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Bozeman schools vote to stay closed for remainder of school year, distance learning to continue

The virtual school board meeting had almost 500 participants
Posted at 4:02 PM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 18:02:46-04

The Bozeman School Board voted unanimously in favor of continuing remote learning for the remainder of the school year.

Local school boards were given the authority by Governor Steve Bullock to decide whether or not to return to the classroom on May 7th.

Trustees took public comment before voting.

“I think some sort of limited return would be great, as soon as possible. The structure of school is so much better than the online learning,” said Julien Morice, a parent in Bozeman.

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“What we’re doing is different now, but it would still be different even if they were in the school buildings. It would never be the same as what it was. You know, the process of instruction would be totally different. All of their socialization would be different,” said Diane, another parent participating in the virtual board meeting.

Trustees echoed similar concerns as Bozeman Schools Superintendent Bob Conners expressed last Friday.

“Will the environment be safe for at risk teachers who have family members who are at risk,” said Sandy Wilson, vice chair of the school board.

“There’s so many unknowns right now. If this were January and we were looking at what we were doing after spring break, the timing would be very different,” said school board trustee Heide Arneson.

“I support this motion. That’s not without serious consideration to those parents that are struggling at home that do need to work and have children at home,” said Gary Lusin, trustee with the school board.

At one point, the board meeting was up to nearly 500 participants.

“I have a senior myself. We’re all in this together as a community, we’re all in this as a school board to help you guys. And really feel free to ping us on email. It’s a great way to ask questions,” said Andrew Willet, chair of the school board.

You can read Bozeman School District Superintendent Bob Connor’s recommendation to the school board here: Instruction Recommendation (1).pdf [track.spe.schoolmessenger.com]