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Uncertainty shrouds school reopening

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Town Crier “Briefs from the Region” (1) – 7/15/20

Armed with vague guidelines, families and educators across Montana are preparing to return to a form of school no one has seen before. While COVID-19 cases continue to climb, many recognize that school is a crucial piece of stability in many Montana children’s lives—a large portion are reliant on school meals, the childcare it provides, and the safe space. Although Gov. Steve Bullock has issued guidelines for reopening schools, superintendents and teachers are frustrated with what they are calling the guidelines’ indefinite and unsupportive nature. Many are trying to piece together shortened days, rotating children in and out of classrooms in shifts, as well as teach in an online format.

“We were concerned, and we still are concerned, about the social and emotional needs [of students],” said Billings District Superintendent Greg Upham. “Everyone recognizes that to be back in school in the traditional and normal format is probably the healthiest for everyone, pending the [COVID-19] situation.”

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