MCPS teachers voice concerns over safety training - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

MCPS teachers voice concerns over safety training

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MISSOULA - Several teachers lent their voices to talks about how to keep Missoula County Public Schools safer during the district's weekly meeting on Tuesday night.

Multiple high school, elementary and middle school teachers voiced security concerns, in light of recent threats against local schools.

They echoed a similar sentiment about the time they are required to spend in trainings during times they are typically teaching. This means a substitute or other professional is managing their classroom and lessons while they are in training.

Speakers wanted the school board to know that they thought it was a security concern to leave their students in the hands of people who might not be trained in all of the emergency safety procedures while they are in trainings that could be scheduled during other times.

“We have a number of days that are just for professional development where we don’t have students, that that would be a better use of that time. So, number one, would be to keep the teacher in the building,” said Joe Fischer, a Sentinel High School teacher who has worked with the district for almost 26 years.

Safety concerns in Missoula County piqued last week as multiple school threats raised questions about schools preparedness to respond in a worse case scenario.

During Tuesday's meeting the teachers asked the school board to reconsider how they schedule the trainings that are often "embedded," meaning they're held during regular class times.

Fischer said that the way the school district now schedules professional development, by taking teachers out of class, has only been in place for a few years.

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