All GFPS schools going remote due to COVID Jan. 11-17

All Great Falls Public Schools are going remote from Jan. 11-17 due to COVID-19.

The district said in a Jan. 10 release that as of this morning, the number of COVID-19 infected students and staff “skyrocketed over the weekend.”

As of Jan. 10, there were 125 staff out with COVID related illness, according to the district, and the substitute fill rate was below 46 percent, meaning there were about 54 classrooms without substitutes across the district.

As of noon Jan. 10, there were 185 COVID positive students and staff within the district, according to the district.

Cascade County seeing slight uptick in COVID cases

“The inability to cover classes adequately has prompted an analysis of the data regarding the infection rates in our schools and the recent upward trend in the community transmission rates over the past week,” according to the district, leading the district’s COVID task force to recommend closure for the week.

According to a release, the district will monitor COVID rates and “hopefully resume regular classes” on Jan. 18.

The school board has a meeting tonight at the district offices at 5:30 p.m. and is not providing a virtual option to the public or the media.

Cascade County COVID numbers remain low another week

“This temporary closure will allow adequate time for staff to recover and return to work. In addition, the closure will reduce the rate of spreading infections,” according to district release.

All students will move to remote learning and high school seniors will be notified by their teachers on plans for their semester finals.

GFPS to lift mask requirement for elementary schools Jan. 3

For questions, contact your child’s teacher or the school administrator at their school. School offices will be open during regular hours this week.

Meals will be available to all enrolled students from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Paris Gibson Education Center. They will be distributed from the kitchen entrance on 25th Street. Limited options of cold meals will be provided along with a breakfast for the following day Jan. 11-14.

COVID numbers continue decline in Cascade County

The district lifted the mask requirement for elementary schools on Jan. 3 as the COVID numbers in the district and community declined. The mask requirement had been lifted in middle and high schools in November.

Parents, staff and students are reminded to monitor your health and wellbeing each day. If you are feeling sick and/or exhibiting any flu-like symptoms, please stay home and contact your healthcare provider.

Students, with parent consent, and staff can access rapid tests at most schools and at the community drive-through testing center at the fairgrounds.