Gov. Bullock Directs Closure Of All Montana Schools
Glasgow Superintendant: “Use Time As Family Time”
March 18, 2020
As a result of the fast spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), Governor Steve Bullock directed the closure of all non-resident public K-12 schools for two weeks, starting March 16 and lasting through March 27.
“I recognize that our schools often serve as a lifeline for families and that this decision is going to have disruption on Montanans over the coming weeks,” said the Governor in a press conference March 15. “I’m committed to working with schools, communities and public health to minimize the impact. I encourage businesses to do everything they can to support families as well.”
During the closure, all staff pay benefits will be granted without having to utilize paid time off and schools will continue to receive all state funding. Superintendent of Glasgow Public Schools Wade Sundby encourages teachers to sit down and plan out their curriculum to determine what they want their students to learn in the next two weeks and to make content available through Google Classroom and their website. “Some teachers are looking at sending out packets to their students during this time, and will be in contact with parents to receive the packets. Other teachers have been sharing websites and applications that parents can use,” explained Sundby.
Superintendent Sundby is advising parents and caregivers to utilize the time to spend together as a family working on different things to keep kids learning. “The goal is to keep kids where they are educationally,” stated Sundby.
For students who rely on school breakfast and lunch, plans are in place to have meals distributed at Hoyt Park between the Civic Center and the pool from 11 a.m. to noon. According to a press release by Glasgow Schools, this will be the only dedicated pick-up station for school meals from the District. There will be a shuttle to transport meals to the St. Marie area and they will be distributed door-to-door there.
Each meal bag will include one each grab and go breakfast and lunch and will be distributed to all children ages zero through grade 12 on a free basis, regardless of free/reduced/paid status as the District has been temporarily qualified to do so. This service will be available Monday through Friday effective immediately through March 27.
As of press time, there were no signs the closure will go beyond the two-week timeframe, however Sundby and his team of administrators will be sitting down to figure out what the next steps will look like in the event the closure continues beyond the two weeks. “We will utilize the time to sit down and develop plans for continued learning whether that’s virtual learning, Google learning or pencil/paper method,” said Sundby.
Sundby stresses the schools didn’t close so families can travel or spend time in groups. The school closure is to minimize the effects of the coronavirus. “Use this time to spend as a family working on different things Read a book, do math problems, [or] expose them to your taxes since it’s tax season,” explained Sundby.
In addition to public schools, Little Scholars Preschool, Headstart and First Lutheran Preschool in Glasgow are also closed for the two-week time frame.
In Frazer, breakfast and lunch can be picked up by parents/guardians at Frazer School during the times of 7:45 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. for breakfast and noon to 1 p.m. for lunch. If a student is unable to pickup their meals, contact the school and it will be delivered.
In Hinsdale, Superintendent Steve Morgan is asking teachers to put together homework packets for grades kindergarten through fourth grade while students in grades five through 12 will be completing work via the Internet utilizing Google Classroom. Teachers are also being asked to stay in contact utilizing e-mail, phone, and/or video chat.
In Nashua, teachers will be putting together learning materials for students and will be posting learning material and assignments for students using the Google platform. The School is aware however that not all families have access to internet services so teachers will be putting together a folder of work for all students that parents can pick up.
All high school and middle school sports and practices are also indefinitely suspended until further notice and the Montana High School Association will reevaluate on April 13 while post-season formats will be adjusted by conferences as necessary.
Additional information will be passed on to the community by the school as it becomes available.
Glasgow Schools will keep parents and community members updated through their website, http://www.glasgow.k12.mt.us, Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/Glasgow-Public-Schools, Twitter, @GSD_1A and all local media.
Nashua Superintendent/Principal James Russell is asking parents and the community to check the Nashua Porcupine Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/nashua.porcupines, the Nashua School website, http://www.nashua.k12.mt.us, as well as information from the ONECALL system.