All Blaine County School District schools and facilities are closed to the public and students until at least Monday, April 20.
PRESCHOOL AND KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION POSTPONED
Preschool and Kindergarten registration is postponed. The plan is to reschedule registration prior to the start of the next school year. Parents will be notified via the website, www.blaineschools.org, the district Facebook page @BlaineSchools, and a press release for local media.
SCHOOL CLOSURE EXTENDED UNTIL AT LEAST APRIL 20
The Board of Trustees voted to extend the School Closure until April 20 in order to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of students, staff and community members. Beginning on April 6, we will start distance learning. This will begin with teachers making personal contact with students in order to reestablish student-teacher relationships. At the April 14 regular Board Meeting, Trustees will assess the current situation and determine if we will continue with distance learning after April 20.
DISTANCE LEARNING BEGINS WEEK OF APRIL 6
Distance learning will begin the week of April 6. This will begin with teachers contacting students in order to reestablish student-teacher relationships and communicate what is being planned and what parents/students can expect for learning at home. There may be a phone call from a number you do not recognize if teachers are using their personal phones. We know that there are many questions and we encourage parents to watch for further information.
Parents, we need your help: Please update your contact information in Skyward by clicking on this link or contact your school secretary to update your information. Having accurate phone numbers, home address, mailing address, and email address will ensure parents and students receive all communication.
The first phase of transitioning to distance learning will be focused on high school students. These students already have district-issued Chromebooks, they have the highest requirements for instructional minutes and they need to continue working on their credits. During this phase, we will begin distributing Chromebooks to middle and elementary students to prepare for their distance learning.
School phone numbers
Alturas Elementary: 208-578-5090
Bellevue Elementary: 208-578-5080
Carey School: 208-578-5040
Ernest Hemingway STEAM School: 208-578-5050
Hailey Elementary: 208-578-5070
Silver Creek High School: 208-578-5060
Wood River Middle School: 208-578-5030
Wood River High School: 208-578-5020
3.27.20Dear Parents,I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones well or on the road to recovery. Over the last week, several members of the BCSD family have disclosed that they or a family member have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Thankfully, they have also indicated that they are recovering. While we cannot share who these individuals are, we are sharing that this terrible virus has impacted our school community.Please do all you can to keep yourself and your loved ones safe: frequent and thorough hand washing, staying home, and hardest of all - keeping your children from hanging out with their friends. Asking our youth to not socialize is a huge request, but also necessary in these times.We appreciate everything you are doing to keep yourself, your family and our community healthy.With gratitude,GwenCarol Holmes, Ed.D.Superintendent
3.27.20BLAINE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING SCHEDULED FOR MARCH 30, 5:30 p.m.All interested persons are invited to listen to the March 30 meeting through a Webex link. The link to the meeting will be posted by Monday, March 30 on the Board’s webpage. There will be no physical gathering of either the Board or the public.The public can email their comments and questions to email@example.com no later than 12:00 p.m., Monday, March 30 in order to be read and considered by the Board. Comments written in Spanish will be translated for the Board.
3.24.20Statement from the BCSD Board of Trustees: ¨The Blaine County School District Board of Trustees will meet on Monday, March 30, 2020. The Board will be considering the extension of school closures in light of the order from the State Board of Education that we adopt a “soft closure” until at least April 20. We will also be discussing plans for distance learning during the closure. We remain confident that our seniors who were on track to graduate at the time our initial closure began on March 16 will still be able to graduate this spring pursuant to the guidelines and waivers from the State Board of Education, yet to be finalized. All interested persons are invited to attend the March 30 meeting through an internet platform that is being tested at the present time. There will be no physical gathering of either the board or the public. Please refer to our website for instructions on how to access the meeting using your electronic devices.”Please note: The BCSD Board meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 30 at 5:30 p.m.
FREE GRAB-N-GO LUNCH DISTRIBUTION
Free for all children 18 and under. Must be present to pick up food. Children do not need a parent with them. This is not a place to socialize or congregate. Children are encouraged to pick up lunch and take it home with them. Children do not need to qualify for free and reduced lunch for the Grab-N-Go lunch. This is open to everyone!
