Back-To-School 101: Coeur d’Alene Public Schools decides to move students to five days a week

COEUR d’ALENE, Idaho — Students at Coeur d’Alene schools will soon be walking the hallways five days a week.

Last Thursday, the Coeur d’Alene school board voted to move students at every grade level to five days of in-person learning.

Supervisor of School Health Services, Nichole Piekarski says school nurses have been critical in tracking and analyzing COVID data during this pandemic.

It’s the summaries from that data provided to the school district that help make the decision to move forward or backward in opening schools.

Piekarski says over the course of the school year, COVID trends in Coeur d’Alene schools mirrored what was being seen out in the community, and right now, they’re seeing a down trend in cases.

While the school district isn’t declaring the ‘green’ or ‘slight risk’ category quite yet, it will be transitioning all grade levels to full-time in-person learning after spring break.

The school district is hoping to reach that category by the end of the school year.

If cases do rise again, it will be dealt with on a school-by-school basis.

“We do think it’s doable. Of course, we’re hopeful that our numbers will remain low and we know that we may need to individually address cases,” said Piekarski. “So if one school has more cases, if there is an outbreak, if there’s in-school transmission, we will have to address that on an individual level.”

When asked how guidelines might change, she says there will be an increased focus on masking and social distancing students where they can.

Piekarski also encourages it more than ever outside of school.

“I think COVID fatigue is real, but now is not the time to let up. We want to prevent another surge in our community, especially when we’re looking at the variants and wearing masks in schools keeps our schools open,” she said.

Coeur d’Alene Public Schools is also stressing you keep your student at home if they have a runny nose, cough or fever.

If your student is exposed to someone who has COVID, contact their school nurse for guidance on when it’s okay for them to return to school.

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