COVID-19 forces closure of Kalispell school

Smith Valley School
Posted at 5:58 PM, Jan 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-11 19:58:40-05

UPDATE: 2:10 p.m. - Jan. 11, 2022

KALISPEL — A COVID-19 surge has closed a Kalispell elementary school.

Smith Valley School Superintendent Laili Komenda told MTN News that classes were canceled Tuesday and Wednesday due to 12 staff members being unable to attend.

Komenda said seven of the 12 staff members were not able to attend classes due directly to COVID-19 quarantine. Komenda said the 12 staff members missing is more than a third of the total staff at Smith Valley School.

She said a decision on when classes can resume will be made by noon on Wednesday.

“I don’t want to inconvenience parents at all because I know how hard this is, it came with a huge amount of thought to say I’ve got to inconvenience all of these families by shutting school down, but I hate to wait too long but I also don’t want to jump the gun and say we should for sure close Thursday and Friday also, there’s still just a list of unknown teachers for whether they will be back or not,” said Komenda.

Komenda said only three subs were available for Smith Valley on Tuesday.

(first report: 12:45 p.m. - Jan. 11, 2022)

A COVID-19 surge has closed a Kalispell elementary school.

Students at Smith Valley School did not have class on Tuesday and Wednesday's classes have also been called off.

A statement on the school's website states that there is not "enough staff to fill teaching/supervision positions to maintain operations."

We will have more on this developing story as information becomes available.