MISSOULA — Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS) leaders are attempting to pin down how the district will address the rapidly changing advisories for mask use in class this fall.
The district has already developed its operational plans for this second year of pandemic impacts, with the exception of mask wearing.
During another meeting of the MCPS COVID Task Force Monday, Superintendent Rob Watson explained how the district will still be using some measures like social distancing, but easing other provisions like extensive cleaning, and even allowing some limited visitation in the buildings this fall. That's all based on the latest COVID research.
But with the UA Centers for Disease Control, and the State Office of Public Instruction all weighing in on whether masks should be required, Watson is hoping to have a recommended policy for school trustees to consider next week.
He notes it follows tough decisions made last school year that worked, even though there wasn't complete consensus.
"While not everyone agrees with the decision we at least came to a consensus to move forward. That's what we're going to have to do here as well," Watson commented. "We're going to have to move forward."
"We're going to have to get some guidance out sooner rather than later so that families have time to think about it and make plans. We also want to give guidance out to our staff as well because they need that time to get ready for the school year."
The district is already hearing conflicting opinions over a mask requirement. If you'd like to review the latest information, and comment, there's opportunity on the MCPS website.