Direct Donate 2020

The Rattlesnake PTA works with the teachers, staff, and community of our school to provide both funding and in-person support for special events, field trips, students and families in need, classroom materials, and educational enrichment. By donating to the Rattlesnake PTA this holiday season, your dollars directly support the programs that matter most to our students, staff, and community.

  • Donate between December 1st and December 31st 2020 to ensure your donation is counted towards meeting our annual goal. Donations received after the deadline are very much still welcome- it is just harder to keep track of our progress after that!
  • The suggested donation is $50 per child – this amount is approximately how much the PTA needs in donations, per child per year, to support our programs.
  • To donate online, visit: https://www.crowdrise.com/RattlesnakePTA
  • To donate with cash or check: Use the pre-addressed green envelope that came home with your child if he/she is going to school (you can send the envelope back in your child’s classroom folder). For MOA families, using an envelope from home works too – just mail to the address shown below! Donations over winter break should be mailed to either of the addresses below. Checks should be made out to “Rattlesnake PTA.”

Mail to: 

Rattlesnake PTA, P.O. Box 7211, Missoula MT 59807

– or –

Rattlesnake PTA, 1220 Pineview Dr, Missoula MT 59802

Track our overall progress on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RattlesnakePTA/

Thank you for considering a donation today!


A Thank You Note from one of our MOA Teachers

More Details on the Direct Donate Fundraiser

Background: The PTA’s Direct Donate Drive started in 2015 to allow families to give money to the PTA without having to buy or sell items they may not want or need. The Direct Donate fundraiser has since become the biggest annual fundraiser run by the Rattlesnake PTA.  Learn more about the Rattlesnake PTA’s major fundraising and event schedule here.

Goals: The net funds raised during the Direct Donation event in 2018 and 2019 were over $10,000. The goal for 2020 is $10,000, so that we can stay on track with the PTA’s support of school programs despite all the challenges this year has brought.

Get the Word Out: We are committed to minimizing waste during this fundraising event by minimizing paper handouts so watch for email and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/RattlesnakePTA) reminders that you can share with others. You can also share the Crowdrise link with grandparents, family & friends who might want to support Rattlesnake Elementary.

Please feel free to return any unused green envelopes to your child’s teacher for reuse next year.

Online Fees: Anyone can donate by check, cash, or online — but you might want to know that donations by cash or check “go a little farther” because there are no transaction fees. Donations online via Crowdrise include two fees:

  • a 6% (of total donation) fee to use the online platform
  • separate credit card processing fee of 3- 4%, depending on size of donation

If you wish to maximize every penny of your donation, please consider sending a check instead. Make the check out to “Rattlesnake PTA” and send to Rattlesnake PTA, 1220 Pineview Dr, Missoula MT 59802.

Tax Info: The PTA’s legal name as defined by the IRS may show up on your receipt for donating on Crowdrise- that name is the “MONTANA CONGRESS OF PARENTS TEACHERS STUDENTS.” We are sorry for any confusion that might cause. Your donation will reach us!

The Rattlesnake PTA is a 501(c)3 registered nonprofit, tax ID #81-0448185.

If you have further questions about this fundraiser, please email the PTA at RattlesnakePTA@gmail.com

Community Resources: Winter 2020

During the week off from school, there are many food, support & counseling resources available to our community. See the full list:

>> Winter Resources <<

Message from Ms. Scholle:

Hello Rattlesnake Families! As the holidays approach during this difficult time, it is completely normal to feel stressed and tight financially.

I wanted to share resources in the Missoula community dedicated to supporting you during this time. Attached here is a list of resources for Thanksgiving and Christmas, along with Counseling resources you may find helpful. You can access the list of resources here and on my website.

Please reach out if you need any support, I am here for you!

Love, Ms. Scholle

Book Fair Fundraiser

Our annual book fair is going online this year!

Online shopping starts on Monday, November 2 and runs through November 15th.

Here’s how it works:
1. Choose books at http://factandfictionbooks.com and add to cart
2. Enter “Rattlesnake” during checkout (in the coupon code box)
3. Rattlesnake Elementary School will receive 20% of your order to support the PTA, teachers, and families.

