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School board Tuesday discusses other COVID measures, other policies


April 30, 2020

During the special meeting of the Havre Public Schools Board of Trustees Tuesday where the board voted unanimously to continue distanced learning rather than re-opening classrooms, the board addressed several other issues as well, both related to the COVID-19 pandemic and otherwise.

The board unanimously approved alternate grading for the classes being held remotely due to the classrooms closing to reduce exposure to novel coronavirus 2019.

“It initiates a pass/fail for our high school students,” Superintendent Andy Carlson said before the vote. “One of the things that we wanted to make sure of was we wanted to be certain … our students wouldn’t be impacted by our university system or through other universities, and in fact our universities have adopted it. They are not counting GPA and so our students will not be held in any harm.”

He said if a student does want their letter grade, an option for that is available. The student has to write a letter and request a letter grade.

“I do think this is the right thing, I think it’ll help greatly,” he said.

He added that this is teacher-driven.

“This will have zero impact on a student’s GPA,” Carlson said. “... We are among many states and also many school districts in our state that have already implemented this policy.”  

Havre Middle School Principal Dustin Kraske told the board the school wanted to change its reading classes to include some new elective classes.

“The skills being taught are all the same, but we are trying to pick some topics we thought the kids would enjoy in each grade,” he said. “We, in the past, have taken a semester of reading, now we take a quarter of it so kids can pick two reading classes.”

The proposal passed unanimously.

A change to the Havre High School Music curriculum also was unanimously by the board.

“The instrumental curriculum includes intermediate and advanced percussion, this allows the band director some flexibility in scheduling students who may have different ability levels,” Assistant Superintendent Craig Mueller said before the vote. “Piano is also being added as an elective course to give the vocal music teacher an opportunity to develop and introduce skills at the middle school and to develop existing piano skills and knowledge through this course.”

The elementary curriculum will be presented at the May meeting, he said.

Proposals on COVID-19 emergency measures and use of transportation funds during periods of school closure were tabled to be discussed at next month’s meeting.

The next board meeting will be Tuesday, May 12, at 6:30 p.m at Havre Middle School gymnasium.

A meeting to update all Havre Public School’s policies is to be scheduled for next week.


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