At a press conference in Helena on Thursday with Governor Steve Bullock, Lt. Governor Mike Cooney presented his Plan for Reopening Safe and Healthy Schools for Montana as they make plans for this fall.

Cooney started with some of the initial suggestions to help students go back to school after a spring of remote learning.

“Some of the basic considerations for schools include accommodations for students who will engage in remote learning,” said Cooney. “These include accommodations for students, teachers and staff in at-risk groups. Schools should consider occupancy limits that allow for social distancing, rules for traffic flow, and congregational spaces and sanitation procedures.”

Cooney also laid out plans to handle any medical issues for students and teachers.

“Schools should have a procedure for monitoring students and staff for symptoms and history of exposure,” he said. “They should produce guidelines for wearing masks, guidelines in relation to isolation or quarantine if needed, and expectations on educating and posting information on how to mitigate exposure and spread.”

Food and transportation are also important factors that Cooney addressed.

“Schools are also asked to think through serving meals, adjusting transportation schedules and protocols for youth activities,” he said. “The plan also calls for best practices that schools can use when it comes to academics, extra-curricular activities, transportation physical and structural protocols to minimize interaction and crowding, and to consider the social, emotional and behavioral health of students.”

Attached, find the protocols presented by Lt. Governor Cooney at Thursday’s press conference.

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