Post Falls School District releases plans for upcoming school year

POST FALLS, Idaho – Parents in Post Falls can rest a little easier. The school district just finalized its plans. The school board approved the plans Wednesday night.

What school will actually look like depends on the coronavirus situation the closer it gets to September.

Mother Mandy Holley says she’s comfortable with sending her four boys to school this fall.

“Because I think a lot for their mental health, they need some normalcy right now. I guess I’m willing to take the risks that come along with that,” she told 4 News Now.

She knows it’s not going to be easy for teachers when schools reopen.

“I worry for the teachers and being able to manage masks and social distancing, because kids are still kids, especially the younger ones,” she said.

The Post Falls School District says it’ll work with Panhandle Health to figure out what they will and will not do.

The district went with a color system for its plans.

Green zone: If there are isolated cases in the community and no evidence of exposure, students are expected to attend school in-person, full-time.

There will be an option for kids to learn at home if parents aren’t comfortable sending them to school.

Limited materials and supplies will be shared. There will also be scheduled sanitation schedules.

Yellow zone: This means there is community spread of COVID-19 and a potential for a quick increase in cases.

In this zone, students will still be at school, but they’ll be put in groups – cohorts- and will interact with those same kids.

There would be new protocols in place for volunteers and visitors. Field trips will not be allowed, and lunch times could be staggered. Students could also be eating in other areas in school or outside.

Orange zone: To get to this zone, there would be widespread transmission in the community.

At this point, students will switch to an alternate schedule, and will be learning online and in-person.

Students would be on an A/B schedule, going to school on Mondays and Thursdays, or Tuesdays and Fridays. Wednesday would be a day for teachers to help students with online learning.

Red zone: This means there is an even larger spread of COVID-19 in the community, where healthcare is impacted.

In this zone, students would have to stay home and learn from there. The district would work to identify certain school sites for grab-and-go meals.

The school district plans to assist families with laptops who don’t have one. They’ll also work help families get access where needed.

As of now, the school district does not know which color zone it will reopen in. They will know closer to the end of August.

However, Kootenai County is seeing more people test positive for the virus.

A federal report published by the New York Times said Idaho is in the “red zone” from numbers from July 26.

In the report, Kootenai County is one of the top three counties in the state which had the highest number of new cases in the last three weeks.

You can read the Post Falls School District’s plans here.

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