For those who want to shop in-person mark your calendars to visit Fact and Fiction on Higgins Street on Friday, November 13th. Tell them you are from Rattlesnake!

Teacher and student wish lists should be available soon.

Thank you for supporting our school and happy reading! 

https://www.facebook.com/events/4634285493311851

PTA General Meeting Notes: October 6, 2020

Present:

Janel Chin, Dana Hupp, Judith Bledsoe, Jen Sheldon, Leigh Greenwood, Pam Wright, Christy Cheviron, Molly Cottrell, Shannon Murphy

Halloween Idea from Dana Hupp:

Individual bags of popcorn, gummies, pencil, packaged for each student.  Worden Thane has agreed to cover the cost. Pam said that paras can help assemble bags. 

New Office Support:

Erin Berryman is our new part-time secretary, working every day from 10-2.  Her email is eberryman@mcpsmt.org

How can we thank Worden Thane? 

Pam Updates:

district is staying in hybrid until November, teachers and Pam feel this is manageable.  Benefits from the smaller classes: more focus, less distractions, getting more done, students experiencing more success.

Schoolyard Improvements:

funnel ball approved funding for, but the shipping costs are exorbitant – $500 for toy, more than $500 for shipping.  Now have: 4 hopscotch squats, tetherball, ping-pong style soccer, assorted balls, hula hoops, chalk.

Salmon Fundraiser:

Ryan Ashworth offered to help us do a large scale fundraiser for frozen, 1.5 pound filets, flyer is ready to go out.  Pricing sounds good. 

School Garden:

has been open to families, volunteers in the garden can check out the whiteboard for needed tasks.

Teacher Appreciation:

health and wellness gifts for teachers with lots of community support got a great reception. Pam says that the first week of November is intense for teachers prepping report cards, could be a good time to “stock the fridge” with individually packaged items.

East Missoula:

Distributing food there, banner and flyers hung in E Missoula to advertise food. YMCA and district working together in 2.5 rooms in Mt. Jumbo for extra support.  New MOLA program for full days there on Mondays plus kids off days.

Support Outdoor Learning:

Air sensor for school to make assessment on sending kids outside on smoky days, mystery? Reopen discussion in December in time for inversion season. Move forward with getting one if in fact we don’t already have one.

Sit Spots: mostly donations, have enough right now,

Survey of teachers completed to see how we could improve outdoor space.  Amphitheater area ideas: seating could be more comfortable, writing surfaces either permanent or lap desks, shelter for rain/snow, stage set with bricks or cement. Parents interested in helping?

School Website Calendar:

Add book fair, salmon fundraiser, send dates to Robin Nygren to add

Volunteer Needs:

Need a volunteer to shadow Leigh for Direct Donate in November, easy, online, simple way to support our teachers and school.  Great job for someone who wants to do all the work from home.

We will continue to have general meetings the first Tuesday of the month at 9am.

Sockeye Salmon Fundraiser

Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon is scheduled to arrive in Missoula December 9! If you have placed an order, keep your freezer space available as the PTA plans to deliver it on Wednesday December 9th. If you are not home that day, be sure and leave a cooler on your front porch or contact us (via email at rattlesnakepta@gmail.com or via cell phone at 406-207-6462) to make alternative arrangements. If you did not get your order in, a limited quantity of extra salmon filets is expected to be available so let us know as soon as possible if you would still like in on this delicious fundraiser. Approximately $7 from every $22 filet sold will go back to school.

———————————————————————————————————————————————-

Buy sockeye salmon and support the PTA this month!

Support our school and enjoy delicious Alaskan salmon! $22 per filet,
sustainably harvested in part by a Rattlesnake parent with bristolbaysockeye.org. Each packaged, frozen filet weighs about 1.5 lbs. Place your order as soon as possible, as supplies are limited. We hope to have the salmon in Missoula and available by mid-November (make sure to have freezer space ready!).

There are 2 Ways to Order!

