Revised Pandemic Operating Plan Passed by Board; Consolidates, Clarifies Guidance for Schools
December 15, 2020 - The Board of Trustees approved a revised pandemic operating plan this evening, consolidating and clarifying guidance offered by medical and government authorities throughout this year.
The plan was approved following a motion by Trustee Rene Ozuna which removes the section outlining criteria for middle and high school students to return full time. The motion also required school district administration bring forward new language around the criteria allowing flexibility for grades 6-12 to return full time. Trustee Ozuna also made a motion which unanimously passed, enabling Superintendent Mary Ann Ranells to make procedural changes as conditions warrant while making Trustees aware of these decisions.
Dr. David Pate, healthcare advisor to West Ada School District, reviewed the plan in detail for the Trustees during their meeting on December 8. He discussed the school building walk throughs he has experienced so far, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of how schools are keeping their communities safe through this pandemic.
New guidance has been incorporated into the plan at a rapid rate as scientific information is available. The present plan represents the totality of those small changes accompanied by medical and educational reasoning.
Every new case is investigated. School district leaders may swiftly quarantine students, classes or an entire school based on the severity of an outbreak and the chances for further spread. School district responses are made with expert assistance from Central District Health personnel. Responses are tailored to individual situations.
Substitute Teachers Help Keep Schools Open
Bret Heller, assistant superintendent of curriculum and learning, shared with Trustees sustainability of school operations has instigated many of the discussions around closing individual classrooms or schools so far – not necessarily cases in that community.
Substitute teachers provide continued instruction for students while teachers are away from school.
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