The St. Maries School District COVID-19 Task Force will meet this Friday, Nov. 20, to plan for the spring school semester.

The group is comprised of the faculty and parents, about 20 total, who helped to formulate the plan for this fall.

Superintendent Alica Holthaus said that the district sent out surveys to district parents and teachers to gather feedback on how the fall went and what they would like to see done in the spring. Those results will be reviewed at the meeting Nov. 20.

Ms. Holthaus said her goal is to keep children in school so long as it is safe.

“I believe in kids being in school. I want kids in school. I believe it is the best place for them to be and to learn,” Ms. Holthaus said.

This fall, students were able to enroll in online-only learning programs, attend their regular St. Maries school or a hybrid option. Whatever form education takes in the spring the district’s focus will be on consistency according to Ms. Holthaus, who gave the task force credit with developing the fall schedule.

“Kudos to the task force for recognizing that we can’t have a changing schedule and that our families need consistency,” Ms. Holthaus said.

She acknowledged that some parents and teachers have requested a return to a five-day schedule. However, the four-day teaching schedule enables teachers to work through Friday to handle the additional responsibilities brought on by the pandemic.

“It’s a different way of teaching than we have ever done before,” Ms. Holthaus said.

It seems likely that the district will maintain much of its current setup into the spring as COVID-19 cases continue to spike throughout the state.

In the St. Maries School District, fewer than 25 students have tested positive for COVID-19 since school began this fall.

“I think we have been doing really well so far. And I’d like to stay the course,” Ms. Holthaus said.

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