Schools, Childcare and University Links and Information

Child care

Emergency child care

If you need to go to work and your child's school or child care facility is closed, there are options to help you find care. All programs listed below are working with the Missoula City- County Health Department to minimize risks to children's health and safety during COVID-19. Complete details about these programs and information on financial assistance are available on the Child Care Resources website

  • Missoula YMCA
    Monday through Friday options for school-aged children and 0- to 5-year-olds (if regular child care facility is closed)
    $112/week
    Contact: nmartin@ymcamissoula.org, 406-721-9622 

  • Boys and Girls Club of Missoula County
    Monday through Friday options for school-aged children
    $112/week
    Contact: john@bgcmissoulacounty.org, 406-214-0140

  • Child Care Resources
    Referrals to child care facilities with temporary or permanent vacancies
    Cost varies
    Contact: ccr@childcareresources, 406-728-6446

Missoula Area Emergency Child Care Task Force

The Missoula Area Emergency Child Care Task Force also is working to address the need for child care among Missoulians employed in occupations critical to the community’s continued health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The task force includes personnel from the Missoula City-County Health Department, Providence St. Patrick Hospital, Community Medical Center, Child Care Resources, Missoula County Public Schools, Missoula Family YMCA, and the Boys and Girls Club of Missoula. It is coordinated by Grace Decker of Zero to Five Missoula County, an initiative of United Way of Missoula County.

The task force is assessing the need for child care among healthcare, law enforcement and first response personnel; identifying potential locations for child care for 0-5-year-olds and school-age children, including in existing child care facilities and other community sites; and Identifying resources and funds to support child care programs operating under emergency conditions.

WATCH: Child Care Task Force provides update on care for kids of essential workers

Public schools

All public school districts in Missoula County have voted to continue remote learning for the remainder of the school year and not resume on-site instruction. These districts include: 

Clinton Elementary School District #32
DeSmet School District #20
Potomac School District #11
Sunset Elementary School #30
Target Range School District #23
Hellgate Elementary School District #4
Bonner School District #14
Woodman Elementary School #18
Frenchtown School District #40
Missoula County Public Schools
Lolo Elementary School District #7
Seeley Lake Elementary School #34
Swan Valley School District #33

WATCH: Missoula educator shares challenges, opportunities of remote education

Additional information for districts in Missoula County 

Missoula County Public Schools

Please visit mcpsmt.org/covid-19 for updates or call 406-728-2400 and dial 0 to speak to a receptionist.

Graduation ceremonies
•Seeley Swan High School will graduate in their gym at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 31.
•Willard will graduate at Washington-Grizzly Stadium on Thursday, June 4. The time is still being worked out, but is anticipated to be sometime after 3 p.m.
•Hellgate, Sentinel and Big Sky will graduate on Friday, June 5, or Saturday, June 6. Please save both days as potential graduation days. MCPS is still working out the final details with UM. Hellgate at 9 a.m., Sentinel at noon and Big Sky at 3 p.m. Each graduate will be allowed no more than two guests. Details regarding guest tickets will be provided as soon as possible.
•MCPS will live stream all ceremonies for those unable to attend.
•MCPS will follow these safety guidelines for all events:

  • All graduates will be provided a cloth mask to wear during the ceremony.
  • Guests are encouraged to bring their own cloth mask. MCPS will have a limited number of disposable masks available at the gate.
  • MCPS encourages graduates and their guests not to travel out of state for the 14 days prior to the ceremony.
  • Graduates and their guests will be asked to stay home if they are sick. MCPS will release some guidance regarding a self-check health screening that will need to be completed before attending the ceremony.
  • All in attendance will be asked to follow social distancing guidelines. Markings on the ground will designate 6-foot distances while entering the venue and proceeding to seats. Graduates will be seated with 6 feet between chairs. Guests will be seated with 6-foot distancing between families.
  • As student names are called and they cross the stage, participants will practice social distancing. Diplomas will be picked up from a table with no handshakes.
  • A professional photographer will be at the event to capture the individual students as they cross the stage.
  • Guests are asked to bring raincoats and other appropriate outdoor clothing. MCPS will hold and continue the ceremonies rain or shine. If there is significant weather, lightning or hail, a ceremony may be postponed to wait for the storm to pass.
  • The number of speakers and presentations will be limited with the hope of keeping the ceremonies short to accommodate for weather or other unforeseen circumstances.
  • MCPS will ask that all in attendance avoid congregating in common areas, such as the entrances and the parking lots, both before and after the ceremony.
  • All guests will need to exit the venue at the conclusion of the ceremony so staff can clean and sanitize between ceremonies.

MCPS school campuses, office buildings and playgrounds will remain closed until further notice.

After deliberation and consideration of public input, the MCPS Board of Trustees voted May 1 to keep schools on a remote learning plan through the remainder of the school year. 

