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COVID-related staff shortages force some Montana schools online


The Smith Valley School in Kalispell is shifting to remote learning. The school doesn’t have enough teachers because many are out sick with COVID-19.

A letter on the school’s website Wednesday said the school will likely be closed through the rest of the week as staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 isolate. The school has a little more than 200 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The school is providing laptops to parents so kids can continue classes online.

As the omicron variant spreads throughout Montana it is infecting school staff and students, making it difficult to keep classes in person. The variant has shown an ability to infect fully vaccinated people as well as those who have received a booster shot.

One of the state’s largest districts, Great Falls Public Schools, also shifted to remote learning due to staffing shortages this week. On Thursday Sunnyside Intermediate School in Havre announced it was going remote for the rest of the week.

Copyright 2022 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Aaron is Montana Public Radio's Flathead reporter.