Building project, six-man football on Twin Bridges School Board agenda

The Twin Bridges School Board held their monthly meeting on Oct. 14. Here’s a recap of what was discussed..

• The board has chosen Mckinstry engineering firm as part of the district’s ongoing improvement plan which includes the use of ESSER federal relief funds for building improvements which include updates to the district’s HVAC systems and indoor air quality. The board approved Mckinstry’s investment grade audit which looked into the feasibility of the improvement project. The board is also looking into grant opportunities which could help build efficiencies into the district’s current buildings. Twin Bridges Superintendent Thad Kaiser said this project could entail bringing a bond request to the community, noting that an current $250,000 per year bond which paid for a new building in 2003 is set to expire by June 2022, and the potential new ask would be for much less than the previous one.

• After the recent legislative year the board continues to work through updated changes and policies. Superintendent Kaiser said he’s heard of one district that’s approved more than 50 changes already this year, and while Twin doesn’t have that many, it’s still quite the task.

• The board is looking to purchase a couple new school buses through the district’s bus depreciation fund. The district hired a new bus driver this year, allowing for its four routes to continue operation, but like most schools, Twin’s bussing system is still stretched thin with extracurriculars.

• A petition will go out to the Montana High School Association to shift Twin’s current eightman football team to a six-man team. Superintendent Kaiser said injuries this season made it difficult at times to man a full eight-player team, and this shift would address those challenges. One qualifier to drop to six-man football is a district having 65 students or less in its high school; Twin Bridges has 57. Notification from MHSA regarding the potential switch should be received in the next few months.

• Substitute teacher pay was increased from $70 to $88 per day and from $80 to $96 per day for those with a teaching endorsement.

• Twin Bridges was recently awarded $50,900 for its science and Project Lead The Way program which spans all grade levels, focusing on engineering, biomedical science and computer science. The funds will be used to purchase technologies to expand current elementary offerings, to provide STEM professional development, and more.

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