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Culbertson School Board Meets, Discusses Emergency School Closure, Extracurriculars

The Culbertson School board is proud of the manner that the school district’s staff and administrators are dealing with the shutting down of schools due to the Coronavirus. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock decided to shut down K-12 public schools for two weeks starting on Monday, March 16.

Board chair Paul Finnicum started the school board meeting on Tuesday, March 17, by commending the staff for its dedication. He said every parent in every class was called regarding educational planning.

“We have a plan in place, not only to feed them but to keep them studying,” Finnicum said.

After Culbertson superintendent of schools Larry Crowder and principal Mike Olson prepared a plan on Monday, staff worked on Tuesday to address the challenge of not having at least two weeks of classes.

“We’re going to baby step this nice and slow to make sure we’re doing it the right way,” Olson said during the board meeting.

He noted that aides and J.O.M. club members will deliver meals and band instruments to students. About 65 students will receive breakfast and lunch through this fashion.

Finnicum said that teachers are trying to prepare for the unknown. He added it’s important to develop a plan in case of a longer shutdown.

Activities director Dave Solem said 24 high school students went out for track and three students wish to participate in golf. Extra-curricular activities have been halted until at least mid-April.

“We’re on hold until we get more information from MHSA on April 13,” Solem said.

Olson added, “Prom has been a big question. It’s a lot of money involved.” He said companies have been very good about refunding money. The prom is postponed for now.

Because of the virus, Finnicum said that upcoming school board meetings might be held through virtual technology.

In other business during the meeting:

•The board agreed to renew the contracts of Olson as principal/ technology director, teachers and winter extra-curricular coaches.

•Instead of requesting voter approval for a levy for the elementary district, trustees decided to use $9,600 from oil and gas revenue.

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