GREAT FALLS — The Box Elder School Board unanimously passed an indefinite school closure Saturday, during an Emergency School Board Meeting.
Superintendent Jeremy MacDonald stated in the release that the primary concern of the Board and administration is the safety of students, staff and community.
They will also be taking the following measures:
Due to the high percentage of students receiving free and reduced lunch, our Food Service, Transportation and additional staff will continue to provide two meals a day to our students via designated delivery points.
All staff were approved two weeks of Emergency Leave. This supports staff who are affected by the tribal quarantine put in place for community members who have been in areas where there are confirmed cases of COVID-19. As of now there are no confirmed cases in Hill County but school employees and students are returning from areas where there have been confirmed cases.
On Monday, Box Elder Schools staff will begin planning how educational services will look for our students. The Apple ConnectED Grant will enable us to serve approximately 90% of our students with access to Internet. We are planning additional educational services to meet 100% of our learners.
This virus has been limited by "social distancing" and we are taking informed action to prevent the spread in our local region. Healthcare facilities in our region are expecting to be impacted and we are working to support their efforts to meet the needs of our community should confirmed cases become present.
Rocky Boy Superintendent Voyd St. Pierre issued a press release Saturday over concerns of what he called "the ever-changing dynamics related to the COVID-19 virus."
In the release St. Pierre states that the Chippewa Cree Tribe issued a "State of Emergency Declaration" for the Rocky Boy Reservation.
As a result of this they decided it would be appropriate to close the Rocky Boy School District for a two week period, starting Monday, March 16th through Friday, March 27th of 2020.
The school district is working closely with the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, the governor's office, the Office of Public Instruction, Tribal Community Health staff, Chippewa Cree Tribal government, School Administrators of Montana, and many other professional educational organizations dealing with the COVID-19 virus.
They also stated the following measures are implemented immediately to minimize/reduce the risk of close contact from outside entities after the 2 week period ends.
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We will continue to update the situation and provide any updates we receive from the Rocky Boy School District.