Bozeman Schools Superintendent Recommends Not Opening Schools
Superintendent Bob Conners is recommending that Bozeman schools not return on May 7th, which is the date Montana Governor Steve Bullock says all schools have the option to return to in-classroom teaching.
The governor is allowing local school boards to decide whether or not students will return before the end of the school year, which for most is just a few weeks.
Connors, in a letter dated April 24, 2020, to the Bozeman School Board, outlined his reasons for why the Bozeman schools should continue with remote learning. He says in part,
After consultation with our Gallatin County health experts, Executive Cabinet, Instructional Cabinet, AA Superintendents, Gallatin County Superintendents, Tami Phillippi ( Association ), and the number of emails that have hit my inbox, it is my recommendation that the Board continues off-site learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. This is not a decision I make lightly. I understand the strain off-site instruction places on families and I have also listened as our students, families, and education team have expressed concerns about the emotional toll off-site instruction is taking. I believe, however, that based on current circumstances in the Gallatin Valley, continued remote learning is the responsible course of action to maintain the health of our students and staff.
The Bozeman School Board is expected to meet on Monday night to make a decision on the matter. Other school boards in the area are also expecting to announce their decisions this week.
Governor Bullock closed schools back on March 16th for two weeks, but that was extended two weeks later to April 24th. Last week, the governor gave the go-ahead for students to return to in-school teaching on May 7th.