  1. Fill out the form and return with a check made out to Rattlesnake Elementary School: salmonsaleptafinal.pdf 
  • Return your form and check by mail via our P.O. Box (P.O. Box 7211, Missoula MT 59807)
  • Return your form by email. Email rattlesnakepta@gmail.com and attach an electronic copy of your completed form. We’ll collect the check at time of delivery.
  • Drop orders by Janel’s (Our PTA President) House. Please call first (406-543-2675) to coordinate a time.
  1. Order and pay online at www.mightycause.com/story/Rattlesnakesalmonsale

All proceeds will support the PTA’s educational enhancement activities at Rattlesnake school.

Don’t forget to share this opportunity with your friends and family. Fun prizes are being planned for the students who sell the most fish.

If the pricing on this fundraiser is too much for your family but you would be interested in donated fish for those who are in need in our school community, please let us know: rattlesnakepta@gmail.com

Adopt-The-Garden Volunteers Needed!

The Rattlesnake School Garden will be open to families after school this fall!

Thanks to Garden City Harvest, the garden is full of produce. Families are welcome to visit the garden and take home veggies during daily Adopt the Garden Hours. One family can sign up every day from Sept 21 to October 16.

Sign Up Here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0d44ada62aa3fe3-fall1

If you sign up for a school day, Adopt the Garden hours are from after school (2:30pm) to dusk. On weekends, you can come to the garden whatever time of day is convenient for you.

During Adopt the Garden hours, your family can enjoy time in the garden and do some weeding and harvesting.

Beginning in October, we will also be looking for families to help with “put the garden to bed” tasks. Please bring your own gardening gloves, tools, produce collection bag, etc. Due to COVID-19, new cleaning procedures and other measures will be in place to keep the community safe and healthy.

Only one family can sign up for Adopt the Garden hours per day. You’ll receive an email regarding access information, garden chores, and more, the week before your scheduled sign-up.

Thank you!

sunflowers

Principal Cooper Email: MCPS Online Academy – information on course registration, school supplies and student registration

This email was received on August 25th 2020 by families that had at least one student registered for the MCPS Online Academy at that time. We’ve included the whole email below for reference. All MOA parent communications are now available in MCPS MOA Parent Communication Archive: https://www.mcpsmt.org/Page/16117 Much more information is also found here: https://www.mcpsmt.org/domain/4155

————————————

MCPS Online Academy Families:

I’d like to thank you for your eagerness to participate in our MCPS Online Academy (MOA) program this school year. To date, we have had about 1600 students K-12 register for our program. I want to commit to you that we are working to create a trusting learning environment for students and staff, with a focus on connecting ourselves deeply in our learning community even while socially distanced and online.

This email confirms that we have received your registration for the MOA

If you wish to remove your student from the MOA and transfer the registration back to your home school before the September 4th deadline, you must email BOTH Principal Cooper and your home school so that we can update our records.

You can find information about the MOA on our website.  We have added to our FAQ in the recent days, I encourage you to check that page for updates. Registration for MCPS Online Academy is extended until  Friday, September 4th at 4:00 p.m. 

There is no cap on how many students we will accept in the MOA.  This decision is an important decision for families and we wanted to give everyone plenty of time to get their questions answered before making the decision.

I’d like to share some important information about our program that will allow you and your students to know how to prepare for the first day of school.

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

Our first day of instruction is Tuesday, September 8th. Your student will receive information about their classes as well as messages from their teachers about what to do on the first day of school by Friday, September 4th.

If you are registered in the MOA, your student should not attend in-person classes which start this week.

COURSE REGISTRATION

Middle and High School students will be registered for Apex Learning courses that correlate to the courses they had already selected during course registration in the Spring of 2020. Counselors will contact your student if there is not an exact match and will have your child select an alternative course. We expect to have course registration complete by Friday, September 4th.

FOOD AND NUTRITION 

All students, including students attending the MCPS Online Academy, will have the opportunity to receive food services every school day. Regular meal prices, including free and reduced options, will apply. Anyone can pick up the meals on behalf of your student at any school building, please make sure you have your student’s ID number so that meals can be appropriately charged to your student’s account. Contact the school closest to you for pickup locations and times.

