With questions looming about what the rest of the school year might look like, the Blaine County School District board of trustees will meet Monday, March 30, to discuss next steps.

The district closed all schools and facilities on March 16, with a tentative plan to reopen April 6. Since then, more than 60 cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in Blaine County, and the State Board of Education has ordered a “soft closure” of all Idaho schools until at least April 20.

Blaine County has been under a state-mandated “shelter in place” order since March 20. A matching order for the whole state was issued Wednesday.

Now, the Blaine County School District must decide how to proceed.

The school board on Monday will consider extending the district’s planned closure until at least April 20 in light of the order from the State Board of Education. Trustees will also discuss whether, and how, to make up the days of school missed while schools are closed.

Last week, Superintendent GwenCarol Holmes said the district was planning two different options for the district’s reopening: resuming school as normal for healthy staff and students, or implementing a remote-learning system for students to work from home.

In the second scenario, all students would receive Chromebook laptops, Holmes said. Elementary students would have weekly learning packets available for pick-up in front of the school, and secondary students would have their lessons posted online.

Under the state-ordered “soft closure,” classrooms will be closed, but schools are expected to develop and implement remote learning and special education plans.

Members of the public may watch Monday’s meeting electronically on Zoom or a similar platform, board Chairman Keith Roark said. Instructions for accessing the meeting will be posted on the School District’s website.

Email the writer: gkauffman@mtexpress.com

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