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Corvallis Schools meeting COVID-19 outbreak with innovation

Corvallis School Board
Posted at 2:20 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 16:20:01-04

CORVALLIS — Corvallis Schools are scrambling to come up with ideas to tackle a host of challenges during the caronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic like most school districts across Montana.

Even before Governor Steve Bullock directed schools to close Sunday, Corvallis was one of the districts actively planning for an extended shutdown. That's meant all suggestions are on the table to provide not only instruction, but services like meals for less fortunate students.

"Put signs around. You know, along the road, I don't know. These are services that we're offering and if you need them, get in touch with X, Y or Z.," Corvallis School District Trustee Todd Wyche said.

Corvallis already started offering free breakfasts and lunches for students Tuesday morning, with food managers telling the school board last night they plan to pass out meals in plastic bags Tuesdays and Thursdays during the shutdown.

Other steps are more challenging, such as extending classroom learning in a district where some rural families may have limited -- or no -- access to the Internet. But the district is looking at ways to provide some devices, show teachers how to post videos, provide learning resources for parents at home, with much of that information already being firmed up.

"This is a test of our problem solving, our flexibility, and I think as an organization we are coming through very well. I'm proud of the people that I get to work with every day," Corvallis School Superintendent Tim Johnson told MTN News. "I mean, this is something that we come up with new ideas, new solutions for problems that we didn't even think that we're problems two weeks ago."

Corvallis parents are being advised to check their emails and the district's website and Facebook pages for more information in the coming days.