Officials begin preparing for what school could look like in the fall
School is out for the summer, but planning is already underway for the fall. With social and physical distancing in place, many are wondering what a new reality for students could be.
"I’ve heard everything from split sessions for larger school districts, maybe they have half the kids come in the morning and half in the afternoon, putting smaller groups into larger classrooms, doing a blended model where the kids come part of the week to school and then part of the week online, everything and anything is being discussed," said Debbie Critchfield, the president of the Idaho State Board of Education.
The Idaho State Board of Education has gathered a group of people from all over the state to begin making plans for next school year.
"The goal of that is to develop new criteria that will help guide school districts as they make decisions as to how they will reopen," Critchfield said.
And while each individual school district will make their own decisions, getting back to school safely is a number one priority.
"I haven’t talked to a superintendent, a trustee, a teacher of a first-grader that isn’t ready to get back to school in some fashion and physically be in the brick and mortar setting, and that’s the No. 1 goal and desire of every school district that I communicate with," Critchfield said.
And for one Twin Falls mother, her family had to adapt when school was moved online.
"Because usually they go to school and I trust her teachers and I love her teachers and Laney loves her teachers, and Boone as well, he loves his teachers," said Amber Balbas." Then they would come home and I would get to be the one that they told about their day and how much fun they had, so it was hard because there was no transition."
She is excited for her children to go back to school in the fall, even though it might look a little bit different.
"They will go to the same school, she’ll be in first grade and Boone will be in preschool, but they are excited, I know things will be different, but just the fact that they will get to go back to school and be in first grade will be really cool for her," Balbas said.