Livingston schools plan to open this fall

Sam Klomhaus — Enterprise Staff Writer
Monday, July 27, 2020

Both in-person and distance learning options will be available for students in Livingston as the 2020-2021 school year begins, according to the Livingston School District’s reopening plan.

The district released part one of two of its reopening communication documents Friday. Livingston schools closed March 15 on Gov. Steve Bullock’s orders because of the coronavirus pandemic and finished the school year with distance learning.

According to the document, parents will be required to certify daily that their children are being screened for COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath.

The document stressed the importance of being flexible as schools try to navigate reopening.

“In the event of a mandated closure as a result of a surge in COVID cases it is highly likely we will all have to demonstrate flexibility as we move in and out of on-site/off-site modes of instruction,” the document states.

The district is planning to have pre-K through fifth grade students on-site in the fall with families having the option of choosing distance learning instead, according to the document.

“In planning for the 2020-2021 preK-5 schools reopening this fall, it is our intention that students are able to return to Washington, Winans, and East Side Schools for in person instruction,” the document states. “That being said, the daily uncertainties of living in a pandemic require flexibility and options for schools and families to work in partnership in providing our children with a basic education in a safe and meaningful way.”

According to the plan, the school day would begin at 8 a.m. and end at 2 p.m. to allow staff extra time for lesson planning and for cleaning and sanitizing the schools.

Sleeping Giant Middle School also intends to reopen, according to the document, “in one form or another.”

“The changing nature of the COVID-19 virus will mean that our plan will change and adapt to new guidance,” the document states regarding SGMS reopening.

Park High School, according to the document, has been planning around three options, depending on the COVID-19 situation.

According to the document, families may request offsite learning at Park High for their children, and a blended learning model will be in place all year. 

Park High has scheduled the fall sports parent meeting for Aug. 10, with the Montana High School Association offering several different scenarios for fall sports, with nothing set in stone as of yet, according to the document.

According to a MHSA press release, all fall sports are currently scheduled to begin on time, but there are alternate scenarios in place in case there are delays.

According to the document, mask use, physical distancing, personal hygiene and cleaning and disinfection will be emphasized.

Students must be kept at home if they show COVID-19 symptoms, according to the document, or if they have had close contact with an active COVID-19 case or are awaiting COVID-19 test results.

Schools will not be doing temperature checks at the door, according to the document.

Part two of the reopening communications will provide more details, according to the document, including mask use policies for each building and the cleaning and disinfecting plan. Part two is scheduled to be released within the first two weeks of August, following the August school board meeting, according to the plan.

According to the document, “Changes to the public health situation over the course of the school year may necessitate changes to this guidance.”