HELENA — Teachers, bus drivers and administrators across Montana and the country all want to get back to work safely.
But, returning to traditional classroom settings during a pandemic is a complicated subject. That's because it’s not just the student s teachers will have to worry about this year.
“Our most at-risk members who cannot go into a brick and mortar building if their doctor tells them not to, and if they are caring for a parent or a child or a family member who is at risk, the level of precaution they have to take going to work, and going between work and home is a really high concern for folks, who maybe are healthy themselves, but have to consider the health of a household member,” said the president of the Montana Federation of Public Employees Amanda Curtis.
Weighing financial responsibilities and health concerns will require some flexibility from educators and the Montana Federation of Public Employees (MFPE) is currently surveying their members to see what they expect this school year.
And according to Curtis, the options for teachers who can’t return to in-person classrooms because of health concerns will be based on everyone -- and is not an easy decision.
“There is a lot of anxiety right now in the education community and everywhere,” said Curtis. “We’re all surviving in this pandemic together. We’re going to get through it. Montana is tough and MFPE members are some of the toughest.”
They will have to be with an uncertain school year ahead of us.