high school effective March 1, 2021.
The Board will take into consideration how surrounding school districts have adjusted their schedules, the area's Covid-19 case report and Idaho's vaccination schedule.
Southeastern Idaho Public Health said in a statement to the Board they anticipate educators and staff will start to get their first Covid-19 vaccination doses in February, depending on the amount of vaccine SIPH receives for the region. That means it likely won't be until be mid to late March or April for all teachers who want to be vaccinated to complete the two-dose series.
"We recognize this is a challenging situation, with no clear answers and no one “correct” path," SIPH said in their statement. "SIPH staff are supportive of each of the options SD25 is considering for moving forward."
The meeting will be held in the School District 25 main office on Pole Line Road at 5 p.m.