COVID-19 Response

Montana Schools May Reopen as Soon as May 7

(Updated April 27) Governors of seven states still are not telling anyone whether their schools will reopen or remain closed through the end of the school year, which draws ever closer. Thirty-nine states have mandated closures through the end of the school year, and four more states have recommended, but not mandated, closure through the remainder of the school year.

Montana falls into that last category.

That state’s Office of Public Instruction issued a recommendation April 9 that districts keep their schools closed for the rest of the spring semester. However, two weeks later, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock announced as a part of a phased reopening of the state that district leaders may decide for themselves whether they will resume in-person instruction or not.

According to a new Montana directive, that may happen as soon as May 7. The directive also explicitly allows schools to remain closed and continue to receive funding for providing remote instruction.

According to information released by the governor’s office: “On May 7, all schools will have the option to return to in-classroom teaching delivery at the discretion of local school boards. The Directive does not preclude school boards from declaring local emergencies to continue to receive all appropriate state funding to continue to provide remote learning.”

Montana recently ran a poll of its citizens on whether schools should remain closed through the end of the academic year. The results of that poll have not been posted.

Further details about all state actions on school closures with links to executive orders can be found here.

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at .