Full speed ahead for WSD

by JOSH MCDONALD
Staff Reporter | October 15, 2020 3:16 PM

SILVERTON — The Wallace School District is following the lead of many other districts in the region and will be returning to a five day-a-week, in-person schedule by Nov. 2.

During their recent school board meeting earlier this week, the WSD amended their COVID-19 Operational Plan to add a new level.

WSD Superintendent Todd Howard made the announcement on Wednesday with a letter that went out to staff and parents informing them of the changes.

The new, low to minimal community transmission, level 2 allows for all students to attend school five days a week. Starting on Nov. 2, students at Wallace Jr./Sr. High School will attend school from 8:05 a.m. through 2:49 p.m., Monday through Friday. Students at Silver Hills Elementary School will attend from 8:15 a.m. through 3:15 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 8:15 a.m. through 12:15 p.m. on Fridays.

With Kellogg High School returning to full time, in-person instruction beginning this Monday, Wallace Jr./Sr. High School Principal Chris Lund believes that WHS will be the last school in North Idaho to make the transition back to five days a week and is looking forward to taking another step towards a normal routine.

“We’re excited to have the kids all come back together,” Lund said. “I think us taking the precautions that we have taken and continue to take are all part of what got us here.”

Lund appreciated that Howard’s announcement came with a grace period and that families will be able to, “let it sink in” that they were returning to total in-person classes.

The hurdles that have come with the current hybrid digital/in-person schedule have been universal, but Lund is happy with how he and his staff were able to get first-hand experience with them. Moving forward, Lund is confident that they will be able to handle full-time, in-person education and be ready to transition back to a hybrid schedule if the situation arises that they have to do so.

“We’ve been very lucky to not have to deal with any positive cases,” Lund said. “Kids only being here on an ‘A-day’ or a ‘B-day’ was an issue that we had to overcome in regard to our kids and their learning. We’ll go five days and if there’s an issue, we can easily transition back to a hybrid schedule, but what I absolutely don’t want, and I don’t think anyone in the state or country wants, is a repeat of last spring and to be in full-remote learning.”

Moving back to full in-person instruction doesn’t come without risks, but Lund is happy for his staff to be able to get back to a more effective lesson plan.

“Without a doubt, teachers will be more effective,” Lund said. “But the most important thing is that we’ll have students here. Students need a routine, teachers need a routine, and working with only half of the students at a time messes that up.”

For more information please, contact the Wallace School District at 208-753-4515.