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Culbertson School To Utilize Distance Learning For Remainder Of School Year

The Culbertson School board has agreed to keep educating students through social distancing during the rest of this school year.

Board chair Paul Finnicum started off the meeting on Tuesday, April 28, by noting that Gov. Steve Bullock have given school districts the choice to open their schools back up for classroom instruction starting on May 7.

“So, we have a decision to make tonight,” Finnicum said. He added choices include distance learning, classroom instruction or a mixture.

Trustee Luke Anderson made a motion to stay with distance learning through the end of the school year. Trustee Gy Salvevold seconded the motion.

Trustee Mark Colvin asked, “Does it have to be all or nothing?” He mentioned having the school open for seniors at risk or seniors who wish to attend. He also mentioned a senior project or finishing up the annual yearbook.

“A lot of them may never see each other again,” Colvin said.

Finnicum explained that the school's legal advice says it's pretty much all or nothing as far as the school reopening.

Finnicum complained that there was no local choice when schools were ordered to be closed, but now the governor changes to more local choice for the decision to reopen.

“It became a political decision,” Finnicum said.

He added that additional help is available if students seek it.

“Our staff has done a tremendous job,” Finnicum noted.

Trustees unanimously voted to close the school for the remaining of the school year.

The plan is to still have graduation on May 16. After communications with the county health board, school officials feel it's possible to have graduation in the school gym as long as social distancing is maintained by families.

Nemont has agreed to broadcast the graduation and it may also be shown on Facebook.

Discussion included that each student will have 30 tickets including 10 for floor seating and 20 for bleacher seating. School officials will continue to work on finalizing a plan for graduation.

“All we can do is the best that we can do,” Finnicum said.

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