Yesterday, the Gardiner School Staff met to determine our path forward in case of a lengthened school closure. Again, going off of the words of the Governor it is highly likely that the schools remain shut down, what is uncertain is for how long. Staff prepared for a minimum of two more weeks, knowing that it could be for much longer including for the rest of the year. Elementary parents, you should be hearing specifics from individual teachers soon, if you haven’t already. 7-12 parents, Ms. Jones has sent an email outlining the process that 7-12 teachers will be following.
Please be aware that this is not homeschooling, but will require your support. Much of what teachers do is direct instruction, and that is what will be most affected during this time. Teachers are scheduling times to meet via phone, or through other sources with individual students and groups of students. Teachers WANT to teach your children, and are doing their best to figure out how to do so. It is vital that you and your student(s) understand that they will be held accountable for information and skills being taught. Part of the school’s accountability to the State is that we show our students are proficient in the State Standards associated with their grade level. That is going to require all students to do what is asked of them, and some of them may need support at home to do so.
Also know that teachers while doing their best to provide pertinent and valuable lessons via a new and challenging format are required to meet the needs of all students. So, what will be required of students in the amount of time and effort will vary greatly with each individual student. Teachers are not trying, nor should they be to fill and 8-hour day. Much of what will be required will be greatly condensed, how much so depends on the individual student. Just know what they are asking is important to develop proficiency in the needed areas, and as required by the State.
Gardiner Schools is asking that you come to pick up your student’s materials in accordance with the following schedule:
Wednesday March 25th: Odd Grades (1,3,5) from 8-12 noon or by appointment with your teacher.
Thursday March 26th: Even Grades (K,2,4,6) from 8-12 noon or by appointment with your teacher.
****Teachers will have you students belongings and necessary school materials packed in boxes/bags and ready to be picked up. For those needing Chromebooks, the teachers will have Chromebook use agreement forms for all parents to sign as they pick up their student’s things. We are asking that parents pick up material along the front of the elementary building using the individual outside classroom doors. The 1st, Kinder, 6th, and 4th grade classrooms all have outside doors leading to the parking lot. 2nd grade will use the 1st grade door, 5th grade will use the 6th grade door, and 3rd grade will use the 4th grade door. If you are unfamiliar with which door is which, the teachers will be watching and guiding parents to the appropriate places.
Gardiner Schools is asking that you come to pick up your student’s materials in accordance with the following schedule:
Wednesday March 25th: Odd Grades (7,9,11) from 1-4 pm or by appointment.
Thursday March 26th: Even Grades (8,10,12) from 1-4 pm or by appointment.
****Student’s lockers will be emptied by school staff and packed in boxes/bags and ready for student pickup. Mrs. Eppenstein will be available for students to sign out their instruments as well. Students will be let in 5 JH and 5 HS students at a time. Students should not need more than a few minutes to get their belongings. We also ask that students not congregate in the parking lot.
We will be offering delivery of school supplies on Friday March 27th. A driver and another school staff member will be delivering supplies in accordance with the following schedule:
Valley Route: Corwin Springs- 9am-10am
Point of Rocks (East River Rd)- Approximately 10:15 am -11:30 am
Mammoth Route: Community Center (old school)- 9 am -10 am
Church Parking Lot- Approximately 10:10-11:30
****The driver and staff member will have Chromebooks and the appropriate forms at the pick-up sites for students needing Chromebooks.
I feel as if I am forgetting something, and most likely I am. So, if there are questions feel free to call anytime 406-848-7563, I would be happy to answer whatever I can. Once again, check your emails, and if you have a preferred method of communication other than email, please let us know as well.
You should all know, that every single staff member of Gardiner Schools has asked what they can do to help. The entire staff is going above and beyond their duties to serve our students.
Dear Gardiner Students,
This week we are working at the school to prepare for distance learning and do our part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Your continuing education and ability to obtain credit for your current classes is our greatest priority. The Governor of Montana has laid out a plan for schools to follow to make sure that you are able to continue making progress in your education. In order for us to meet the Governor’s requirements the teachers have worked together to develop a plan for distance learning for Gardiner School. There are several things that you can do this week to help prepare for distance learning that will begin on Monday, March 30, 2020.
We will be using Google Classroom for our primary digital classroom platform. You are responsible for keeping your email inbox organized and managing communications from your teachers regarding coursework. To access your Google Classroom settings you will need to go to the Classroom landing page (where you see all of your courses) and in the upper left hand corner you will see three bold lines. Click on this menu and scroll to the bottom and select ‘settings.’ This is where you can modify your notifications to meet your needs.
What to expect during digital learning:
In Park County, we have tested 18-25 patients per day for a full week, all with acute respiratory symptoms. The state of Montana has performed just over a thousand tests, 125 of those tests have been here in Park County.
All have been negative to date. A week ago, we were a relatively sick community with 6 other common viral infections prevalent including influenza.
