Lockwood Schools will close for the rest of the year but continue virtual online classes, Superintendent Tobin Novasio wrote on the district's Facebook page Monday.
In addition, all events and activities on campus are canceled through the end of July to try to curb the spread of COVID-19, Novasio wrote.
Novasio noted that even if Montana follows President Trump's guidelines for reopening sections of the economy, school reopenings wouldn't likely happen until mid to late May.
Opening campus for a few weeks seemed like an "unnecessary risk" for a school campus with 1,300 students and 200 staff, he wrote.
"The safety of your students is one of our priorities as a district, this applies during a medical pandemic the same as it does on a bus, the playground, or a classroom. We are in a situation where there seem to be no clear 'right' answers, so it is our duty to error on the side of caution in order to keep you and yours safe on our watch," Novasio wrote.
All schools in Montana have been closed since March 16 under an order from Gov. Steve Bullock. This week, Bullock plans to announce a phased reopening in Montana, which is contingent upon a decline in COVID-19 cases, adequate availability of testing and other factors.
Lockwood schools will wrap up online classes May 29, and report cards are expected out in June. Curbside pickup of breakfast and lunch will continue outside the intermediate school.
Novasio wrote that the closure of the school allows administrators and staff to better prepare for the next school year in August, which could include additional measures including taking temperatures of students and staff and offering a hybrid of distance learning and in-class instruction.
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