Parent survey finds almost 85% prefer some form of in-person learning

Front entrance of Bozeman School District's Willson School.

BOZEMAN- Bozeman Public Schools continues to monitor updates from health officials and the community on return to school plans for the fall of the 2020-2021 school year.

A parent survey conducted by the district found that close to 85-percent of parents want to come back in some form with the majority of parents wanting to do the cohort model.

Bozeman Public Schools Superintendent Bob Connors said they are looking at Phase II models which align with the Center for Disease Control’s medium risk designation.

The cohort model includes in-person instruction with the choices of alternating days or a block schedule for students at the six through 12 levels.

Connors said they are still ironing out the details of exactly what learning could look like as the situation really depends on updates from health officials.

“There’s going to be a constant revisiting of where we’re at, what we’re doing, constant talks with Matt Kelley and the health department, with Bozeman hospitals and our health partners to make sure that we are being as safe as we possibly can under the guidelines that were given to trying to get our kids back to school,” Connors said.

Connors mentioned they are most worried about the potential outside factors they cannot control such as a Montana State Bobcat football game which brings people from all over the state into the community during the fall.

“We have to look at the whole community, the 7,000 some students, how they affect the people that they’re going to interact with," Connors said. "Then we have to look at what are the outside forces that are going to be introduced into our school community."

Face coverings will be required for both middle schools and high schools when social distancing is not possible with masks being recommended for kindergarten through fifth grade students.

Those that are not comfortable with either the masking guidelines or close contact in-person learning have the choice to do 100% remote learning.

“That will be offsite, online and we’re excited about that aspect too,” Connors added. “We have learned and grown from this spring, it’ll look different, the accountability model will definitely be ramped up and it’s going to be a quality process too.”

Connors said he will release his recommendation on how the school should hold classes on Aug. 7, 2020, and he’s hoping that everyone can stay as flexible as possible during these uncertain times.

A link to Bozeman Public School’s “Roadmap to Opening” can be found here.

A link to Bozeman Public School’s July 17, 2020, “Parent Update” can be found here.

A link to Bozeman Public School’s “Return to School Messaging Draft” can be found here.

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