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Havre Public Schools to decide on re-opening at meeting Tuesday

Some local jurisdictions not loosening restrictions


April 24, 2020

Havre Public Schools Superintendent Andy Carlson said a special meeting of the school board of trustees will be held Tuesday that will include making the decision on whether or not to let students return back to in-classroom teaching.

Gov. Steve Bullock gave an outline Wednesday of the state’s plan for a phased re-opening of schools with some restrictions.

Beginning May 7, all K-12 public schools will have the option to return to in-classroom teaching.

Bullock gave all local jurisdictions the option to keep more stringent restrictions in place, and some in this area already have said they will not loosen theirs.

Rocky Boy’s and Fort Belknap Indian reservations have announced they will keep their restrictions in place, and The Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians has urged its members to keep following the restrictions.

Box Elder schools announced they will remain with classrooms closed, and Montana State University-Northern said it will keep its current safeguards and procedures in place through May 8, the end of the semester.

Rocky Boy schools announced that district will hold a board meeting to decide what it will do.

Watch for more on this at https://www.havredailynews.com and in Monday’s edition of the Havre Daily News.

The special board meeting will be Tuesday at 12:15 p.m. with the public allowed to attend online via Zoom. The district said it will be providing next week information on how to attend online.

“Obviously, what I need to do is bring the best and most information that I have at the time, but I think a lot of people have heard school is open and I would really caution, regardless of what happens, that if you look the considerations that also accompany the governor’s directive, that on May 7 he was going to leave it up to the local control,” Carlson said.

An emergency closure was declared March 18, he said, adding that another emergency closure has to be taken 

He said quite a few things would have to take place in order for the schools to open.

The schools would be hard-pressed to go back in small groups, Carlson  added. 

“Regardless of what happens we are not going to look like March 13, which was the last day we were in school,”he said. “... Obviously, there is students and staff that wouldn’t be able to return. That’s some of the recommendations that are inside of that as far as students, teachers, staff that are at-risk groups with the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

“We all got the news at the same. I think, to be honest with you, I was a little surprised. My anticipation was that closures would be extended for another two weeks, and that, potentially, on May 8, then we would hear OK. In the school’s there really can’t be a phasing in, he said, adding that the mission is providing education to all children.

“I’d caution everybody to think in terms of school being open. I don’t think that’s the way to look at it, and then there is so many things we’d have to do to bring in our students,” he said. “We don’t have the space, we don’t have the resources, we don’t have the staff to do what’s being asked at this time.” 

He said the school is planning to to hold a drive-through graduation Sunday, May 24 at 2 p.m. in the Have High School parking lot for this year’s seniors.


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