I also encourage all families to complete a Free and Reduced Meal Application this school year. Many families have had changes to their wages and work hours, so you may now qualify for support with the cost of your student’s meals. For example, a family of 4 earning $48,470 per year would qualify for reduced price meals.

SCHOOL SUPPLIES

We are planning to have a drive-through school supply pick up event on September 3rd or 4th. At this event, families will be able to pick up grade-specific learning materials like textbooks or novels, whiteboards, math manipulatives, as well as loaned laptops or chromebooks and Wifi hotspots for families who do not have those items at home. I will share more information about this pick up event in a future email.

I am looking forward to getting to know you and your students as we move forward on our learning journey together. If you have additional questions, please contact me at rcooper@mcpsmt.org.

Sincerely,

Rae Cooper

Principal

MCPS Online Academy

Principal Wright Email: Rattlesnake Return to School Updates

This is an online copy of Principal Wright’s email from 8/12/2020 for ease of reference

Dear Rattlesnake Families,

Last night the MCPS School Board approved a plan to begin the year in a hybrid model, two days of face-to-face learning and three days of remote learning.  The plan is for students with last names beginning with A-K, to attend school in person for the first block of the week, and students whose last names begin with L-Z will attend school in the second block*.  Each group will receive remote learning assignments from their classroom teacher for the other three days. During the hybrid model the school day will begin at 8:30 and end at 2:10.

With the first week of school being a short week, and two board approved “No School” Mondays to follow, here’s how the calendar will be adjusted for the hybrid model.  You will also have the option to choose the Missoula Online Academy, our 100% remote learning option.  At the end of this email, you will find a link to more information on the Missoula Online Academy and a link to register.

Hybrid Model Schedule – Week 1

August 26: Kindergarten Only Day

August 27: A-K Day

August 28: L-Z Day

Hybrid Model Schedule – Week 2

August 31: Professional Development Day for Teachers/No School

Sept. 1 & 2: A-K Day

Sept. 3 & 4: L-Z Day

Hybrid Model Schedule – Week 3

Sept. 7: Labor Day/No School

Sept. 8 & 9: A-K Day

Sept. 10 & 11: L-Z Day

Hybrid Model Schedule – Week 4

Sept. 14: Remote Learning Day for all

Sept. 15 & 16: A-K Day

Sept. 17 & 18: L-Z Day

The calendar from here on out will depend on which phase of the Covid-19 response plan we are in. For more information on the MCPS plan and phases for re-opening, visit the MCPS website here.

Thank you to everyone for your patience. There will be more information to come about the first weeks of school. Please watch the Rattlesnake Website, the MCPS link in the paragraph above, and email.  Once we have an enrollment count for who will be participating in the Online Academy and Hybrid Model, we’ll finalize class lists. Look for an email with class teacher assignment at the end of next week, for those participating in the hybrid model. Missoula Online Academy’s teacher assignments will come out later, since their first day will be September 2.

Here’s the Missoula Online Academy information and registration link.  Registration is open from August 12 – Sept. 4**. If you still have questions after visiting the link, please let me know.

Again, I appreciate all the community support for Rattlesnake Elementary. We are here for you, so please reach out with questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Pam Wright, Principal

*the original email from Principal Wright had a typo in the first paragraph regarding what days each block attended- to reduce confusion, we’ve fixed that error in this copy of the email.

** the end date for registering for the Online Academy has since been changed to Sept 4th 2020.

 

Back to School Fall 2020: FAQs

We know that there are lots of questions swirling around about the start of school this year! We are working hard to get solid answers. As things are changing quickly, please check back here often for updates (and we’ll post updates and reminders on Facebook, too).

For a reference list of links to MCPS and Missoula County information, go here: https://rattlesnakepta.org/2020/07/28/back-to-school-fall-2020/

Q: WHAT ARE OUR CHOICES FOR SCHOOL THIS YEAR?

