GFPS Superintendent: "disjointed" first semester due to COVID, but the situation is improving

Posted at 2:47 PM, Dec 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-28 18:29:19-05

GREAT FALLS — "From March 15 through today, I would describe the educational environment as disjointed for students,” said Great Falls Public Schools superintendent Tom Moore when asked what word he would use to describe the fall semester.

On Monday, the first full semester amid the pandemic for the district was nearly complete. Moore said while the fall semester and last half of the spring semester earlier in the year may have been disjointed, they weren't all bad.

"I would say we have been successful under the circumstances in addressing the remote learning situation, the temporary remote when people are quarantined or isolated. Or when we have to close schools temporarily. I think we're getting better at that, and then working with our staff and our teachers to get through those times that are real tough and stressful,” said Moore.

Mid-year evaluations are planned to get feedback from parents, students, and faculty. "I think it's going to be across the board. For some people, it's working really well. For others, it's a struggle,” Moore said.

CMR High School senior Madison George said the fall semester had been a good experience so far: "I was really glad that we got to go back and be in person the majority of the semester. Since it's my senior year, I'm grateful to be back at school with some sense of normalcy,” George said.

She said the transition to two weeks of remote learning leading up to Thanksgiving was smoother than the transition to remote learning in the spring and the remote learning itself wasn't difficult.

"At CMR, we didn't have any requirements to check in every day so I think that made it easier on a lot of families. Students didn't have to sit on the computer for eight hours. They were able to check in, do their assignments and kind of work at their own pace,” said George.

Overall, she now feels better prepared for the next semester amid the pandemic than she did at the beginning of the current semester.

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