After a long, hot summer, thousands of Garden City children will troop off to start the new school year at Missoula County Public Schools on August 30.

We spoke with MCPS Communications Director Tyler Christiansen this week for details on the new school year.

“The first day of school will be August 30 for kindergarteners for sixth graders and for ninth graders, as well as for the entire grade levels at Willard, and for all other grades,” began Christiansen. “Grades one through five at the elementary level, seven through eight in middle school, and 10 through 12 at high school August 31 will be the first day of school.”

Christiansen said the district understands the economic conditions that most families are facing with inflation affecting even the most basic school supplies.

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“I know a lot of families are concerned about school supplies with high prices and just limited amount of school supplies along with new shoes and backpacks, that can get pretty expensive,” she said. “So I think it's a good idea just to look at your school's website, we have school supply lists posted, and they're pretty basic. Teachers will let you know if there's anything special that they need for that class, but for the most part, it's the usual pens and pencils and notebooks.”

Christiansen said the MCPS school district will tailor all aspects of the school year to the newly adopted core values.

“First, one core value is that we're student-centered, another is safety and another is equity,” she said. “Then there's inclusion, innovation, and also relationships. So, pretty much all of the work that we’re going to be doing is going to relate back to these core values in some way or another. So, from a school-wide standpoint, from a larger district standpoint, and even from a community standpoint, people should see these values reflected in the work that we're doing.”

All in all, Christiansen said the entire district from the superintendent, trustees, teachers, and staff are excited to see the start of the new school year, especially after the struggle in dealing with the COVID pandemic.

“We're super excited about the start of the school year,” she said. “As you said, the last couple of years have been really challenging and we had to make a lot of adaptations. Now it really feels like an opportunity for a fresh start to bring some of that positive energy and enthusiasm for getting back to school together and making some headway on our goals are a shared goal of academic and social-emotional growth for every student in our care.”

Click here to see a special communication from MCPS to area school families.

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