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Heart Butte Public Schools releases plan for new school year

Heart Butte High students learning native tongue
Posted at 12:26 PM, Jul 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-22 14:27:15-04

GREAT FALLS — Heart Butte Public Schools has created a plan to deliver K-12 instruction for the 2020-2021 academic school year.

"Safety of our students, staff, and members of our community is the District's priority during this uncertain time" said Mike Tatsey, superintendent of Heart Butte Public Schools. "Heart Butte Public Schools will continue to follow the directives and remain in compliance with the laws and regulations of the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council and their designees, including the Blackfeet Incident Command team."

Heart Butte Public Schools will take a phased approach to reopening. In phase zero, and until further notice provided by the Blackfeet Tribe, the district will offer distance learning services with a constant monitoring of developments in this ongoing pandemic.

"We are committed to ensuring that our Heart Butte students are provided with access to quality instruction and academic support while also adhering to Montana's Office of Public Instruction accreditation standards and procedures," said Tatsey.

Phase one provides for continued distance learning programming but allows for one-on-one or small group tutorial services while maintaining social distancing, using masks, and other regulations as prescribed by the Blackfeet Tribe. When phase two is initiated, as authorized by the Blackfeet Tribe, the district will provide in-person instruction to students at the school. Under phase two, distance learning may continue for certain students whose parents request such an accommodation. The master schedule will remain the same to ensure consistency of instruction and learning occurs, whether by distance learning or in-person teaching. The plan also outlines protocols for food service programming as well as athletic and activities programming.

The district is aware of the unique needs of the Heart Butte community, and teachers and administrators will continue to dedicate themselves to meeting the individual needs of students. The district will also continue to maintain a fair and equitable disposition as we plan our remote curriculum as well as our attendance and grading policies. Heart Butte Public School's phased approach is predicated on flexibility. The changing nature of the global situation requires consistent communication, collaboration, and adaptation between staff, students, and families. As such, this phased approach to reopening remains flexible as the district navigates these uncertain times together with those it serves.