TECHNOLOGY SURVEY FOR PARENTS AND STUDENTS
We are preparing for the possibility of an extended school closure, where students might be accessing instruction via an online format. For our planning purposes, please complete this survey. This survey will help us identify who needs computers and who needs internet connection at home for online learning.
COX INTERNET SERVICECox is offering low-cost internet service, free for one month to families who don’t have an internet connection. The service is free for the first 30 days until May 15; those free days begin on day one of service.Cox is working to quickly connect as many families as possible. We have two easy ways to get students connected:
Additionally, Cox recently made several enhancements to Connect2Compete. These include faster speeds, remote help desk support, a discounted computer program with PCs for People and a Learn from Home toolkit. Full details are available at www.Cox.com/Connect2Compete.
- Families can directly apply for Connect2Compete service at cox.com/connect2compete. The website is optimized for mobile use as most families are connecting with their mobile device.
- Separate from Connect2Compete, families can subscribe to Starter Internet at a reduced rate of $19.99 with one month free and no need to provide documentation. This offer provides a temporary boost up to 50 Mbps download speeds, no annual contract or qualifications to help low income and those impacted from Coronavirus challenges, like seniors and college students. The first month is free for this service until May 15. *
BCSD STAFF SHELTER IN PLACE PROCEDURE
In light of the shelter in place order for Blaine County instituted by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, the Blaine County School District Board of Trustees has ordered the following procedure be implemented immediately for the safety of our employees and our community. Employees in violation of these procedures risk disciplinary action, including dismissal for cause.
- All district employees should work from home, not in district buildings or in groups gathered in other locations. To be clear, "everyone" includes the maintenance team, superintendent, teachers, communications manager, custodians, admin assistants, finance manager, HR team, etc.
- Conference calls, video conferences, email, texting and other methods of communication should be used instead of in-person meetings.
- Only one employee shall be assigned to and allowed to be in each building. The superintendent will provide the board with a list of such authorized person for each school as soon as practicable and confirm that all employees have vacated the district office building and all other district buildings no later than 5:00 p.m today. No one else shall return to any district building until authorized by the board of trustees. Any changes to that list must be approved by the Board Chair or, in his absence, the Vice Chair or in the event neither Chair nor Vice Chair is available, any other trustee.
- We expect all employees to adhere to the mandated Shelter in Place policies.
Exceptions are granted for:
- Staff involved in preparing and delivering Grab and Go lunches. This has been deemed an essential service by the County EOC.
- Custodial staff, once given permission by EOC/SCPHD to go and disinfect buildings. Howie Royal will let staff know when this has been granted.
- The District Office may at times have up to three people due to the nature of tasks that can only be done from there: Communications, Finance, and the Superintendent. These staff are requested to stay in their own offices and communicate via phone/computer.
One staff member has been assigned to each building:
Alturas - Brad Henson
Bellevue - Mark Sauvageau
Carey - John Peck
Hailey - Toni Boush
Hemingway - Tish Short
SCHS - Mike Glenn
WRHS - John Pearce
WRMS - Rob Ditch
Technology - Teresa McGoffin
Buildings and Grounds - Howie Royal
These procedures will be in place until they are re-assessed at our board meeting on March 30. Please direct any questions or concerns to Board Chair Keith Roark.
BLAINE COUNTY RESIDENTS ASKED TO SHELTER IN PLACEGovernor Little announced a Shelter in Place Order for Blaine County. We want to encourage all the residents of Blaine County, Idaho to remain calm. According to the Blaine County Sheriff's office, there will be no road or highway closures connected to this order.Shelter in place means all individuals should stay home unless they need to perform essential activities or go to work to provide essential business or government services.As we learn more information we will provide updates on our Facebook page. Please be patient and remain calm. We want to reassure our community that we will get through this together.Register for emergency alerts: https://public.coderedweb.com/CNE/en-US/58D579DB8746?fbclid=IwAR30pExNpKyFChSJLGEYHI-iqaxA-OIjSq9kCcl61yXZZ37xCVVQ3nsMjL8Or text "BLAINECOUNTY" to 99411Here are trusted sources of information:
English (208) 737-1138Spanish (208) 737-5965Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Idaho Governor’s website: https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/
- CDC website https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
- South Central Public Health District COVID-19 Hotlines:
- Blaine County COVID-19 Hotline (208)788-5504 Website: https://www.co.blaine.id.us/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=161
MESSAGE FROM SUPERINTENDENTThe Blaine County School District is preparing to restart our academic programming on Monday, April 6. Two different scenarios are being planned for at this time:1) School resumes (after disinfecting all buildings) as normal with students and teachers working together in classrooms: spread out as much as possible and with increased handwashing, etc. Only healthy staff and students are expected to return.2) ‘School’ resumes with students learning remotely.Parents of elementary and middle school parents would be asked to drive by the school to pick up a packet that will include a Chromebook and Clever Badge (used to sign in to the network). High school students should already have their Chromebooks, but if not, we will issue Chromebooks to them on this day as well.
