Regulatory policy

Chinook Public Schools Adjust Policy to Keep Doors Open – Hi-Line Today

CHINOOK, Mont. (NMB) – The Chinook School Board met Thursday night in the high school auditorium for a special emergency meeting and voted to approve Superintendent Fred Hofman’s recommendation to ease restrictions for close contacts of cases of COVID-19.

The change allows all close contacts to continue at school as long as they wear a mask for 10 days when they are unable to socially distance and have no symptoms.

The previous policy was to send all close contacts home for five days, regardless of their vaccination status, and to have the person wear a mask for their first five days back in the building when they could not distance themselves. socially.

The meeting was called due to significant personnel issues. Hofman said if the meeting hadn’t been called Thursday, it probably should have been closed Friday. With many teachers absent, volunteers, including an administrator, had to step in to replace teaching.

Hofman said seven staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past two weeks. All are vaccinated and did not have to be hospitalized. Some of them have been infected for the second time this school year, although Hofman said symptoms were less severe this time than when the Delta variant was predominant.

This policy change is only temporary and many parents and administrators present at the meeting spoke out against the mask requirement.

Just before the meeting adjourned, Administrator Kevin Elias echoed many of those concerns, saying, “This (policy) will be very different on February 8.”

Chairman Frank Billmayer said it’s crucial they ensure compliance with state legislation, such as HB 702, without violating federal regulations.

A re-opening committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 1 at 5 p.m. They will forward their recommendations to the full school board, which is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, February 8 at 7 p.m. Both meetings will take place in the Auditorium.

The Committee should reevaluate its contact tracing policy, address the issue of masking, and consider other related policies.