From Your Principal

April 22

Governors Announcement

Governor Bullock announced yesterday that he will be lifting his statewide-school closure directive beginning Thursday, May 7th. The decision whether to re-open on-site educational activities or remain with remote learning activities will now shift to local school districts and local school boards. I appreciate and respect Governor Bullock's decision to allow individual schools to decide what is in the best interest of their school and communities.

The big question that weighs on everyone's mind is what comes next for Darby Schools. There are strong opinions from both sides regarding this decision. Please keep in mind that the safety of our students, staff and community continue to be at the for front of all decisions. Mr. Johnston will be arranging for a special school board meeting and making a recommendation.

His recommendation will be in-line with that of other schools in Ravalli County. The superintendents will be meeting later today to discuss the pro's and con's of opening schools back up, the safety measures that would need to be in place, and if it is reasonable to assume that the students who do come are not going to be in contact with the COVID-19 virus. He will send out additional information once they have had the meeting and a recommendation is formed.

In the meantime, every student should continue their distant learning education. Grades are being kept so promotion to the next grade level next year could be at stake if your student is not doing his/her work and turning it in. Fall athletes are required by the Montana High School Association to have finished the Spring Semester with an overall GPA of 2.0 or higher in order to be eligible to complete in Fall athletics.

If you or your child have questions, please call the High School Office. We have staff members who will be there to assist with homework or answer general questions.

Thank you.

Additional information for parents and students:

Dear parents and guardians 8-12 students,

As we continue to navigate the uncharted waters caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the school building closure, and the stay at home order, we thought it important to share some information regarding your child’s education and our philosophy.

We are offering three options for your child to continue their education. First, offer live video chat zoom meetings. These meetings are not graded nor are they required. We encourage anyone and everyone who is able to attend to do so, as they improve the educational environment for all. Zoom classes are offered Monday - Thursday. Next, we put all content online on the google classroom platform. The kids are familiar with the platform. If you have internet access, this is probably the easiest way to keep up with the work. Finally, we will create packets with two weeks of work to be picked up at the school. The easiest way to “hand in” packet work is to take a photo and email the completed assignment to the teacher. You can hand in hard copies to the school as well.

As you can imagine, it has been a difficult juggling act of making sure we adhere to state guidelines, figuring out how to provide a quality education via distance learning, and ensuring we meet the needs of our students and their families. We greatly value education, and want to do the best job we can to educate each child based on their individual situation.

Our priority is our students, which (in these trying times especially) also means helping their families. We understand families have been placed in unusual and highly stressful situations. Therefore, we encourage you to contact us if you are struggling with distance learning in any way, for any reason. If the difficulties of the “stay at home” order have caused your child to fall behind this fourth quarter of the year, we want to emphasize it is not too late for them to participate and succeed. Please do not hesitate to reach out to whoever you feel comfortable contacting if the distance learning situation is not working for any reason, and we will share the information with the team and make accommodations to help your child succeed. While education is important, nothing is more important than family and health. We are here to help. We care for our students dearly and want to help in any way we can. Hang in there. We can’t wait to see everyone again, whenever that date arrives.

Thank you,

JP McCrossin & The 8-12 staff at Darby Schools

Spring Sports

The Montana High School Association has cancelled all Spring Athletes until further notice. MHSA officials will reconvene April 24 to determine whether to re-open the season or call it for the year.

Updates will be provided as they come available.