Update March 19

Last Updated: 3/19/2020 3:40 PM

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We continue working to determine how we can best support our students, families and staff during these unprecedented times. I have a number of updates this morning, as well as information from last night’s Board of Trustees’ work session.

  • The Board of Trustees last night approved extending the school closure through at least April 3 so our staff can complete the monumental task of trying to shift to remote learning for our more than 10,000 students.
    • During the week of March 30, our staff will finish the work of identifying the critical content- and grade-level standards that need to be covered between now and the end of the school year. They also will determine the best way to deliver that learning to students remotely, which could include packets, online learning or a combination of both depending on school and/or grade level.
    • We are planning to be ready to roll out these lessons and remote learning as a district beginning April 6 if our schools remain closed.
    • In the interim, we will be providing families with resources they can use at home during the next two weeks to review key concepts. We plan to unveil this “Learning Center” on Friday on the district website at www.ifschools.org.
    • Please help us in that planning by completing the HomeTechSurvey if you haven’t already completed it.
    • The board also took action to indicate the school year will finish on May 29 according to our current calendar.
  • We learned on Wednesday the State Department of Education has approved our waiver to provide meals to students during the closure. We are excited to begin this service on Monday, March 23. “Grab ‘n Go” sacks with a breakfast and lunch will be available Monday through Friday at various locations around Idaho Falls. Watch for more information about those locations today.
  • In recognition of our classified staff’s important contributions and in light of the economic uncertainty that confronts many segments of our community, the Board of Trustees passed a resolution to provide regular pay to our full- and part-time classified staff for up to the first four weeks (20 days) of the COVID-19 school closure. If the closure extends beyond four weeks I will recommend to the board an equitable payment schedule for the remainder of the school year.
  • The Board of Trustees also made the difficult decision to postpone plans for a bond election in May. We desperately need to make updates and improvements to our school buildings. However, with all the uncertainty right now, it just isn’t prudent to move forward at this time. The county needed a resolution by Friday to put the measure on the May ballot. We will continue working on this issue and will revisit the bond election as soon as we can.

We will continue providing regular updates about how our teachers, staff and administrative team are working to address issues. For the latest information about the COVID-19 in the region, please refer to these sources: Hotline: 208-522-0310 or 855-533-3160 (toll free) or Website: www.EIPH.idaho.gov/ or Facebook: @EIPH.Idaho.


George Boland