Search
  • Reilly Neill

Citizen Task Force: Encouraging Safety First in Montana Schools and Universities

The following letters can be copied and directed to state and local level decision-makers who are pushing for school openings in Montana in the absence of ability to perform asymptomatic tests. The letters also address issues with putting faculty and staff of the front lines of enforcing mask and distancing orders and in unsafe distance of students.


With a concerted public effort, we can encourage and inspire our elected officials and community leaders to consider the voices of citizens, from faculty to parent, about the seriousness of the decisions being made that will directly effect their lives.


Cooperation and transparency, not flat directives, can help keep our student populations safer and less vulnerable to spread of the novel coronavirus.





LETTER/EMAIL TO STATE-LEVEL OFFICIAL


Governor Steve Bullock EMAIL

Governor Steve Bullock FACEBOOK

Lt. Governor Mike Cooney FACEBOOK

By phone: 406-444-3111 Toll Free: 855-318-1330


Supt. of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen EMAIL

Supt. of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen FACEBOOK

Deputy Superintendent Sharyl Allen EMAIL


Commissioner of Higher Education Clay Christian EMAIL

Find emails for Montana Board of Education Members HERE


Montana State University President Waded Cruzado EMAIL

University of Montana President Seth Bodnar EMAIL


SUBJECT: Please Consider Safety First in Montana Schools


Dear Governor Bullock,


Please consider the best science and evidence-based information available about safe reopening of schools and universities in Montana. While schools in our communities serve an important role in looking after and educating students, we must consider the health of our students, faculty, staff and their family members who could be potentially exposed to the novel coronavirus in unsafe and unsanitary environments.


We need to have the capability to conduct surveillance testing again for asymptomatic cases before moving ahead with in-class instruction in order to identify cases before they spread in classroom and activity-based reopening scenarios.


Putting our teachers and staff in unprecedented positions where they are responsible for policing their classrooms for social distancing and masks is above and beyond their pay grade. If there is public health education and enforcement needed, this should be the charge of leadership in the state, not a district or university employee.


I urge you to delay the opening of all in-person instruction of university and school-age students until after Labor Day or until cases in Montana trend downward for two weeks and equal less than 10 per 100,000 daily - as is recommended for safe instruction around the world.


I also ask you to be transparent with citizens about creating reopening plans based on the best-available science and evidence-based data, making sure parents and staff are informed, consulted and included in all decision-making processes rather than being issued blanket directives.


Respectfully,




LETTER/EMAIL TO LOCAL-LEVEL OFFICIAL

In each Montana school district, a public School Board is elected to serve a community. These boards can be found by looking up the particular county and finding email or contact information for the Chairperson of the Board and individual members. (Here is an example from Park County, found by searching "Park County Montana School Board" in Google, which leads to a site with links to individual members' emails.)


Citizens can also contact the local School Superintendent by searching for the district. For example, searching for "Park County Montana School Superintendent" leads to this site where a direct email and phone number can be found.


In addition, citizens should also contact their local health departments. I've compiled a list of these departments here with phone numbers and/or links to web pages and social media pages where more contact information can be found for these departments in each county.


SUBJECT: Please Consider Safety First in Community Schools


Dear School Board Member,


Please consider the science and evidence-based information available about safe reopening of schools in our community. While schools serve an important role in looking after and educating students, we must consider the health of our students, faculty, staff and their family members who could be potentially exposed to the novel coronavirus in an unsafe and unsanitary environment.


Putting our teachers and staff in a position to have to police their classrooms for social distancing and masks is above and beyond their pay grade. If there is public education and enforcement needed, this should be the charge of leadership, not an employee.


We need to have the capability to conduct surveillance testing again to identify asymptomatic cases before moving ahead with in-class instruction in order to identify cases before they spread in high-risk classroom scenarios.


I urge you to delay the opening of all in-person instruction of university and school-age students until after Labor Day or until cases in Montana trend downward for two weeks and equal less than 10 per 100,000 daily - as is recommended for safe instruction around the world.


I also ask you to encourage transparency and willingness to work with citizens in creating reopening plans based on best-available consensus science and evidence-based data, and making sure parents and staff are consulted and included in all decision-making processes.


Respectfully,




If you are having trouble finding contact information for your particular county School Board, Superintendent or Health Department, please email reprneill@gmail.com and contact me directly. I will do my best to assist you.





31 views

CONTACT ME

Thanks for submitting!

© 2019 by Reilly for Montana, Brad Snow, Treasurer, 229 Tana Lane, Livingston, Montana, 59047