As of Monday, MCPS Superintendent Rob Watson said that the plan for the upcoming school year is to hold traditional in-person classes in the city’s 18 public schools, taking into consideration all health department guidelines.

Watson detailed the plan on Monday morning.

“It’s really important for us to have face-to-face in-person learning with our students, and that’s what we’re planning for,” said Dr. Watson. “We’re planning to be open in August at our regular time and we’re looking forward to the opportunity of having students back in school buildings in a safe way, utilizing the current guidelines from the CDC and other folks.”

For the summer, Watson said Drivers Education is available for high school students.

“We’ve restarted Drivers Education,” he said “We have some protocols around that like the instructor and the students wearing masks in the vehicle, because it’s difficult to social distance inside the car, so just some of those basic protocols, like checking the students when they arrive before they start driving, making sure they’re safe during the in-class instruction and also the driving instruction.”

Watson responded to an inquiry about those students who did not finish their distance learning during the school year.

“What we’re trying to do is target some of those students who really struggled in remote learning, and we were able to do that based on teacher feedback,” he said. “We’ll have those kids in the building in early August. We’ve got about two weeks before we start gearing up for fall.”

Watson said there are assessments available for all the students coming back from distance learning through the summer.

“For all of our students when we have them back in the building,” he said. “We actually have some assessments we can do that will help determine which kids really need extra help and which ones are progressing as they normally would. That will help us target some extra support for another group of kids that maybe weren’t successful in remote learning.”

Watson said he and his staff are still waiting for guidance from the Montana High School Association on the matter of fall sports.

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