To the students, parents, staff, and patrons of the Buhl School District
The Buhl Board of Trustees has approved starting the 2020-21 school year using a modified schedule. The reason for implementing a modified schedule is to be able to create the safest possible environment for our students and staff during this phase of the pandemic. The board’s decision will ensure that we can create more social distancing in our small classrooms and reduce congestion in common areas like hallways and lunchrooms. This decision is based on a review of the responses we received from the parent survey administered in late July and our Reopening School Plan. https://www.buhlschools.org/covid-19
The modified schedule will be in effect beginning August 17 and will last until September 11, after which a decision will be made based on the current risk level of the virus in Twin Falls County as determined by the South Central Public Health Department’s Regional Risk Level Plan. Our plan and schedule will be adjusted as the data involving the spread of COVID 19 changes. https://www.phd5.idaho.gov/Documents/Coronavirus/Regional-Risk-Level-Plan.pdf
The modified schedule provides that half of the enrolled students will attend school on alternating days. Students will be organized into two groups based on the first letter of their last names. Students with last names that fall between the letters A – K will be in Group A. Students with last names beginning L – Z will be in Group B.
Here’s an example of how this will work for the first week of school: Group A will attend school on Monday and Wednesday. Group B will attend school on Tuesday and Thursday. While Group A is at school, Group B will be home working on assignments posted by their teachers. While Group B is at school, Group A will be home working on assignments posted by their teachers. Friday will be a distance learning day for all students.
We are looking at the possibility of having some students on campus on Fridays. Planning for these days will occur at the building level. It is possible that students may be invited to attend a Friday session for half a day in order to receive Special Education Services, or another federally required service, or perhaps to receive tutoring when recommended by their teacher. These program options will be developed by the building principals in collaboration with their staff and communicated to students and their parents at an appropriate time.
We still have some parents who have expressed interest in an entirely online education for their children this year. We have a limited number of openings through the Idaho Digital Learning Academy (IDLA) for both elementary (K-6) and secondary (7-12) students. You should contact the building administrator to learn more about these options.
We of course would like to move back to Stage 1 (Green) on our plan as soon as possible which would allow us to implement a traditional in-person school day for our students. The status of the virus spread and our ability to influence that by practicing social distancing, cleaning and disinfecting our facilities, hand washing and hand sanitizing, as well as wearing face coverings (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) will be the most effective methods to make that happen.
We appreciate your support. This is not the ideal situation, but like schools across Idaho and the nation, we are attempting to get kids back in the classroom in as safe an environment as possible and as quickly as possible. Thank you.