Getting the picture during COVID-19

As students in the Western Treasure Valley return to classes, school officials share how COVID-19 has affected student picture days, if at all.

WESTERN TREASURE VALLEY — A tradition at the start of the school year for as long as many can remember, some may wonder: How are schools conducting picture day this year?

The newspaper reached out to area school districts to learn how each is approaching picture day procedures in light of COVID-19. Following is a snapshot of their responses.

Fruitland School District

Fruitland students, having seen their school year start a year late, will be seen by their photographer starting in mid-September. With the District running level two of its operation plan, each campus will have two photo days, according to Superintendent Lyle Bayley. Photo days are assigned as they correlate to attendance group A or B:

Fruitland High: Sept. 14 and 15

Fruitland Middle: Sept. 24 and 25

Fruitland Elementary: Sept. 24 and TBD

New Plymouth School District

According to New Plymouth Superintendent David Sotutu, photo day in the District took place as usual for students, starting on Aug. 24. 

“The majority of our students were at school,” wrote Sotutu in an email on Aug. 26. “Some of our online students came in to have their pictures taken. Those who did not will take care of that on Picture Retake Day.”

New Plymouth schools are operating on level 1 of the District’s operating plan, which sees all students coming to class all days, unless they choose to attend remotely.

Payette School District

In Payette, which is also operating on level 1 of its operating plan, Superintendent Robin Gilbert also reported business as usual in regard to her District’s school photo day in an Aug. 31 email.

“Because our schools are in session the only difference to our picture day will be the physical distancing of students while waiting in line,” wrote Gilbert.

Each individual school sets their own photo days, according to Gilbert. Dates for each campus were not available as of press time.

Weiser School District

With Weiser schools operating on level 2 of its District operating plan, Superintendent Wade Wilson reports that the school photographer has had to stay over an additional day to account for students attending school in two groups on alternating days.

“We are working to schedule two picture days at each school, in order to catch both A and B day students,” wrote Wilson on Aug. 26.

Weiser schools will be photographing their students on these dates:

• Pioneer School - Sept. 22 and Sept. 25

• Park School - Sept. 8 and Sept. 10

• Weiser Middle School - Oct. 16

• Weiser High School - Sept. 8 and Sept. 11

Wilson said that while Park School has set Sept. 10 for their online students, other campuses in the District have other plans to get their distance learners in the door.

“I believe the other schools will allow students either day,” wrote Wilson.

For more information of photo days or printed photos of your child, contact your child’s school.

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