Alturas Elementary School is shifting to a fully online learning model due to “the large number of staff members currently in quarantine,” according to a letter from the school district sent to parents.

Online learning will begin on Monday, Nov. 16. The Hailey school is tentatively planning to resume its hybrid learning plan on Monday, Nov. 30, the letter said, though that will depend on staff availability and guidance from the South Central Public Health District.

As of late Thursday afternoon, when the Blaine County School District last updated its COVID-19 dashboard, 10 staff members at Alturas were in quarantine due to confirmed or suspected exposure to the virus. Fifteen Alturas students were also in quarantine.

One Alturas staff member had an active confirmed case of COVID-19 between Nov. 6 and Nov. 12, according to the dashboard.

The school district has conducted contact tracing and has notified the families of all students who likely had close contact with those who have tested positive or who are in the testing process, the letter said. Close contact is defined as being within six feet of a person for at least 15 minutes, even while wearing face coverings.

Alturas Elementary was the only school in the district that did not have at least one active COVID-19 case among students between Nov. 6 and Nov. 12, according to the COVID-19 dashboard. Wood River High School had the highest number of active student cases—seven—while four students at Silver Creek High School were confirmed to have the virus. All in all, there were 19 active confirmed cases of coronavirus among students district-wide in the past week.

Wood River High School also had one active case of the virus among staff between Nov. 6 and Nov. 12, according to the district’s COVID-19 dashboard.

Alturas Elementary is the second school in the Blaine County School District to shift to a fully remote learning plan since the start of the academic year in September. Silver Creek High School has been fully remote for the past two weeks, but plans to resume the hybrid model on Monday.

Email the writer: gkauffman@mtexpress.com

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