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Huntley Project, Shepherd to finish school year all online; Laurel moving in that direction

Posted at 4:38 PM, Apr 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-24 20:28:41-04

Huntley Project and Shepherd schools will have online-only classes for the rest of the school year, while Laurel schools are moving in that direction.

The Huntley Project School District announced Friday that its board of trustees had voted to continue distance learning through the end of the school year.

Superintendent Mark Wandle wrote in letter to the community dated Friday that the district will discuss other aspects of the school year, including graduation, at a May 4 board meeting.

Here's the letter, which the district posted on Twitter:

Shepherd Schools Superintendent Drea O'Donnell said on Facebook that her board made a similar decision:

Also on Friday, Laurel Schools Superintendent Linda Filpula wrote a letter to parents and staff saying she would recommend the same plan to her board at its next meeting on Monday.

Among the concerns cited by Filpula are maintaining social-distancing guidelines among so many students, transportation and safety of staff and teachers.

The letter did not address graduation. Read the full letter here.

This week, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock announced that schools could reopen May 7 if they maintained strict social-distancing guidelines to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Billings Schools Superintendent Greg Upham has said he expects the district to continue online learning. The board next meets Monday.

Lockwood School Superintendent Tobin Novasio announced earlier this week that his district would remain online only through the rest of the year.