Press Release: Wednesday November 25, 2020
This decision has been most difficult! Over the past two weeks, our schools have shifted to District-wide, temporary remote learning for all students. This decision was made as an intervention to slow the spread on COVID positive cases among staff and to decrease the number of student and staff who were in quarantine. Our nursing and administrative staff have continued to monitor the data on COVID positive staff and students. Based on this analysis of this data, it appears that by Monday, November 30th, the majority of staff and students who were in isolation or quarantine will be able to return to work and school.
We realize, and have taken into consideration, that there is a great deal of concern among staff, parents and community members regarding what is best for our students. After consulting with our task force of Health Care Officials, District Administrators and School Trustees, a decision has been made to return to face-to-face learning in our schools on Monday, November 30th as scheduled. The exception to the return to face-to-face learning will be at East Middle School. Face-to-Face Learning for students at East Middle School will not resume there until Wednesday, December 2, 2020. This extended closure will allow the staff at East Middle school an opportunity to meet with the District grief counselors and to adequately prepare for their students to return on Wednesday, December 2nd. There will be no expectation/requirement of remote learning for students and staff on those two days.
As our health officials and school district administrators and nurses continue to monitor the situation with COVID-19 in our community and schools, we may need to return to temporary or extended remote learning in some or all schools at some point. It is the District’s intent that these decisions will be made with enough advanced notification to parents, students and staff so that everyone can prepare adequately for the shift.
During the return to face-to-face learning, all staff, students and community members are reminded to strictly adhere to the safety and health protocols of staying home when you are feeling sick and notifying your health care provider, wearing a mask in public and in our schools at all times, handwashing, and practicing physical distancing to reduce the spread of this virus.
I cannot emphasize enough how essential and important our teachers and staff are to our children and families in this community, for a variety of reasons. They care for and support the developmental, social/emotional and academic needs of 10,000 plus children. Students are simply not optimized unless they are in the presence and oversight of their teachers during the school year! Even the best and brightest are not thriving in this current environment. I implore upon all of us to take extra precautions to keep ourselves healthy and please DO NOT COME TO WORK or school if you feel sick! We all need to unite in our habits and practices against this virus, or we will never achieve our goal of students thriving.
Happy Thanksgiving from Great Falls Public Schools!
Great Falls Public Schools