UPDATE: 4:05 p.m. - Nov. 9, 2020
STEVENSVILLE - A pandemic staffing shortage is forcing another Bitterroot school district to shift to a remote learning model.
Starting on Tuesday, all Stevensville School students and staff will be off-campus, as the district uses a two week "reset" to cope with active cases and quarantining.
Stevensville already had a limited shutdown in early October because of a COVID-19 case, but that only lasted for a few days. This time, students and staff will be switched over to distance learning until "further notice or November 18th".
Superintendent Bob Moore says the district had five active cases last week but the associated contact tracing and quarantines has gone beyond the capacity to provide teachers, paraprofessionals and other staff to keep classes running.
"I had an entire classified department that had to go home on quarantine. And so it really turned into just a lack of adults to cover, you know. We may quarantine a group of students here, a group of students there and we're able to work flexibly with both in-person and distance learning and moving students back and forth," Moore said. "But when you lose that many adults it's just impossible to keep the doors open."
Moore says the district would really like to hear from anyone with experience teaching, or in other school positions that could help out.
Corvallis Primary School reopened Monday after students were shifted to remote learning for two weeks.
(first report: 2:40 p.m. - Nov. 9, 2020)
All Stevensville School District students will move to remote learning on Tuesday.
The decision has been made due to five active cases as well as several staff members who are currently in quarantine.
“This situation has exceeded the District’s ability to provide substitutes for teachers, paraprofessionals, secretaries, custodians, and has also affected the availability of our school administration,” a statement on the District’s website reads.
Full remote learning is expected to remain in effect until Nov. 18. Additionally, all school activity events are also suspended until further notice or until Nov. 18.
All buildings and facilities will be cleaned and disinfected prior to the resumption of face-to-face learning.
"We understand the difficulties presented throughout the community when school is not in session due to school staff shortages,” the statement concludes.