1906 - Student Instruction and Services COVID-19 Policies

Last Updated: 10/20/2021 8:05 PM

Belgrade School District #44
COVID-19 Emergency Measures        1906


Student Instruction and Services 

The School District has adopted the protocols outlined in this policy to govern during the term of the declared public health emergency to ensure the delivery of education services to students onsite at the school, offsite at other locations using available resources including but limited to online methods. The supervising teacher, principal, superintendent or designated personnel are authorized to implement this policy.

As outlined in District Policy 2100, and except for students determined by the School District to be proficient using School District assessments, the adopted calendar has a minimum number of 720 aggregate instructional hours for students in kindergarten through third grade; 1,080 hours for students in fourth through eleventh grade and 1,050 hours for students in twelfth grade. 

The School District may satisfy the aggregate number of hours through any combination of onsite, offsite, and online instruction. The District administration is directed to ensure that all students are offered access to the complete range of educational programs and services for the education program required by the accreditation standards adopted by the Montana Board of Public Education.

For the purposes of this policy and the School District’s calculation of ANB and “aggregate hours of instruction” within the meaning of that term in Montana law, the term teaching strategies which are innovative or transformational and focus on student engagement for the purposes of developing a students’ interests, passions, and strengths,  “instruction” shall be construed as being synonymous with and in support of the broader goals of “learning” and full development of educational potential as set forth in Article X, section 1 of the Montana Constitution. Instruction includes innovative teaching strategies that focus on student engagement for the purposes of developing a students’  interests, passions, and strengths. The term instruction shall include any directed, distributive, collaborative and/or experiential learning activity provided, supervised, guided facilitated or coordinated by the teacher of record in a given course that is done purposely to facilitate the learning of, acquisition of knowledge, skills and abilities by, and to otherwise fulfill the full educational potential of each child.

Staff shall calculate the number of hours students have received instruction as defined in this policy through a combined calculation of services received onsite at the school or services provided or accessed at offsite or online instructional settings including, but not limited to, any combination of physical instructional packets, virtual or electronic based course meetings and assignments, self-directed or parent-assisted learning opportunities, and other educational efforts undertaken by the staff and students that can be given for grade or credit. Staff shall report completed hours of instruction as defined in this policy to the supervising teacher, building principal, or district administrator for final calculation. 

Students shall receive grades for completed coursework in accordance with the grading scale for the individual staff member or the alternative grading procedures outlined in District Policy 45  1902.

The Board of Trustees may revise the school calendar to adjust the completion of the school year for particular grade levels and groups once students have satisfied the required number of applicable aggregate hours.

In order to comply with the requirements of the calendar, District Policy and Section 20-1-301,MCA, the District shall implement the instructional schedules and methods identified in this policy.

School Facility as Instructional Setting

The Board of Trustees authorizes instruction of students at the school facility in a manner that satisfies the aggregate number of instructional hours outlined in the School District’s adopted or revised calendar for a school year affected by a public health emergency.

Offsite and Online Instructional Setting

The Board of Trustees authorizes offsite and online instruction of students in a manner that satisfies the aggregate number of instructional hours outlined in the School District’s adopted or revised calendar for the 2020-2021 school year. Offsite and online delivery methods shall include a complete range of educational services offered by the School District and shall comply with the requirements of applicable statutes. Students completing course work through an offsite or online instructional setting shall be treated in and have their hours of instruction calculated in the same manner as students attending an onsite institutional setting.   The Board of Trustees authorizes the supervising teacher or district administrator to permit students to utilize an offsite or online instructional setting at parental request if onsite instruction is offered in the School District in accordance with Policy 1908. Students receiving offsite delivery of education services may be eligible for assistance with accessibility to offsite or remote learning opportunities in accordance with District Policy 1904.

Proficiency-Based Learning

The Board of Trustees authorizes proficiency-based ANB calculation in situations when a student demonstrates proficiency in a course area as determined by the Board of Trustees using Assessments consistent with the School District’s adopted Plan of Action, District Policy 1005FE, or other measures approve by the Board of Trustees during the course of the 2020-2021 school year. The Board of Trustees waives the minimum number of instructional hours for students who  demonstrate proficiency in a course area using district assessments that include, but are not limited to, the course or class teacher’s determination of proficiency as defined by the Board  of Trustees. This determination shall be based on a review of the student’s completed coursework, participation in course delivery, and other methods applicable to the specific course or class. The Board of Trustees authorizes the use of the proficiency determination process for students who have selected this method of delivery, students for whom the School District is unable to document satisfaction of the required minimum aggregate number of hours through the offsite or onsite methods outlined in this policy, or other students whom School District personnel determine satisfy the definition of proficient or meeting proficiency.

