Task Forces Formed To Guide School Reopenings Next Fall

May 21, 2020

Montana education officials announced Thursday that two task forces will develop guidance on how the state’s public schools can safely reopen their doors next fall.

As Montana’s public schools close out the school year, the state is turning its attention to the fall, when many districts are expected to welcome students back into their buildings one way or another.

The Montana Office of Public Instruction has formed two task forces. The MT Learn 2020 Task Force will consist of at least one student as well as parents, teachers, administers and state legislators. OPI said that group is focused on identifying the resources schools and students will need to be effective under distance- or mixed-education models.

With many education decisions left to local officials rather than the state, districts are likely to choose a variety of ways to move back to in-person education. Districts will create contingency plans for potential outbreaks of COVID-19.

The MT Flex 2020 Task Force will focus on reviewing state and federal laws that may need to be modified or waived in order to provide districts with flexibility. That group will mostly consist of state education officials, district administrators and the heads of school associations.

Both task forces will meet four times through June and provide guidance recommendations. OPI plans to release a comprehensive reopening plan sometime this summer.

Copyright 2020 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.