West Ada split on COVID-19 transparency and online class

The board debated a return to online-only classes and other modifications to district plans.

The West Ada School Board discussed the district’s enrollment decrease, how and when administrators will publish district COVID-19 data and if the district should return to an all-online model at a meeting Tuesday.

The Idaho Press reports that the district has lagged behind some of its neighbors, such as the Boise and Kuna school districts, in publishing coronavirus case totals by school. Administrators were slow to release case numbers for the district as a whole, too. They say they were relying on the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to publish data, which it did earlier this month by school.

“We were relying on Idaho Health and Welfare data. It appeared to be incomplete,” said spokeswoman Char Jackson at the meeting.

She said IDHW’s breakdown by school was incorrect in part because it counted students who

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Primary class sizes to be cut while more teachers and special needs assistants hired

Smaller primary classes and the recruitment of more resource teachers and special needs assistants (SNAs) are central planks of the €8.9bn education budget for 2021.

Fianna Fáil has held good to its promise to restart the process of reducing the pupil-teacher ratio (PTR) in the most overcrowded classrooms in the EU.

It will come via an increase in the allocation of teachers to schools, with one teacher for every 25 pupils next September, down from the current 26:1, and it means an extra 307 primary teacher jobs.

While the average class size in the EU is 20, in Ireland it is 24, with one in five primary pupils taught in a class of 30 or more.

There is also a commitment to 403 special education teachers, a further 87 posts for primary schools at risk of losing a teacher because of falling enrolments, and another 268 teacher jobs, across primary

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Students Trickle Back to Class as San Diego Unified Focuses on Special Needs

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Children went back to the classroom in San Diego Unified School District as part of Phase 1 to help special needs students. The girl is returning to Lafayette Elementary School in Clairemont.
Children went back to the classroom in San Diego Unified School District as part of Phase 1 to help special-needs students. The girl is returning to Lafayette Elementary School in Clairemont. Photo by Chris Stone

San Diego classrooms are no longer empty. Tuesday morning, children were inspecting school gardens, doing work in the halls and enjoying lessons on a classroom’s giant smart board.

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Special-needs students returned to limited on-campus instruction in the San Diego Unified School District’s elementary schools in the first phase of returning all students to in-person learning.

“What we are seeing is a lot of struggle with the social and emotional aspects,” said Principal Anne McCarty at Lafayette Elementary School in Clairemont. “Parents are having to be the teachers and work and do everything, so we are trying to help out as much

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Primary school pupil-teacher ratio ‘to be reduced by one student per class’



a little girl wearing a hat: Halle Langan 8 returning to school in Gardiner Street Primary School in August.


© Leah Farrell
Halle Langan 8 returning to school in Gardiner Street Primary School in August.

THE GOVERNMENT HAS pledged that pupil-teacher ratios at primary level will be reduced by an average of one student per class. 

In today’s Budget 2021 speech, Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform said this will be achieved by the addition of more teaching posts.  

“I’m delighted to announce today a further reduction in the staffing schedule at primary level by reducing the pupil-teacher ratio by 1 point to 25:1, by providing over 300 mainstream teaching posts,” McGrath said.

This is in addition to over 265 posts I’m providing for to meet demographic pressures across primary and post primary levels. 

McGrath had earlier acknowledged the “huge efforts of our teachers” in facilitating the return to school of students in September. 

On special education needs, the minister also outlined a government pledge to hire 990 extra

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COVID-19 ends snow days? Schools use online class to cancel them

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A high school junior shares a glimpse of what digital learning is like during the coronavirus pandemic.

USA TODAY

Years before the coronavirus hit, two rural school districts developed plans to put learning online. They were ready for a snowstorm and instead found themselves prepared for a pandemic. 

For the Bancroft-Rosalie Community Schools in northeast Nebraska, the move online took four years, gradually incorporating software into daily lesson plans to use during inclement weather or in place of hiring substitutes when a teacher was absent. The district used digital learning to abolish snow days – a trend that has expanded to New York City and could work its way across the country. 

Taking classes online full-time happened in a way no one could have anticipated. On March 11, after a possible widespread COVID-19 exposure at a girls’ state basketball game, staff had about an hour to get roughly 285

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COVID ends snow days? These schools used online class to cancel them

CLOSE

A high school junior shares a glimpse of what digital learning is like during the coronavirus pandemic.