This provision is based in the declaration by the Montana Legislature that any regulation discriminating against a student who has participated in proficiency-based learning is inconsistent with the Montana Constitution.

Special Education and Accommodation of Disabilities or Diagnoses

Students shall receive services in accordance with the applicable Individualized Education Plan or Section 504 Plan based on methods and locations agreed upon and documented by the applicable team to meet the student’s needs and goals.  The supervising teacher or building  administrator shall coordinate with parents and the special education staff or cooperative to ensure all applicable statutes are followed in accordance with U.S. Department of Education guidelines.

Student Attendance

The Board of Trustees authorizes the supervising teacher, building principal or district administration to set an attendance policy for students that takes into account the location of instructional services, the applicability of proficiency-based instruction, the student’s grade level, and the health and safety of the student and their household. Students are expected to complete assigned work. If a student is not present for the instructional day, the student shall be permitted to complete all work assigned by the teacher if not present for instruction within a reasonable period of time determined by the teacher. Students shall not lose credit or incur a grade reduction for reasons related to attendance without good reason as determined by the Board of Trustees.

Student Safety and Counseling

Students shall have access to regular school counseling services whether their instruction is provided in an onsite, offsite or online setting. Staff shall promptly report any suspected student distress or concern to their supervisor for review and referral. Students receiving instruction in an offsite setting are governed by the staff obligation to report suspected child abuse or neglect.

Homeless Students and Students in Foster Care   

This policy in no way limits or adjusts the School Districts obligations to homeless students or students in foster care.  Applicable District policies serving these students or this population of students remain in full effect.

Student Discipline

This policy in no way limits or adjusts the School District’s expectations for student conduct.  All applicable district policies and handbook provisions governing student conduct remain in full effect.

Summer School

The Board of Trustees authorizes a summer program of instructional offerings for the purpose of remediation of credit, maintenance of skills, and enrichment. All classes offered for credit must meet minimum state requirements for accreditation and may be delivered at the school or at another offsite location. Remediation credit courses shall be offered, grades 9-12, in accordance with District advancement requirements. Credit course offerings must be approved by the Board of Trustees

Optional: Extended School Year

In accordance with District Policy 2011, Section 20-1-301, MCA, and any applicable collective bargaining agreement covering the employment of affected employees, the Board of Trustees may establish a school calendar with an earlier start date and a later end date from non-emergency school years to ensure students receive the minimum number aggregate instructional hours. The purpose of an extended school year will be to maximize flexibility in the delivery of instruction and learning for each student in the School District in in the event of school closures or other impacts to School District operations due to a public health emergency. When setting an extended school year, the School District will collaborate with students, parents, employees and other community stakeholders. When proposing to adopt changes to a previously adopted school term the Board of Trustees will follow the procedures outlined in Policy 2100.



Legal Reference:        Section 20-1-101, MCA – Definitions
                                   Section 20-1-301, MCA – School Fiscal Year
                                   Section 20-9-311, MCA – Calculation of Average Number Belonging
                                   Section 20-7-118, MCA - Offsite Provision of Educational Services
                                   Section 20-7-1601, MCA – Transformational Learning –Legislative Intent
                                   ARM 10.55.906(4)) – High School Credit
                                   Article X, Section 1, Montana Constitution


Cross Reference:        Policy 1005FE – Proficiency-Based Learning
                                    Policy 1902 – Alternative Grading Policy       
                                    Policy 1905 -  Staff, Student, and Community Health and Safety
                                    Policy 2100 – School Calendar
                                    Policy 2140 – Guidance and Counseling
                                    Policy 2161 – Special Education
                                    Policy 2168 – Distance Learning
                                    Policy 2410 – Graduation
                                    Policy 2420 – Grading and Progress Reports
                                    Policy 2421 – Promotion and Retention    
                                    Policy 2150 – Suicide Training and Awareness
                                    Policy 3125 – Homeless Students 
                                    Policy 3122 - Attendance Policy
                                    Policy 3310 - Student Discipline


Policy History:
Adopted on:  05-01-2020
Reviewed on:
Revised on:   08-20-2020
Terminated on: