Montana Public Radio

Columbia Falls School District

Columbia Falls School District staff deliver free breakfast and lunch to students just outside of town Wednesday, April 8. The district is providing free meals to any child 18 and younger under a federally funded program it typically uses in the summer.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

Many parents of public school students across the state are struggling with reduced pay or unemployment amid the coronavirus pandemic. School officials say that’s contributing to a spike in demand for free meals from school districts. In order to provide some relief, the federal government and the state are allowing more districts to use a program that nomally provides free meals to children in the summer.

CDC School closure decision tree.
Centers For Disease Control

Public K-12 schools across Montana sent out letters detailing their preparation for the coronavirus Friday following Gov. Steve Bullock’s state of emergency declaration Thursday.

Officials are telling schools to create a plan for potential closures and remote learning. After this story published, Gov. Bullock announced that four cases of the novel coronavirus have tested presumptively positive in Montana.

Nick Bilogorskiy

“Cyber terrorism is an emerging threat that has become all too real in Montana.”

That’s Senator Steve Daines talking to FBI Director Chris Wray about last month’s cyber threats that shook the Flathead Valley.

Hackers breached Columbia Falls school district servers September 13th, stealing personal information belonging to students and staff, demanding payment of a digital currency called bitcoin in exchange for its safe return.

The culprits then proceeded to threaten physical violence against several targets including Flathead Valley Schools.