Boise School Board Votes to
Start School Year Virtually
District Extends Deadline to Add/Drop Boise Online School
Boise, ID -- 08/05/2020 -- In a Special Board Meeting held on August 4, 2020, members of the Boise School Board voted unanimously to begin the 2020-2021 school year virtually for all Boise School District students after considering guidance from medical professionals, a recommendation from Central District Health, a recommendation from the Boise School District administration, as well as oral and written public comments received. The 2020-2021 school year begins on Monday, August 17, 2020.
“We don’t make this decision lightly,” explained Board President Nancy Gregory. “We thank everyone who provided us input. It’s clear our community values education. We understand the level of stress, anxiety and uncertainty our families, staff members and community are feeling because of this latest surge in COVID-19 cases in our community. We will heed the advice of medical experts who recommend to us that the safest way to begin this school year is for our students to attend virtually at this time.”
In making the decision, the Board and District administration are committed to taking a measured approach to returning safely to school, possibly as early as September 8, 2020, depending on guidance from health experts. “We will continue to meet weekly with medical professionals, including Central District Health, to monitor and evaluate the latest information in making any future decisions about returning to in-person learning,” added Gregory.
The Board also approved following recommendations from the Southern Idaho Conference (SIC) regarding athletics. Currently, the SIC recommends postponing the start of athletic practices from August 10 to August 17. SIC superintendents will continue meeting to evaluate the postponement of practices and when competitions can be held safely.
“Each of us has an important responsibility to control those things that will help get our students back in school safely,” said Boise School District Superintendent Coby Dennis. “That includes wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing, washing your hands regularly and disinfecting surfaces. By practicing those safety precautions we can mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and get our students back to learning in school.”
Board members are aware that their decision has implications for families. To assist families with child care, food, social and emotional support, the Boise School District is working with local community child care providers, Boise Community Schools and Boise Food & Nutrition Services, to address the needs of families. Families with immediate basic needs can also call the Boise Schools Foundation’s SAFE Hotline at (208) 472-2233 to be connected with a Boise Schools social worker. The SAFE Hotline is available in English, Spanish, Arabic and Swahili.
Boise Online School Enrollment
In light of the Board’s decision to start the school year online, the final drop/add date for Boise Online School is Friday, August 7, 2020 at 12 p.m. Registration occurs by contacting your neighborhood school. After this deadline, students must be committed to Boise Online School or their neighborhood school for the entire 1st semester that ends December 22. If you choose to stay enrolled in the Boise Online School you will have the option to transition back to your neighborhood school at the end of the semester.
Boise Online School is for families who do not want in-person learning for the semester. Students not enrolled in Boise Online School who are currently enrolled in their physical school will be provided online instruction led by their classroom teacher, until such time as it is deemed safe to return to school.
Each Boise School District student will be provided access to a device for online learning and families can expect more instructions from their school and/or District in the near future.