The decision will be made on March 30 by the Board of Trustees..We greatly appreciate the sacrifices everyone is making during this time to stay healthy and simultaneously support our children.With gratitude,GwenCarol Holmes, Ed.D.Superintendent
- Elementary students will have weekly learning packets available for pick-up in front of the school.
- Secondary students will have their lessons posted on Google Classroom or Schoology (which they are currently using).
EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT
We know this may be a challenging time for students and families. School counselors, nurses, psychologists, and social workers will be available during the school closure with limited availability during spring break.
In an unusual event, sometimes it can be hard to tell if a child is reacting in a typical way or whether they are having real problems coping, and might need extra support. If you are concerned, talk to your child’s doctor or a mental health provider. Below are resources which may be helpful for parents:
- American Academy of Pediatricians: Tips for parents about COVID-19
- National Association of School Psychologists: Parent tips for talking to children about COVID-19
- CDC’s Managing Stress and Anxiety related to COVID-19 and additional resources for coping with traumatic events.
You can contact student support staff through voicemail by calling your school office or by submitting a request for contact.
If there is a crisis or emergency during the time of the closure, students and families can access the supports below:
- Call 911
- The Crisis Hotline: 208-788-3596
- Luke’s Mental Health Center: (208) 727-8970 -- free 30 min. Mental Health Screenings
PRESS RELEASE FROM BLAINE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD CHAIRMAN KEITH ROARK
The Blaine County School District Board of Trustees is following the Coronavirus crisis very closely and we have scheduled additional special board meetings for the weeks ahead to stay on top of the situation and provide guidance as needed. We realize that many families have plans for out of state travel during the spring break and, although we advise against such travel, we have no authority to interfere with those plans. However, everyone should be aware that, pursuant to Idaho Code Section 33-512(7), we have the duty and authority “To exclude from school, pupils with contagious or infectious diseases who are diagnosed or suspected as having a contagious or infectious disease or those who are not immune and have been exposed to a contagious or infectious disease; and to close school on order of the state board of health and welfare or local health authorities.”
This means that before schools re-open measures will have to be taken to screen all returning students to assure those who are infected with the virus are excluded from school property until proper treatment can be received. How such screening will be structured has not yet been determined but we will have the process in place prior to re-opening. We hope to be able to re-open on April 6 but all students and parents should be prepared for extended closure if that becomes necessary. Please be assured that the district staff and board of trustees are working hard to manage this situation in the least intrusive and most effective manner possible.
TRUSTEE, ZONE 3
CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF TRUSTEES
BLAINE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT #61
Free Grab-N-Go Food DistributionFree for All Children 18 and underMust be present to pick up food. This is not a place to socialize or congregate. Children are encouraged to pick up lunch and then take it home with them.Schedule:Wednesday, March 18Thursday, March 19Friday, March 20*Future distribution dates will be announced later.
Practice Social DistancingSocial distancing helps slow down the spread of disease. Social distancing means staying 6 feet or at least an arm's length away from others.
- Limit the number of children your children are hanging out with while home from school. Do not let your child visit another child’s home if anyone in your home OR the other home is exhibiting signs of illness.
- We understand that many families will need to double up on childcare in order to ensure their children are cared for while parents are at work. We recommend that you partner with only one or two other families and keep your children’s social contact within that small group. This will limit the number of people that need to self-quarantine while determining the extent of the illness if someone in the group does become ill.
- As tempting as it might be, this break from school is not the time for play dates, socializing in large groups, sleepovers, etc. which increases the risk of disease spread. Rather is it time for social distancing. Socialize with a small, consistent group and do as much as possible outdoors where you can spread out. For more information see the CDC Checklist for Parents.