West Ada School Board votes in favor of alternating school schedule

West Ada School Board members voted in favor of moving to an alternating schedule for students while the district is still in the “red” category for cases of COVID-19.

Board members voted 3-1 with one abstention in a special board meeting Thursday afternoon.

CBS2 reports the meeting was called after Trustee Ed Klopfenstein abruptly resigned as chairman of the board in the meeting Tuesday evening. Trustee Klopfenstein remains on the board. During the Thursday meeting, Trustee Philip Neuhoff was appointed as the new chairman. Char Jackson was appointed as temporary Clerk of the Board.

The meeting also allowed public testimony, in which teachers spoke to board members. Eric Thies, President of the West Ada Education Association, spoke against having teachers conduct in-person learning while the district is in the “red” category per Central District Health’s metrics.

“If we are not remote on Monday, we are not going into our buildings,” he said. In a statement earlier Thursday, the WAEA said, “members of the West Ada Education Association are prepared to take whatever action is necessary to ensure that the voices of educators are not marginalized and that the school board will act quickly and decisively with safety as their top priority.”

Trustee Rene Ozuna made the motion at the end of the meeting. Before making the motion she addressed staff members. “We are listening to your concerns, we are hearing you, we are taking steps to make sure that our safety protocols are working and they are being addressed,” she said.

“That said, we also don’t know that our technology will support all of our students being 100 percent remote,” she said. Trustee Ozuna said the motion was meant to find a balance between the two.

The alternating schedule will begin on Monday, October 19th.

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