MISSOULA — COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Missoula County as students return to the classroom.
That's why staying educated and safe from COVID-19 was the focus of City Club Missoula's Lessons from the Classroom Tuesday.
The conversation was dominated by how kids and teachers from three Missoula school districts can continue academic and social learning while navigating the current surge.
Each school received COVID-19 funds to help them through the pandemic and each school put that money into supporting its teachers and students.
Target Range School put their funds towards summer programs for kids so they were able to support their social and academic learning through fun summer activities for kids and it gave teachers the opportunity to work throughout the summer.
“We take care of teachers and one of those things as we honor them for their time,” said Target Range School Principal Barabra Droessler.
Hellgate Elementary brought on more staff so they could provide smaller class sizes for students as they come back, giving students the ability to have more individualized learning.
“I hired extra mental health people on for this year on staff we have hired extra teachers on staff, to try to break down our class sizes even smaller so that we can have more individualized attention with children,” said Hellgate Elementary Superintendent Doug Reisig.
Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS) put their funds towards their general fund, which allowed the schools to not have to cut programs and extracurriculars that students partake in.
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“It is really really smart to consider what sorts of things can we build into the system that could be sustainable in the future, versus what, what things do we need, you know, immediately help with right now,” said MCPS Superintendent Rob Watson.
Every school is following COVID-19 protocols similar to last school year in terms of masking and sanitizing the schools are also working closely with the health department, relying on them for answers as COVID-19 situations arise.