Billings School District 2 started registration on Friday to determine how many students want school online and how many want to attend classes at the schools.
On Friday, the first day of registration, about 300 wanted remote learning and 1,600 chose live instruction, according to Superintendent Greg Upham.
Registration for both is available on the school district's website.
Upham said a survey shows an estimated 5,000 will choose online, out of the 17,600 students in the district.
That has made it more challenging in preparing for the school year.
"It's like building a brand new school district," Upham said. "You've got to realize that 5,000 students, that's bigger than most of the school districts in Montana. In order to build the section and staff, that's going to take some time. So we have some urgency with that. But at the same time, we want parents to be able to make informed decisions so we want to make sure we answer all their questions and communicate effectively before they do make that decision."
Upham said questions from parents include:
- What does the online school day look like?
- What is the commitment?
- What courses are available?
- What are the software requirements?
He also said a Billings Education Association survey of teachers shows some have a significant interest in teaching remotely.
The deadline for registration is Aug. 9.