After careful consideration, Lewistown Junior High and Fergus High School are planning to return to full capacity on Monday, February 1st.
There were a few key factors that influenced this decision. The recent change in contact tracing protocols from the Central Montana Health District will help limit the impact of any future positive cases in our schools. Going forward, there will continue to be a strong emphasis on wearing masks 100% of the time. To reinforce and recommit to our safety plan and protocols, all students will be issued a form that defines expectations and acknowledges a willingness of all parties to remain at full capacity and bring back some normalcy to the school environment. This form will need to be signed by both the student and a guardian. We feel a strong commitment to the CMHD guidelines will limit transmission and reduce quarantines among our students and staff.
In addition, we recognize the importance of input from all of our stakeholders. Surveys to staff and parents as well as input from students and the community helped identify and address concerns about returning to full capacity. There remain some challenges that are not easy to overcome but we plan to spend the rest of this week addressing those concerns in the safest way possible.
As we return to full capacity, the plan is to return to school full-time from Monday thru Friday. However, to account for the unique virtual learning needs due to the pandemic, we will follow the elementary plan to use the same Flex days of Jan. 29, Feb. 12, March 19, April 23 and May 14. We recognize that in-person instruction is the best approach to education and we look forward to seeing ALL of our students back in school safely. We appreciate your commitment to KEEPING our kids in school.