USA TODAY

Years before the coronavirus hit, two rural school districts started developing plans to put learning online. They were ready for a snowstorm and instead found themselves prepared for a pandemic. 

For the Bancroft-Rosalie Community Schools in northeast Nebraska, the move online took four years, gradually incorporating online software into daily lesson plans to use during inclement weather or in place of hiring substitutes when a teacher was absent. The district used digital learning to abolish snow days — a trend that has spread to New York City and could work its way across the country. 

Taking classes online full-time happened in a way no one could have anticipated. On March 11, following a possible widespread COVID-19 exposure at a girls’ state basketball game, staff had about an hour to get

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Online learning improved, go back to class now?

Gisselle Trejo is set to go at 9 a.m., seated at the kitchen table of her family’s San Jose apartment behind a cardboard screen lovingly decorated with her name and colorful inspirations like “You are smart.” She’s watching for her kindergarten teacher to appear on the electronic tablet.

Her older brother, Daniel, is at his bedroom desk behind his own cardboard screen and “You are awesome” motivations, a tablet and laptop computer at the ready for his 4th-grade math test.

By most accounts, this so-called distance learning is much improved over last spring, when the rapidly spreading coronavirus pandemic forced sudden classroom closures in March. For the Trejos at Linda Vista Elementary, that meant just picking up paper assignment packets to complete at home — “no structure, no schedule, nothing,” said Gisselle and Daniel’s mother, Jessica Trejo.

Now, like most of California’s more than 6 million students, they have a

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Unequal education: Pandemic widens race, class gaps in U.S. schools

YORK, Pa. (Reuters) – Natalie Cruz, 12, missed math and language arts instruction one recent morning because the school’s virtual interface would not load. Carlos, her 8-year-old brother, sat beside her at the kitchen table, studying with last year’s workbooks because the district had yet to supply him with a PC, weeks after instruction started online.

Belen Cruz tries to help her daughter, Natalie, log on to her school’s online learning platform at their home in York, Pennsylvania, U.S. September 18, 2020. The online platform would not load for almost an hour, during which Natalie was not able to get any school work done. Picture taken September 18, 2020. REUTERS/Rachel Wisniewski

Across town, Zachary and Zeno Lentz, 5 and 9, were at their high-performing elementary schools, where they attend in-person on Tuesdays and Fridays. They learn remotely the other three days, assisted by their college-educated mother, a social worker who

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Unequal Education: Pandemic Widens Race, Class Gaps in U.S. Schools | Top News

YORK, Pa. (Reuters) – Natalie Cruz, 12, missed math and language arts instruction one recent morning because the school’s virtual interface would not load. Carlos, her 8-year-old brother, sat beside her at the kitchen table, studying with last year’s workbooks because the district had yet to supply him with a PC, weeks after instruction started online.

Across town, Zachary and Zeno Lentz, 5 and 9, were at their high-performing elementary schools, where they attend in-person on Tuesdays and Fridays. They learn remotely the other three days, assisted by their college-educated mother, a social worker who can do her job from home.

The Cruz and Lentz children are separated by just a few miles in York, Pennsylvania. But they are a world apart in educational opportunities, a gap education experts say has widened amid the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic.     

Belen Cruz, a single mother and nurse, is most worried about

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Pandemic widens race, class gaps in U.S. schools

By Nathan Layne

YORK, Pa. (Reuters) – Natalie Cruz, 12, missed math and language arts instruction one recent morning because the school’s virtual interface would not load. Carlos, her 8-year-old brother, sat beside her at the kitchen table, studying with last year’s workbooks because the district had yet to supply him with a PC, weeks after instruction started online.

Across town, Zachary and Zeno Lentz, 5 and 9, were at their high-performing elementary schools, where they attend in-person on Tuesdays and Fridays. They learn remotely the other three days, assisted by their college-educated mother, a social worker who can do her job from home.

    The Cruz and Lentz children are separated by just a few miles in York, Pennsylvania. But they are a world apart in educational opportunities, a gap education experts say has widened amid the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic.     

    Belen Cruz, a single mother and nurse, is

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