Montana Public Radio

Kalispell Public Schools

Lockers in an empty school hallway.
PD

Public school students in Montana may miss out on roughly $800,000 in federal aid for laptops, masks and educational services amid the coronavirus pandemic. That’s according to a calculation from state education officials after the U.S. Department of Education’s plan for sharing emergency aid with private and home schools was thrown out in court.

Lockers in an empty school hallway.
PD

Montana public school districts will receive roughly $41 million of relief funding in about two weeks. Schools say they need that money for things like buying masks, special cleaning equipment and supplies so they can open in the fall. New guidance from the U.S. Department of Education says private school students will receive an increased share of that funding.

Montana Public Radio’s Aaron Bolton spoke with MTPR News Director Corin-Cates Carney to explain.

Missoula's Hellgate High School
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Monday was the first day that public schools across Montana were required to have plans in place for how they will deliver online or remote education, as well as other services. MTPR’s Corin Cates-Carney spoke with reporter Aaron Bolton about classes moving forward as school buildings remain closed amid the novel coronavirus pandemic:

Empty school classroom
iStock

School districts across northwest Montana met with public health officials last week to begin preparing for potential impacts from the novel coronavirus. Flathead County health officials asked schools to give basic hygiene information to students and staff.

Public health officials want schools to craft plans for potential closures and remote instruction. Federal and state guidance does not suggest schools close in communities without coronavirus cases.

School hallway.
iStock

Kalispell Public Schools will soon adopt a new mobile app allowing students to anonymously report tips about threats to a school, bullying and mental health issues to administrators and law enforcement.

Dennis Bane is a school resource officer at Flathead High School and with some help from students, he began testing incident reporting apps for the school district last year.

State and local comparison of maximum budgets and cost per student.
Kalispell Public Schools

Three years after a successful bond request to expand schools, Kalispell Public Schools are asking voters to upgrade technology and programming at the district’s high schools for the first time in more than a decade.

Ballots for the levy were sent Monday, asking for $1.2 million to benefit 2,900 high school students taking classes at Flathead and Glacier High Schools, the Linderman Education Center, and the Agricultural Education Center.