Home-Based Learning Begins March 23

Spring Break will take place as planned, March 30-April 3

Because of ongoing concerns about COVID-19, the novel Coronavirus, Teton School District #401 has determined that all schools will be closed effective Monday, March 16, 2020. This will begin a week of staff preparation to provide home-based learning beginning March 23.

“We do not take this measure lightly,” said Superintendent of Schools Monte Woolstenhulme. “Of primary concern is the health and safety of our students and staff. We have met with local, regional and state officials, and our admin team determined that this was the best recommendation.”

The TSD Board of Trustees met in an emergency session on Sunday to hear the admin team’s rationale for the recommendation and make the decision.

The TSD Administrative team, including principals and department heads, has been working on plans to address multiple scenarios. They considered three options, including one that would keep schools open, and another that would push up spring break after a four-day closure.

The team recommended Option 2, which calls for:

  • March 16-20: Students are out this week, (four days, March 16-19) plus the Teacher Grade Day (already planned for Friday, March 20). During this time, instructional staff will develop home-based learning plans, food service and custodial departments will plan for meal delivery and continue disinfecting.
  • March 23-27: Students are not at school this week. Home-based learning will begin (four days, March 23-26). Parent-teacher conferences have already been canceled (for Friday, March 27). During this week, staff support home-based learning, meal deliveries and continue disinfecting.
  • March 30-April 3: Spring break will take place as previously planned. Students and staff are off.

The school board also determined that it will meet this coming Thursday in a special session, at 6 pm in the District Office, and meet weekly until the coronavirus crisis has passed. That meeting will be live-streamed on the district Facebook page. In accordance with CDC guidelines regarding meeting in groups of more than 50, the public is encouraged to watch the broadcast and refrain from attending in person.

The chosen option allows spring break as a buffer once the first week of home-based learning is rolled out. This also allows the district to put a good plan in place, in case the school closure is extended beyond April 6.

In the end, it’s important for people to know that we have listened to our community.