A: You have two choices within the MCPS system. Each of these choices is separate from the other (different teachers, curriculum, and schedules). Both options will be a partnership between teachers, students, and families. Here’s a simple breakdown:

  1. Phase 1: Hybrid – A blended model of on-site and remote learning. Kids are in school at Rattlesnake 2 days a week (8:30-2:10) and working/learning from home 3 days a week with limited support from their teachers.
  2. Missoula Online Academy (MOA) – A 100% remote option with kids online from home for two hours each day (TBD) between 8:30 & 1:30 for synchronous learning with their teacher and class. Students will be taught by MCPS educators, however, they may not be a teacher who is a member of your student’s home school. 

Once school starts, requests to move from one program to the other will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Q: When is the school year starting?

A: Phase 1: Hybrid begins on August 26 and MOA begins on September 8.

At the Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, August 11, the MCPS School Board approved a plan to begin the year on August 26th in a hybrid model, two days of face-to-face learning and three days of remote learning.  Students with last names beginning with A-K will attend school in one group, and students whose last names begin with L-Z will attend school in another group. Each group will receive remote learning assignments from their classroom teacher for the three days they are not in school. During this hybrid model the school day will begin at 8:30am and end at 2:10pm. Please see Pam’s email with schedule information on the first few weeks of school since there are some short weeks that require adjustments. Week 1 will look like this:

Hybrid Model Schedule – Week 1

      • August 26: Kindergarten Only Day (A– K 8:30am-10:25am, L-Z 12:10pm-2:10pm)
      • August 27: A-K Day (8:30am-2:10pm)
      • August 28: L-Z Day (8:30am-2:10pm)

Families also have the option to choose the MCPS Online Academy, our 100% remote learning option. School for these families will begin on September 8. Registration is open from August 12 – Sept. 2

Both of these plans require some at-home support from parents and caregivers.

Look for an email with class teacher assignment by August 21 for those participating in the hybrid model. MCPS Online Academy’s teacher assignments will come out later, since their first day will be September 8.

Because the situation with coronavirus in our community is always changing, Superintendent Watson will continue to monitor data and adjust plans as necessary.

Q: WHERE CAN I FIND THE BUS SCHEDULE AND PROTOCOLS?

A: The revised bus schedule is online here.

  • Encourage students maintain a 6 foot distance from each other while waiting for the bus and while loading the bus
  • Follow seating charts and limit the interaction between students while loading and unloading the bus
  • Direct siblings to share seats when needed
  • All students and the bus driver will wear a face covering while on the bus
  • Buses will be cleaned throughout the day and high touch surfaces cleaned between routes

Q: When do parents need to make a decision? Will there be more information about the MCPS Online Academy available to help make an informed decision?

A: All previously registered incoming students to Rattlesnake Elementary will be signed up for the in-person Hybrid School model, unless they have enrolled in the MCPS Online Academy option. The enrollment period for the Online Academy is 8/12/2020 to 9/4/2020 and the link to enroll is here: https://www.mcpsmt.org//cms/module/selectsurvey/TakeSurvey.aspx?SurveyID=285 .

The district has recently published some information to help parents and students better understand the MCPS Online Academy option.

Q: Can I switch from in-person hybrid learning to the Online Academy after school starts on August 26?

The two options of education (Hybrid & Online Academy) will be entirely separate schools, systems, and teachers – and different pacing. Because of this there will be no easy moving between them. If Superintendent Watson moves MCPS back to phase 0 after school starts, all students who have been attending the hybrid model (in-person + remote) will be fully remote and continue working from home with their homeroom teacher.

Q: During the days that kids are at home during the Hybrid School schedule, will they have online instruction from their regular classroom teachers, or will that be through the MCPS Online Academy?

A: During the days that each half of the Hybrid School enrolled students are at home, the PTA’s understanding is that there will be very limited direct engagement with their regular classroom teachers- as these teachers will be teaching the other half of the hybrid block on those days. Instead, as we understand it, some assignments will be given ahead of time- with the amount and type of assignments depending on the age group and the schedule of that week. Lastly, it is our understanding that the Online Academy teachers will not be involved in teaching the Hybrid School students, with the possible exception of specialist teachers (such as art or music). This information is not really well spelled out yet, so we’re hoping to be able to update this soon with greater clarity and detail.