Some of the key issues considered in the decision to remain on remote learning through the end of the school year include:

  • The risk of transmitting coronavirus within school buildings
  • The short-term lack of available personal protective equipment (PPE) for students and staff
  • The short-term lack of supplies to conduct health screenings for all students in an efficient manner
  • The short-term lack of nurses/medical staff in each building to conduct screening
  • The current requirements regarding group size and the possibility of a partial day schedule with only a few weeks remaining in the school year
  • The numbers of students and staff who would be unable to return to school due to personal medical conditions that may place them in a high-risk group
  • The possibility of a confirmed COVID-19 case in a school, which would cause a three- to five-day closure in a period with only a few weeks left in the school year
  • The needs of students who are struggling in a remote learning environment and the likelihood that students will have more challenges when some families return to work in May, which may require us to adapt our remote learning support
  • The need to plan for safety and staff training for the summer and fall

From May 4 to May 13, MCPS will work with administrators and educators to finalize grading information so the district can inform families. In addition, MCPS has a response team working on an “end-of-year” plan that includes operational topics such a, return of materials, locker/desk cleanout and other tasks that will need to be accomplished in a safe manner as the school year wraps up.

The district understands that school closure can be a hardship for students and families. MCPS will continue to provide meals to all youth in the community via elementary school bus stops and drop offs at each school. The routes extend out into the county to Rock Creek, Clinton, Turah, Highway 200 and Potomac, Target Range, Desmet, Mullan Road, Lolo and the Blue Mountain Trailer Court.

MCPS is providing sack breakfast and lunch meals to any youth under 18 (this includes home school, private school and students who attend other districts) who need them. Visit www.mcpsmt.org/covid-19 for details.

MCPS will continue to provide remote learning options during the extended school closure. Visit www.mcpsmt.org/covid-19 as well as any school homepage and click REMOTE LEARNING for details.

• The Adult Education office is open Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Staff is available by phone or email during this time. Call (406) 549-8765 or email LLC@mcps.k12.mt.us
• Academic Success Program classes are running through virtual and distance learning platforms. Call (406) 549-8765 to enroll.
• ETS/HiSET, Pearson Vue and IdentoGO services are operational by appointment only with a limited number of appointments available to respect social distancing and provide time for proper sanitation.
• Updates on when classrooms may open and future class offerings will be posted at www.missoulaclasses.com and on our FaceBook page.

Missoula County Superintendent of Schools

Please contact individual school district websites for district specific information.

Hellgate Elementary School District #4

Lolo Elementary School District #7

Potomac School District # 11

Bonner School District #14

Woodman Elementary School #18

DeSmet School District #20

Target Range School District #23

Sunset Elementary School #30

Clinton Elementary School District #32

Swan Valley School District #33

Seeley Lake Elementary School #34

Frenchtown School District #40

As of March 24 until further notice, the office will conduct business through the use of technology, phone and mail only. We will not be physically open to the public.

Teachers who need to register their teaching licenses may:

  • Drop the original in the lockbox to the left of the entrance. We will register it and mail it back to you. Please let us know what school you work for and where you would like us to mail it.
  • Mail the original to 410 W. Spruce St., Missoula MT 59802. We will register and mail it to you.

Parents and community members may contact us in the following ways:

  • Call our office number at 258-4860, please leave a message if necessary
  • Email us at: jbird@missoulacounty.us (Jessica Bird) elipkind@missoulacounty.us (Erin Lipkind)
  • Drop correspondence in the lockbox located to the left of our entrance.

If you see that our front office light is on, someone is in the office. Feel free to call 258-4860 and speak with someone at that moment regarding your visit. We will not be able to let you enter the office, but we can help you as best we can while you’re here.

Please send your questions to Erin Lipkind, Missoula County Superintendent of Schools at elipkind@missoulacounty.us or call Erin or Jessica Bird, school clerk, at 406-258-4860.

University of Montana

The Montana University System announced that fall semester on all campuses will end on Wednesday, Nov. 25. Students will not return to campus for spring semester until after Jan. 1. In ending the semester earlier than usual, UM will need to start the semester early as well. UM will announce its fall calendar soon.

Remote course delivery will continue through the first session of summer semester. 

UM is enabling remote work for employees to the greatest extent possible. Some necessary staff must remain on hand to support our residential students, critical research, remote learning and other key activities. We are practicing strict physical distancing guidelines and cleaning and sanitation protocols for those who must come to campus to work.

Curry Health Center is open and is treating students with urgent-care needs only. Students must call 406-243-2122 before coming in.

All facilities on the UM campus, with two exceptions, will remained locked. Only the University Center and the Lommasson Building – for access to the Food Zoo – will remain open at this time.

UM and the UM Foundation have established the Emergency Student Support Fund to help enrolled students meet their basic needs by alleviating unexpected financial hardship created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Students may apply for assistance via the Office of Student Affairs website. All resources offered through the fund are made available by generous donations from family, friends and alumni of the University of Montana. Those community members interested in helping students in need may give online by visiting www.supportum.org/emergencyfund

Find up-to-date information at www.umt.edu/coronavirus. UM is staffing a COVID hotline from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Call 406-243-4636 to reach the hotline.

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