Missoula School District 1 Superintendent Rob Watson responded to listener questions and comments on his Tuesday Talk Back show appearance.

One question referenced a recent interview on KGVO with Amanda Curtis, the new President of the Montana Federation of Public Employees Union. The caller asked about whether teachers are allowed to express their political views in the classroom.

“What I learned long ago as a teacher is that it’s our professional responsibility to remain viewpoint neutral in the classroom,” said Watson. “To present both sides of an issue and teach kids how to decipher information and make a decision for themselves.”

Another item covered by Dr. Watson was the practice of allowing students to transfer from one high school to another, in some cases multiple times.

“We offer the opportunity for students to transfer between schools based on academic interests, and that’s a process that will continue,” said Watson. “However, what we found out was that there were no guidelines around that transfer process, so kids could transfer in the middle of a school year or they could make multiple transfers over the four years, and so what we’re trying to do is put some guidelines around those transfer opportunities and when they would be allowed.”

One more issue involved how school curricula are chosen and how public input would be received by the MCPS school board.

“Folks can check the agenda and if there’s an item on there they want to give public comment on including curriculum adoption, they can do that during the meeting or they can send public comment ahead of time that would be read by the trustees in an email,” he said.

Watson said each member of the MCPS School Board is elected to a three year term. It is an unpaid position.