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Some Havre students back in school right now

Students with individualized education program plans in for extended school year


Last updated 8/4/2020 at 8:08am

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Havre Middle School teacher Mary Jo Wells takes the temperature of a student arriving at school.

Students with Individualized Education Programs are in their third week of going back to school before the school year starts, but with a few changes.

"It's kind of like a jump start into school," Havre Public Schools Director of Special Education and Federal Projects Karla Geda said.

She said there are two sets of groups of students that are in extended school year services.

One of the groups is for younger grades from preschool age up to students going into fifth grade, she said.

The students, are serviced by a teacher and a paraprofessional at Lincoln-McKinley, she said

She added that the older grades are from students going into sixth grade to students going into their senior year in high school, and are being serviced  as well by teachers and paraprofessionals at Havre Middle School.

The older students start at 8:30 till 11:30 a.m., and the younger ones go from 9 a.m. to noon from Monday to Thursday for three weeks.

She said speech services are also being provided through the extended school year service.

"The speech pathologist remotes in, the paraprofessional works with the student, the student is able to obtain their speech services right there while they are doing their extended school year services," Geda said.

Students have their temperature taken when they get on the bus and when they enter the building, she said.

The buses, she said, are being cleaned and sanitized prior to anyone getting on them.

"They are sitting opposite seats, windows are open so that there is good social distance, but we are still requiring masks to be worn," Geda said. 

Once the students are in the building, she said, the students are socially distanced at times to work independently and at those times they don't have to wear a mask, only when they come together in groups.

She said these students are in an extended school year, which is based on their Individualized Education Programs.

Not every student qualifies for extended school year, she said, it has to be a student that has regression in their skills over a period of time.

When a student has an Individualized Education Program and they are receiving specialized design instruction then what happens is the district is constantly collecting data on that student to make sure they are progressing at a good rate, she said.

"When we see that over a period of time, like a long weekend or Christmas break, and we see a student that really regresses in their skills and we have to back up to reinforce skills that had been taught, and they have been forward on those things," Geda said, "but that break in service kind of they regressed in, they couldn't remember and retain the information, those are the students that we really pay attention to and we document that."

She said those are the students that are most in need of extended school year services.

When extended school year services are provided, she said, the school district can only provide recoupment of the information.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Students gets hand santizer as they enter Havre Middle School.

"We go back and just reinforce that information they've already learned," she added. "We work on their goals and the pieces and parts they seem to be struggling with retaining. We don't present any new information to them at all."

She said it has been working well even with the new adjustments and changes.

"I think it has been working great," Geda said. "I was a little unsure and leary about masks and the whole kit and kaboodle. The kids have been phenomenal, so parents have prepared them, they were ready to go."

"The kids have been great," she added. "They have responded very well. To be frankly honest with you, I think they were so excited in a school environment, which is really fun to see. They were anxious to learn. They jumped right into their school work." 


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