BILLINGS, Mont. -- From remote learning, to revamping choir and band practice, to logistics of the fall sports season, School District 2 is finding a way to get students back to school.
Hundreds of people tuned in throughout the 3-hour-long live broadcast of Wednesday's Special Board Meeting on the Billings Public School's Facebook page. A main topic of conversation -- how the district plans to allocate the $7.4 million worth of funding they will be receiving next week as part of the Cares Act.
SD2 Superintendent Greg Upham says right now, the majority of the funding will be allocated in two areas. The first allocation will be safety items such as PPE and cleaning products. The second will be focused on academic achievement, such as extra support in the classroom and additional full time employees to operate remote learning.
Yellowstone County Health Officer John Felton also joined the conversation. He says if there happens to be any COVID related issues as the school year begins, he recommends the district not shut off school like a light switch.
"We can't turn it off because we get a burst of cases and then turn it back on a week later and then turn it back off," he says,"I think it's going to be a real challenge and that's part of the risk management we have to gain some degree of comfort with."
Felton also says there could be social and emotional repercussions if students do not go back to an educational environment this fall.