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Chinook plans full school opening with some tweaks

Distancing, cleaning plans in place, students can opt for distanced learning


Last updated 8/6/2020 at 11:25am

Chinook Public Schools decided to return in full capacity this coming school year, but with a few accommodations.

“Right now, our Phase 2 plan is going to be re-opening for all students that opt in,” Chinook Public Schools Superintendent Darin Hannum said.

Masks are going to be recommended, he said, they are not going to be required.

Classrooms are going to be cleaned between classes and the bathrooms will be cleaned frequently throughout the day, he said.

He said shields will be placed in the front office, as well as the cafeterias.

“We are going to limit the amount of folks in an area at one time to try to provide some social distancing,” Hannum said. “... We are also going to have our kids bring water bottles, close down our drinking fountains and have them use our filling stations throughout the day.”

Recess and lunch schedules will be changed to accommodate the students and maintain classroom groups in the six-feet distance and fewer than 50 people per area, he added.

Temperatures of students, staff and parents will be taken a minimum of once a day after entering the building, the plan says. If a student has a temperature of 100.4 or more, they will be isolated and sent home.

He said an opt-out option with distanced education is available for students.

If students start online education, he said, they have to continue it for a semester.

“This is a plan, but it’s day-by-day between the governor’s recommendations and (Montana Public Education Center) basically, the head education groups throughout the state,” Hannum said. “We do get some things from the Office of Public Instruction, but it is pretty limited compared to MT-PEC, and then our county health department has been fantastic.”

MT-PEC, he said, includes School Administrators of Montana, Montana Clerks Association, Montana Rural Educators Association, Montana Federation of Public Employees as well as Montana School Board Association.

He said MT-PEC is unique in the country because they work together during the Legislature to create policy to benefit school systems and students.

Chinook Public Schools first day of school is Wednesday, Aug. 26, with athletic practice starting Friday, Aug. 14.


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