KALISPELL — Serving more than 6,000 students district-wide, the Kalispell School District has had full in-person schooling along with remote learning options available for students since the beginning of the school year.
MTN News talked with Superintendent Micah Hill about how the district has managed the COVID-19 pandemic as the second semester gets underway.
“The numbers are way down; things feel way more manageable. You know, not that we haven’t seen some recent spikes in certain areas but for all intents and purposes things are really moving along now,” Hill said.
Wash your hands, watch your distance and wear a mask are the three W’s the Kalispell School District continues to advise students and staff as the second half of the school year gets underway.
Superintendent Hill says these simple COVID-19 guidelines have helped the district keep both students and staff in the classroom.
“And we want to be able to continue to have our schools open and if that means we’re wearing masks and doing those things then we’re going to continue to do that,” Superintendent Hill told MTN News.
Glacier High School French teacher Stephanie Hill says it’s been a total team effort between students, teachers, and district administrators to strictly follow COVID-19 guidelines.
She says extra safety precautions along with normal day-to-day to school activities have made this year a challenge for all teachers across the district.
“I’ve been teaching for 13 years and without a doubt, I bet almost every teacher will say that this is one of the hardest if not the hardest years they’ve ever experienced in a classroom,” Stephanie Hill said.
She was discouraged when she found out teachers had been moved to phase 1C of the state’s vaccine distribution plan under new Gov. Greg Gianforte’s COVID-19 vaccination plan.
“It’s hard sometimes when you’re scared, it’s hard to be there for kids when you’re scared for yourself and your own families and for your own kids, I really do hope that we’re able to get it soon so that we can better provide for our community, Stephanie Hill said.
Superintendent Hill says the district is hoping to start vaccinating teachers and employees before the end of the current school year. “As early as late May, early June, and hopefully the goal would be before school starts again next year.”
Superintendent Hill says the timing of the vaccines for district employees all depends on vaccine allocation at the state and county level.
The last day of school for the Kalispell School District is June 8.