MISSOULA — Missoula County Public Schools will have students back in the classroom for in-person instruction five days a week, beginning on Nov. 9.
However, before MCPS heads into this Phase 2 model, they'll have a few weeks of what they're calling the "hybrid plus model" to ease everyone into the next phase. Once fully into Phase 2, students will still have the option of learning entirely remotely through the online academy.
MCPS Superintendent Rob Watson said it will be impossible to maintain the six-foot distance with an increased number of students at school, so they’ll have to double down on their other protocols.
The school board meeting garnered strong opinions for and against this decision to move into a Phase 2, in-person model. Watson, with guidance from the Missoula City-County Health Department, believes they’re ready for more in-person instruction as long as the transition is gradual.
“Every week that we’re into this school year we learn something new, so I know as the weeks progress we are going to get better, but that’s also why I’m encouraging us to move slowly through these next few steps,” said Watson.
A major concern for the next phase is a lack in staffing, something Watson says they’ll have to address in the coming weeks.