BUTTE— At Butte Central, masks are worn, there are temperature checks at the door, and social distancing is a must.
"We haven’t lost sight at being vigilant and protecting our children and our teachers," said J.P. Williams, Principal of Butte Central High School.
According to the Butte-Silver Bow Health Department, 62 new COVID-19 cases have been reported on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022.
Butte Central has had in-person classes all year but teachers are constantly preparing to be in a remote situation when it comes.
"We are never going to stop preparing for that day if remote learning comes. While we’re ecstatic about being in person, we want to be prepared," said Williams.
In order for Butte Central to even consider moving to remote learning, there needs to be a 10 percent positivity rate among the student body.
The positivity rate has never reached that number which Williams says is thanks in part to students wearing masks, teachers sanitizing classrooms, and social distancing.
Diane Johnson says that school leadership has made all the difference in handling the pandemic’s impact on teaching and learning.
"Having someone say now this is what we have to do, this is what we’ve been asked to do, now we’re gonna do it and then adjust to it. And it’s been difficult, but I think for me it’s been a learning experience," said Johnson.
Williams’ says the most difficult aspect of the pandemic was seeing its impact on his students, so he and the rest of the staff now focus on the social and emotional learning needs of students.
"We need to be very caring as educators, we need to have understanding, we need to have empathy and the number one priority is to make sure our students are okay," said Williams.