Please note that both of these plans require some at-home support from parents and caregivers.

Q: WILL MY CHILD ONLY HAVE ACCESS TO SCHOOL LUNCHES ON DAYS THEY ARE IN SCHOOL?

All students, regardless of whether they are attending in person instruction, on remote learning days, or attending the MCPS Online Academy will have the opportunity to receive food services every school day. Regular meal prices, including free and reduced options, will apply.

Grab and Go lunch for remote learning students will be available for pickup at Rattlesnake Elementary Monday-Friday between 10:30-11:30am outside of the main office. Empower packs (weekend food packs) will also be available at that time on Fridays.

Students participating in remote learning or the MCPS Online Academy can access meals at any school building. It does not have to be their school of attendance, it can be the closest neighborhood MCPS school.

New this year, we are implementing a “Breakfast After the Bell” program at all K5 schools. This program will provide free breakfast for all students that they will eat in the classroom each morning.

Q: Who will teach the students in the MCPS Online Academy, and what will that exactly look like?

A: MCPS does have several pages of information available here:  https://www.mcpsmt.org/domain/4012

MCPS Online Academy will be a partnership between teachers, students, and families, just like our in person schools. It is clear that the Online Academy option will be staffed with MCPS teachers (however, they may not be a teacher who is a member of your student’s home school), and we’ve heard directly from Superintendent Watson that the intent is to have teachers that cannot return to face-to-face teaching be the primary staffing of the Online Academy. Lots of other details are included on the new MCPS Online Academy page.

A page on the Roles & Responsibilities within the MOA explains a lot more: https://www.mcpsmt.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=15849

Q: What will be some of the key differences that my student should be mentally prepared for regarding in-person attendance this fall?

A: Some of the key differences include:

  • Breakfast and lunch will be eaten in the classrooms instead of the cafeteria, or outside (weather permitting). 
  • Recess may have some big differences, such as parts of the playground being divided up or blocked off to promote distance between class groups. 
  • Some specials, such as music and art, may not begin in the first month, or may be taught during online learning days. 
  • Classrooms may be set up very differently, to allow for more space between students and easier cleaning. 
  • Interactions between different classes and grades will be extremely limited (for instance, it is very unlikely there will be a reading buddies program this year).
  • Parents/visitors cannot enter the building
  • There will be no extracurricular activities, with the exception of those activities that provide after school childcare
  • COVID cases in our school may cause in-person school to have to start and stop periodically throughout the school year.

Q: Are the school counselors already available to answer questions and help guide parents with their decisions? 

Yes, both of Rattlesnake’s counselors (Katelyn Scholle & Stacy Holden) are available to answer questions and assist parents. Here is a link to the contact information for Rattlesnake teachers and staff: https://www.mcpsmt.org/domain/2287.

Q: What will be done to support air quality and safety in the classrooms?

A: Whenever possible teachers will try and keep windows open and integrate outdoor learning as much as they can. Thankfully, the recent renovation of Rattlesnake Elementary already brought the HVAC system of the building up to date with modern standards, including the use of MERV13 air filters (this is the industrial level suggested by public health authorities for schools to maintain safe air) as well as a high-turnover system. Additionally, MCPS Operations and Management are looking at installing additional safeguards in all district buildings’ air filtration systems to further improve air safety.

From Burley McWilliams, Director of Operations and Maintenance:

“Rattlesnake has numerous mechanical systems. Mainly, each classroom has unit-ventilators. The unit vents combine room air with outside air and filter with MERV 13 filters. Each classroom has a CO2 Sensor at the thermostats, which will adjust for more outside air when CO2 limits are exceeded. Your school is also connected to the district’s Building Management System.  This system allows the district HVAC Technician remote direct access to review and assure the systems are operating at full capacity. “

Q: How can parents and students prepare for the upcoming school year if they plan to attend in-person?