Our week of social isolation stands to help us shed these other infections and become a healthier community than at any other average time in late March. There is ample evidence that social isolation, readily
available testing early in the development of symptoms, tracking contacts, and enforcing quarantines can prevent a catastrophic surge of infections. Preventing a surge of infections allows healthcare systems to care properly for the patients that truly need care and can dramatically increase survival.
We are very fortunate in Park County that we have been given the gift of time; our extensive testing cautiously suggests that we do not have community spread at this moment. Therefore, we have an opportunity that others around the world and country have not had.
My biggest fear is that Montana's larger communities are not testing extensively. They are testing in a way too limited manner and will discover the tip, not the base of the iceberg when it comes to community
spread of infection. Therefore, we will not know community spread until it is too late. Gallatin County in my estimation is very vulnerable to community spread right now. So is Wyoming.
I do see a way forward. We anticipate commercial onsite rapid diagnostic tests for Covid-19 in 2-3 weeks. This would be a game changer. Currently tests have to go to the state and take 36-48 hours to return results.
I am most concerned with those hosting family and friends from elsewhere and those returning from elsewhere to ride this out in Park County. For those returning to Park County from elsewhere, recognize that your very return makes vulnerable the safety you seek. These folks must commit to a strict 14 days of quarantine, early testing (by simply calling the hospital main number) of symptoms of fever, headache, and cough, and strict adherence to health department instructions of isolation should they test positive. If anyone has any questions as to what quarantine should look like, call the Park County Health Department.
I also fear that Bozeman will develop community spread and Park County residents will continue to travel and become exposed in Bozeman. I am certain Wyoming now has community spread. There is minimal testing. They will not know the extent of the disease and will have critical care cases arriving soon.
If we can control the next three weeks, we have a remarkable opportunity to avert much of the suffering that is so baked in the cake for many other locations. It is our singular moment to mimic the experience of 1918 Gunnison, Colorado.
Our businesses must understand that should we be successful in avoiding a surge of infections, we will also be poised for an earlier and faster recovery. This message must reach all Park County residents.
Each of us controls our collective destiny. We must not just enforce our own behavior in this crisis, but be outspoken and enforce and educate others around us. There is too much at stake.
Please make sure all who will listen know what an opportunity we have and what is at stake.
Travel outside of Park County should be severely restricted or better yet cease now. Necessary trips to local supermarket, pharmacy, or hardware must occur. Consider calling ahead with order and curbside pick up. If enter stores, keep 6 foot distance between all, and treat all public surfaces as contaminated. Thorough hand wash every time one enters their house from community. Hand bleach wipes or sanitizer when returning to car from community. Do not touch face after being in the community and do not take or touch phone while in community (or wipe down thoroughly after leaving community setting) until you are able to wash hands thoroughly. Shop at off times when you will run into fewer people.
Reach and educate all of our neighbors returning to Park County from other places. Encourage our neighbors to not host people from elsewhere. Temporarily close hotels and motels to discourage folks from high infection areas coming to Park County.
We can control our Covid-19 experience, and we can lead the state of Montana on the backside showing just what a vigorous recovery looks like!
Thank you again for your efforts!
This message is from me personally, not from Livingston Healthcare.
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Gardiner School staff met on Monday, March 23 to determine how distance learning would be implemented at the 7th - 12th grade level beginning on Monday, March 30, 2020. While this is a work in progress and everyone is extending themselves in new areas, we are confident that Gardiner School students will have the opportunity to continue their education for the remainder of the school year. It is our goal to provide instruction digitally in order for each student to be proficient in the courses they are currently enrolled in. In order to receive funding from the state of Montana each teacher will need to determine the proficiency of our students to provide credit for the course they are currently enrolled in. Each teacher will provide more detailed information about how proficiency will be determined in each course.
In order to begin the digital learning process each teacher will be contacting you separately via email and phone to determine if there are any technology or internet connectivity needs. In order to facilitate this process, please update your contact information in Infinite Campus. You will also be invited to your student’s Google Classroom for each core course your student is currently enrolled in. Keeping your contact information up to date will help us help your child to obtain proficiency while we are utilizing distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 7-12 teachers plan to begin distance learning via Google Classroom on Monday, March 30 2020. What you can expect as parents is to receive an email outlining the upcoming week’s objectives, lesson overview, and assignments. The purpose of this email is to provide you with information that can be used to talk to your students about their progress weekly. Infinite Campus will also be utilized on Mondays to send missing assignment notices. Please communicate with teachers individually if extra time is needed to complete work. During the first couple days of the week teachers will be establishing specific guidelines for online etiquette, course expectations, and frequency of contact with the teacher.
At the 7-12 level, teachers will provide one video conference per week using Google Meet that students will be able to call in or join using a web camera. Each course will follow a schedule that was organized by the teachers to prevent conflicts and this will be shared with students later this week. In addition to video conferences, teachers will also be available for a two hour window daily for one-on-one conversations with students to answer questions or provide additional instruction. Teachers will be available via email during the day to answer questions or provide additional instruction.
