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Twin Falls schools set to open with traditional in-person schedule

Twin Falls schools set to open with traditional in-person schedule

Returning to school

Summer school students grab lunch from cook Angie Roland Monday outside of Bickel Elementary School in Twin Falls.

TWIN FALLS — Students, parents and staff in Twin Falls schools should prepare to return to class full-time next week.

Twin Falls School District Board of Trustees unanimously approved Monday returning to school in the level of operation that corresponds with the county’s risk level. South Central Public Health District has not yet released the risk level for Twin Falls County, but Superintendent Brady Dickinson said he spoke with health officials Monday morning who told him the county is in the “yellow” risk designation.

“We’re going to tell our staff to prepare to open up in yellow at this point,” Dickinson told the board.

School trustees recently approved a reopening plan that outlines four levels of district operation based on the presence of COVID-19 in the area, from mostly normal school days to fully remote instruction. The yellow level allows students to attend class in-person on a traditional schedule but includes a series of health precautions meant to encourage social distancing and prevent virus transmission. All students and staff are required to wear face masks in the yellow level.

If health officials change the risk level for Twin Falls County before school opens on Aug. 19, the district would open in the corresponding level of operation. Once the district opens, however, board members will need to vote to change levels, Dickinson said.

“Our intention is not to move between colors back and forth every week,” he said.

Last week, South Central Public Health District’s board approved a plan for determining the risk level in each county. Health officials will use several criteria for determining risk, including case totals, positivity rate and hospital capacity. Risk levels will be issued for counties, and the plan is not formal guidance for area schools, though many districts based their reopening plans on those assessments. Health officials are expected to release the risk levels later this week.

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