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MCPS eyeing later class start times due to COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 9:56 AM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-14 21:21:10-04

MISSOULA — Missoula County Public Schools Superintendent Rob Watson says the district would use later class times this fall to accommodate the need for extensive sanitation and for smaller loads on buses as part of plans to re-open classes.

Those are some of the details being considered as MCPS draws up plans to resume in-class instruction this fall. Watson says later start times would help give staff time for "deep cleaning" of buildings, but also allow for smaller loads on the buses, a point of concern for administrators trying to accommodate social distancing.

"We need to limit the number of students on buses. And the best way to do that is to sort of stagger the schedule," Watson said. "And so yeah, under this model we would have middle school start first I believe, then elementary and then high school last. That allows us to really stagger the starts and then we can clean the buses between routes."

Watson will update MCPS trustees on Tuesday evening and hopes to have the recommendations ready for another survey of parents by the end of the month in time to get the plans finalized in early August.