Teachers will be reporting grades weekly through Infinite Campus in order to provide evidence of proficiency. Students who do not complete work in a timely manner will receive an email and phone call from the teacher to determine if there are any technology challenges or questions that need to be answered in order to complete the work. Each Monday, parents and students will receive a notification through Infinite Campus if they have missing work. It is important that students make an effort to complete work in a timely manner to provide evidence of proficiency and receive credit for the course they are enrolled in.
If you have any questions or concerns please reach out to your student’s teacher via email or contact Mike Baer at email@example.com
TO: Montanans; all officers and agencies of the State of Montana
FROM: Governor Steve Bullock
DATE: March 19, 2020
RE: Directive Implementing Executive Orders 2-2020 and 3-2020 and providing additional direction related to school closures
Executive Orders 2-2020 and 3-2020 declare that a state of emergency exists in Montana due to the global outbreak of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. On March 15, 2020, I issued a Directive pursuant to these executive orders directing the closure of all non-residential public schools in Montana through March 27, 2020, and providing that all eligible schools will continue to receive all state payments. This Directive provides additional guidance related to school closures, planning by schools and school districts in the event of future closure, the provision of services to students during closure, and state funding for schools.
In accordance with the authority vested in me under the Constitution, Article VI, Sections 4 and 13, and the laws of the State of Montana, Title 10, Chapter 3 and Title 50, Chapter 1, MCA, and other applicable provisions of the Constitution and Montana Law, I hereby direct the following measures be in place in the State of Montana effective immediately:
• Requirements for pupil instruction time through March 27 are waived. Districts will continue to receive all state payments during this period as budgeted and appropriated by the Montana legislature.
• Districts are expected to use this two-week period to plan and implement ways to provide students with (1) quality public education through remote learning, (2) school meals, (3) services to students with disabilities, (4) other services customarily provided to students in school, in the event there are school closures beyond March 27.
* Districts are not required to provide pupil-instruction time during these two weeks
through remote learning, though, where possible, it is strongly encouraged.*
• In the event there are closures beyond March 27 pursuant to a gubernatorial directive, a district will not be required to reschedule in-person pupil-instruction time lost because of the closure if the board of trustees for the district approves the district’s plan/report that it has made up the lost pupil-instruction time through remote learning, provided for meals for students, provided for services to students with disabilities, and provided other services customarily provided to students in school.
*Districts will present an initial plan to the board of trustees for the district (school
board) for approval, followed by periodic reports on implementation for approval as
well, at intervals to be determined by the school board.*
*Waiver of required in-person pupil-instruction hours is subject to the final approval of
the Governor, in consultation with the Superintendent of Public Instruction, consistent
with § 10-3-104, MCA and other applicable provisions of law. Presumptively, the
Governor will approve waiver requests that are approved by school boards.
* Districts whose plans/reports are approved will continue to receive all state funding.
• If a district’s plan/report is not approved, then it will be required to reschedule the pupil-instruction time lost. State funding associated with additional necessary time will be financed through federal stimulus funds, if available, or through a supplemental appropriation in House Bill 3 during the 2021 legislative session.
• During the two-week period of closure through March 27, the education community will also survey districts to determine the status of planning efforts and as well as the extent to which schools are already providing remote learning, meals, services for students with disabilities, and other services customarily provided to students in school.
Authorities: Section 10-3-104, MCA; §§ 50-1-202, -203, and -204, MCA; 37 A.G. Op. 132 (1978);
Executive Orders 2-2020 and 3-2020; Montana Constitution, Art. VI, Sections 4 and 13; §§ 10-3-103, -
302, and -305, MCA; and all other applicable provisions of state and federal law.
• This Directive is effective immediately and expires at the end of the declared state of
emergency in Executive Orders 2-2020 and 3-2020.
• This Directive shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the
availability of appropriations.
• This Directive is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the State of Montana, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
This is an important message from Gardiner Public Schools.
I just wanted to reach out and give a quick update on the situation pertaining to the school and Covid-19. First, the school board took action yesterday afternoon during an emergency board meeting, to declare and unforeseen emergency. This along with a couple other actions, put Gardiner Schools into position to use a variety of different methods to meet state standards to continue receiving full funding from the state in case the shutdown continues. Second, the Governor released a statement yesterday hinting toward a continued shutdown. There was no mention of a time frame. It appears a good metric to use is to watch what is happening on the east coast, we seem to be a week or so behind them in what is happening. Third, your staff and teachers are planning on Monday for the possibility of a longer shutdown. By Tuesday, I hope to be able to communicate to you our plan for instruction, meals, and other services.
For parents with students in High School taking an online course either through MTDA or BYU, the expectation is that they continue with the coursework for those classes. Please help remind them to stay caught up in those courses.
If you have any questions please feel free to call 848-7563, I would be happy to answer.
Please call 406-848-7563 if you have any questions.
Gardiner Public School