TSS Closure, Layoff

Students from Snake River Montessori School in Idaho Falls hike Blacktail Butte on Thursday afternoon with a Teton Science Schools graduate student. The place-based education nonprofit announced Wednesday that it would suspend all residential programming through Aug. 15, requiring a 42 staff member layoff.

Teton Science Schools has battened down its hatches further with another COVID-19 related closure that will see it drop over 40 staff members.

The Coyote Canyon-based nonprofit announced Wednesday that it would suspend all overnight, residential programming until Aug. 15. That means it will lay off 26 field instructors who work for part of the year and furlough 16 other people who work in field education and administration. 

“The world needs a TSS education now more than ever," TSS Executive Director Chris Agnew said in a press release. "Our outdoor classroom has been essential to our mission for over 50 years and we look forward to when groups again travel to the Tetons for learning." 

Teton Science Schools previously suspended all in-person programming through April 10.

Virtual learning will continue for students enrolled in the school's K-12 Mountain Academy. Graduate students are also slated to complete digital coursework by May 15. The school's professional development, consulting and rural school programs will continue online.

Impacted staff who live in Teton Science Schools housing will be able to stay rent-free until at least June 1.

It's uncertain when the school plans to resume in-person programming for Mountain Academy, summer camps and wildlife tours. The decision will be made "based on the impacts of COVID-19," the press release said.

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Contact Billy Arnold at 732-7063 or barnold@jhnewsandguide.com.

Teton County Reporter

Previously the Scene editor, Billy Arnold made the switch to the county beat where he's interested in exploring Teton County as a model for the rest of the West. When he can, he still writes about art, music and whatever else suits his fancy.

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