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Havre schools look at re-opening plans, board expected to vote Tuesday

 

Last updated 7/23/2020 at 11:58am

Havre Daily News/Jack Lambert

The sun shines Wednesday on a decoration at Havre Middle School. The school district is working on plans for re-opening in the fall and will present options to the Havre Public Schools Board of Trustees at a special meeting Tuesday.

Havre Public Schools Interim Superintendent Craig Mueller went over the results from more questions in a survey offered a couple weeks ago for input in the district's re-opening plan for the fall and what some re-opening options are.

Parent, student and community surveys were available. The district released the results from the top three questions, and Mueller went over the other questions with the district's re-opening team and discussed those questions with the Havre Daily News this week.

"We also are mindful of the measures the health community is taking to address concerns related to the pandemic. We took some valuable information from these surveys and used the data to help create a draft re-opening plan, which will be shared with the Board of Trustees at the July 28 meeting," Mueller said.

He said people were using the internet during the closure to gain information.

"Social media was the choice number one for the community to hear about what was going on during the COVID-19 closure," Mueller said. 

Mueller shared a document displaying a summary of 951 responses from parents.

"If hand washing or hand sanitizer stations are set up in every classroom, and schools are cleaned at the end of each session or day, how would you feel about students returning to school for in-person classes?" it asked.

The response was 82.8 percent comfortable or very comfortable and 17.2 percent uncomfortable or very uncomfortable, the information provided shows.

"Students come to the school building each day, but in shifts, for example half the students attend physically in the morning and virtually in the afternoon and the other half attend physically in the afternoon and virtually in the morning," it said.

It showed 43.2 percent comfortable or very comfortable with that scenario and 56.9 percent uncomfortable or very uncomfortable.

For the particular area of the parent survey that asked the following questions, Mueller said, they received 400 open-ended responses.

"Rate your satisfaction with the instruction your child received during the COVID-19 closure," it said. 

Thirty-three percent said they had above average or excellent satisfaction instruction and 46 percent said average.

"Rank your opinion of the communication from the school district during the COVID-19 closure," it said.

Forty-eight percent said they had above average or excellent communication and 38 percent said average.

Another said, "The internet connection where we live is fast and stable enough for all remote learning, including video."

Out of 951 parent responses, 88.6 percent said yes and 11.4 percent said no.

"During the COVID-19 closure it is important to note that our teachers continued to teach, and students continued to learn," Mueller said. "As a district, I believe we learned a great deal about approaches to remote teaching and learning. Given the current climate in our community, we are looking very seriously at a blended approach to returning students to the schools on a half-time basis. It is important for students to receive direct instruction that is so vital to student learning and providing remote enrichment opportunities for students to practice newly learned skills.

In the re-opening plan, he said, three different phases will be proposed.

People who have concerns, questions or would like more information, can contact Mueller at the Robins Administration Building at 395-8550 or [email protected]

The Havre Public Schools re-opening plan will go before the Havre Public Schools Board of Trustees at a special school board meeting next Tuesday, at 12:15 p.m. at Robins School Administration Building.

The next regular school board meeting will be Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Havre Middle School.

 

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