With higher and higher COVID 19 case numbers being recorded in Missoula County, the Public School Board of Trustees has mandated that the transition to the next phase for MCPS be delayed.

Superintendent Rob Watson has details.

“The board had a really good discussion about our schedule,” said Dr. Watson. “Administratively, we had made the recommendation for students to return to four days a week starting October 19, however the board changed that recommendation. They wanted to push that back a little bit because of the rise in cases in our community and the concern that it appears we're growing exponentially in the number of cases in our community rather than declining, so they actually pushed that back until the end of the quarter. So right now, we'll go until the end of the quarter, which is November 6 in our in our hybrid models, just staying in the same model.”

In addition, Watson said that the board has asked him to publicize the need for more help at the schools.

“We have several open positions and specifically at the K-five level,” he said. “In our elementary schools we're always in need of just more adults in the building and so we have part time positions and full time positions related to student supervision and support personnel. And so that why we're trying to get the word out just so folks know that. Staffing is really important to us, especially with all the new protocols we have in the schools. It's important to make sure we've got enough staff to support our students and our families.”

Watson described the positions available.

“Right now we're mainly looking for support personnel in terms of teacher aides and folks that work in the lunchroom or on the playground,” he said. “Those positions don't require any special certification. They may require some experience and some extra training but there's no teacher certification required; we're looking for folks that are comfortable around kids and folks that are excited to be around kids.”

Schools are currently in Phase One, the hybrid model with some instruction in the classroom and some at home.

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