GREAT FALLS — The Whittier Elementary School building in Great Falls will be closed for one week due to an increase in the number of quarantined and isolated staff and students. The campus will be closed beginning on Friday evening (October 30) and is not scheduled to re-open until the morning of Monday, November 9th.
The Great Falls Public Schools District posted the following information on Friday:
- Great Falls Public Schools has been monitoring the COVID-19 spread since school started. This week we have seen the number of confirmed active positive cases increase to over 50 individuals, staff and students. There have been pockets of concentration regarding the confirmed cases. However, people being quarantined or isolated have affected all schools and departments.
- Due to a high percentage of staff being either quarantined or isolated and some students quarantined, we will be closing Whittier Elementary for one week, beginning this evening October 30, 2020 at 4:00 PM until Monday morning, November 9, 2020. This will allow for the quarantine or isolation times of staff and students to lapse and for our sanitation teams to do the necessary deep cleaning and air exchange of the entire school. Parents and staff have been, or are being notified of the details.
- Student learning will continue throughout the week via packets and remote learning. School Foods will be provided bulk meal (breakfast and lunch) distribution for the whole week and will need to be picked up on Monday, November 2nd from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm at Whittier’s main entrance. The food pantry will continue distribution on Thursday of next week as scheduled. If parents or families have questions, you can contact the school until 4:00 PM today or the District Offices next week at 268-6006. Check our website www.gfps.k12.mt.us and Great Falls Public Schools Facebook page for more information and updates.
GFPS also said that even though schools are exempt from the tighter restrictions announced this week on gathering size, beginning November 2, Great Falls School District extracurricular activities will be limited. Many events are being postponed or canceled altogether. According to MHSA rulings, the winter sports season competitions do not begin until after January 1, 2021 at this point.
We will update you if we get more information.
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It's important to note that not every person who tests positive actually becomes ill or exhibits symptoms. Many do not; of those who do become sick, some experience mild symptoms and do not require hospitalization. Others, however, do require hospitalization, as noted in the daily update on the number of people hospitalized. However, every person who tests positive for COVID-19 has the potential to spread the virus to other people, including family members and friends, which is why public health officials continue to encourage everyone to wear a mask and maintain at least the recommended six feet of "social distance" when in public.