TSD 401 School Board ratifies State Board decision regarding schools’ soft closure and will meet next Monday regarding state criteria to reopen.

The Board of Trustees of Teton School District 401 voted unanimously Monday evening to ratify the State Board of Education decision regarding the soft closure of schools continuing through the end of the academic school year. The vote validated that the district intends to follow yet-to-be-determined state criteria that may allow district schools to re-open.

The board scheduled a special board meeting (to be held remotely) to take place at 5:30 pm next Monday, April 20, 2020. By then, it is hoped that the state will have determined its criteria. Governor Brad Little is planning a press conference on Wednesday at 11 am to discuss whether Idaho will continue the original stay-at-home order past midnight that night, according to superintendent Monte Woolstenhulme. The State Board of Education then meets Thursday (April 16) with establishing the state criteria on its agenda.

At least four different governing agencies – the state Board of Education, the Governor’s office, local and state public health officials as well as the White House – have been involved in determining social distancing rules and other conditions that have unfolded during the Coronavirus crisis. Ultimately, the responsibility to re-open local public schools lies with the TSD 401 school board.

The Idaho School Board Association had recommended that individual school districts vote on the ratification, and the State Board of Education vote had also asked districts to vote on the measure.