HAVRE, Mont. (NMB) – Havre Public Schools Superintendent Craig Mueller has announced that Sunnyside Elementary will be transitioning to remote learning for the remainder of the week due to staffing shortages.
In a conversation with New Media Broadcasters just hours before the announcement, Mueller said COVID and flu-related issues were taking a toll on the school.
“We realize that the most important thing for our students to have is a teacher in a face-to-face setting, the teacher that they have built a relationship with over the first several months of this school year. Their absence has a negative impact and we don’t want to have that. We would rather see an opportunity for everybody to get back and get healthy while still being able to provide educational services, even if they are remote.”
A remote plan is in place for staff, students and parents, and school will return to face to face instruction on Tuesday, January 18th.
Grab and Go Meals for breakfast and lunch will be available this Thursday and Friday from 9-11 AM at the West service door of Sunnyside. Student name will need to be provided.
In order to prevent future closures, Mueller urges parents to keep their kids home if they are sick.
“Please do your best to keep them home and get them healthy before sending them back to the educational environment, because it presents more challenges for one another. We said the same thing to our teaching staff. We need our teachers to be healthy, we need our paraprofessionals to be healthy, our food service workers, everybody has got to be in a healthy spot to be able to work in our buildings. And that’s very important to us.”
When it comes to testing for COVID, Mueller says thanks to the work of Nurse Jeri Zorn, they have managed to keep up with demand.
“Jeri has a great method of testing those who are requesting testing. And she does that over here at the Robins (Administration) Building. So from time to time, she’ll try and bunch those tests together if possible so she can swing over to Robins and test individuals. The greatest part of that BINAX Now testing is the immediate result that you’re able to receive, and then the planning goes from there and the work in cooperation with the Hill County Health Department that is necessary to outline the plan of what quarantine and isolation looks like.”
The District has previously distributed some KN95 masks to school buildings and handed N95 masks out at their administrative meeting on Tuesday. Mueller says they are also ordering additional masks.
“We’re talking about a large-scale order that will meet our immediate needs. And then we’ll see down the road, based on how many of those are being used, if we are going to need to order more.”
Face coverings remain optional at Havre Public Schools.
This post has been updated with additional information