More north central Idaho school districts announced closures this week as concerns over the coronavirus continue. They include the Kamiah, Salmon River, Orofino, Troy, Mountain View, Cottonwood, Nezperce and Culdesac school districts.
As some administrators work to craft plans for distance-learning options, districts in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley are providing free meals to students 18 and younger to ensure no one goes hungry.
The “grab and go” meal options are available on weekdays and the student must be present.
“We have students who we know have food insecurity and for some of them, breakfast and lunch is the only time they have a complete meal,” said Kimberly Eimers, Lewiston’s director of student services. “We want to make sure we are giving access to and reducing any barriers they may have to those food insecurities.”
Students in Lewiston can pick up breakfast and lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Jenifer Junior High School and Sacajawea Junior High School. UPDATE: Meals will be provided during Lewiston’s spring break, which is set for next week. As of now, students in the district are expected to return to school March 30, although that may change.
During the closure, students will not be required to complete any kind of distance learning, although Eimers said teachers are working on how to deliver instruction through alternative methods if the district’s closure expands past spring break.
In Washington, all schools will remain closed through April 24, as ordered by Gov. Jay Inslee.
Students in the Asotin-Anatone School District will be able to pick up both breakfast and lunch items from 7-9 a.m. in the kitchen of the elementary school, located at 314 First St.
Superintendent Dale Bonfield said oftentimes the only meals kids get are when they’re at school, so the district doesn’t want anyone to go hungry. He asked patrons and students to be patient with the district’s efforts, as staff works through the extended closure.
“This is the weirdest thing I’ve ever experienced,” Bonfield said of the closure.
The district will begin to offer enrichment packets to students on Monday, so kids can choose to work from home during the closure.
In Clarkston, breakfast and lunch options will be available for pickup at Clarkston High School and Grantham Elementary School. Breakfast will be available from 7:30-9 a.m. and lunch will be provided from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
It’s not yet known if the Clarkston and the Asotin-Anatone districts will offer food during their respective spring breaks.
The Clarkston School District also plans to send out academic packets to its students on Monday.
Other school closures in Idaho include:
The Mountain View School District will close today until further notice. Staff will spend the remainder of the week crafting distance-learning options for students.
The Culdesac School District will close today and will tentatively resume classes March 30 after spring break.
The Salmon River Joint School District in Riggins will close today and will tentatively resume classes March 30 after spring break.
The Orofino School District will close indefinitely beginning today.
The Nezperce School District will close today. Students will tentatively resume classes April 6.
The Cottonwood School District will close today. Students are tentatively expected to return April 6.
The Kamiah School District closed Tuesday. Students are scheduled to return after spring break April 6. Administrators are crafting plans for distance learning opportunities and meal services.
The Troy School District closed Tuesday. Students are scheduled to return after spring break on April 6.
The Lapwai School District will remain closed through its spring break. Students are expected to return to school March 30. Grab and go meals will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the elementary school cafeteria for the remainder of this week.
The Moscow School District will be closed for two weeks following its spring break, which is this week.
All Saints Catholic School in Lewiston has also suspended classes. Students are expected to return to school March 30.
As of Tuesday evening, the Whitepine, Potlatch, Genesee, Kendrick and Highland school districts continued to operate on normal schedules.
The Clarkston Boys and Girls Club will close for the foreseeable future. The Lewiston Boys and Girls Club will run a limited program, which includes services for Asotin and Clarkston families of first responders, medical personnel and working families with no other options. For more information, call (208) 746-2301.
Thomtas may be contacted at email@example.com or (208) 848-2294. Follow her on Twitter @jtomtas.