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New MCPS plans will see staggered "restart" for more in class learning

Rob Watson Reopening
Posted at 9:27 AM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-14 11:31:10-05

MISSOULA — Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS) Superintendent Rob Watson says the district is working out the schedule for how individual grade levels will return to "in class" learning later this month.

The changes are coming after MCPS trustees approved the change Tuesday night, adopting the recommendations from Watson and the district's COVID Task Force.

Those steps are based on the latest guidelines from Harvard researchers, which show schools can operate with firm "infection control" measures. Those include mandatory mask-wearing, hygiene, social distancing and good air quality.

It appears the full schedule will come to elementary schools first, although details are being pinned down.

"January 26th is the first day of our second semester. And there will be some grade levels that are ready to go on that day. And then other grade levels will likely postpone until the next week, to give us a little more time," Watson explained. "We haven't decided exactly which ones yet and we will do that in the next couple of days and announce that no later than Monday so families can prepare."

Watson says one of the primary things to work out is making sure there are enough staff on board to cover five-day-a-week schedules.