A: As parents, we do need to prepare our children for a different kind of school year than they may have experienced in the past.  

  • Per state and county-wide directives, children will need to wear a cloth face covering (often just called a mask) in the classrooms. Masks are most effective when clean, dry, made from tightly woven cotton, and fitting closely over our children’s noses and mouths. Neck gaiter (“buff”) type masks tend to slip off very frequently, and will not be an allowable type of mask for attendance at school. For more information, please see the MCPS Parent Info for Face Masks page and the CDC’s mask page. At Rattlesnake School, the Family Connection Center will have extra masks for kids that do not have their own, or for use if a mask is lost, etc.
  • Teachers will be integrating outside air and time outside as much as possible for everyone’s safety so it is important that our children are dressed appropriately for the weather they may encounter each school day. A small bottle of hand sanitizer in their backpack might be a good idea, for when a student is not easily able to wash their hands prior to touching their mask or face. A filled water bottle that your child can drink from independently is always advisable- and this year, the old style water fountains will be closed (the new water bottle filling stations will remain open.)
  • It is always good to reinforce proper hand washing techniques 
  • You can talk to your kids about social distancing– what it is, and why do we do it. Talking about how coronavirus is transmitted mostly by airborne particles is helpful to reinforce why it is so important to wear masks indoors, practice good distancing, and wash hands frequently.
  • If age appropriate, you can talk about COVID symptoms and what you should do if you experience them (Hint: tell an adult immediately!). This conversation is very helpful to explain why the school will be taking temperatures of students, as well as other health screening precautions.

Q: What supplies do we need?

A: For 2020 class specific lists for in-person attendance, see the school website: https://www.mcpsmt.org/Page/14. You will also need cloth face coverings (“masks”) for your child, as listed above. For MCPS Online Academy, there is not yet a published list or resource. We will add that when it becomes available.

Q: What should I do if I am having tech difficulties and am unable to access Remote Learning resources for my student?

A: Reach out to your students’ teachers, Principal Wright, and/or the PTA, so that we can help you work through tech related challenges. We will share more details on the remote portion of week for students participating in the Hybrid learning program when we have them.

Q: What will happen if a staff/teacher or student becomes ill with COVID symptoms?

A: Any person exhibiting COVID symptoms will not be allowed to attend in-person school. Parents will be required to conduct health screenings at home before sending their children to school. It is also imperative that an adult is available at all times to pick-up students who plan to attend in-person school in case they begin exhibiting symptoms during the school day.

The Missoula County health department investigates all presumptive positives in the county, and confidentially reaches out to all close contacts of the cases. Any individual who is identified as a close contact is required to quarantine at home for 14 days, regardless of symptoms or negative test.  MCCHD will release them to return to school.

From Superintendent Watson: MCPS believes that in-person learning is important, but the return to school also places students and staff at-risk for contracting COVID-19. We expect that any return to in-person learning will result in transmission and positive cases COVID-19. In the event there is a confirmed case, either staff or student, there could be a short term school closure as recommended by MCCHD.  

More details on the MCPS response plan:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vQKjgb6PZoNH-Uayk0Pz7XZvRIYfCNO_-u2E5qkwvFhVUnttwjSNyvFgspTI1tTiffaw3sw5AF-LaXK/pub?urp=gmail_link

Q: Where can I get a child sized cloth face covering?

A: There are many options for masks for your child.

Many local small businesses make child sized face coverings in a variety of sizes:

Commercially made cloth face coverings are available in many area businesses:

Purchase masks online:

You can even make your own cloth face covering:

If you are struggling to secure properly fitting face coverings for your child, please don’t hesitate to contact Stacy Jehle at the Family Connection Center (call (406) 728-2400 ext. 4523 or email her at sjehle@mcps.k12.mt.us) for further assistance.

Back to School Fall 2020: Lots of Links!

The Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS) Return to School plans that are currently being discussed involve a lot of different documents and links to look at, so here’s a list for your reference. (We will update this as things change, current list is from 7/28/2020)

MCPS Direct Links

Related Links for Reference