School Board Roundup
school boards met for November
The Ennis School board of trustees met on Nov. 10 for their monthly meeting. Here’s a runthrough of what was covered.
• Thirty Chromebooks and a mobile cart to charge and store were purchased for Ennis Elementary school, complimenting outdated tablets. The Chromebooks will allow the young students to take tests in a more familiar environment as they had been using the computer lab for electronic examinations.
• Ennis Superintendent Casey Klasna once again reported that the district needs custodial staff and bus drivers. A recent potential driver resignation was a false alarm, but highlighted the reality that if a driver did quit, one of the four current bus routes would need to be cut. Klasna said two more drivers are needed. The current scenario is tenuous, with the district’s transportation director, a sub, and even Klasna himself taking the wheel when needed. There are potential candidates in the works, but training is lengthy.
• Superintendent Klasna recommended the board discontinue the offering of meetings via Zoom. The board had other ideas and opted to keep the virtual option available.
• A consideration to approve a resolution for a bond election for improving school grounds and facility was postponed as only four of the five trustees were in attendance. The full board will meet on Nov. 16 for this consideration. If approved the bond will be on the Feb. 2022 ballot.
• On the basketball front, trustees approved the hire of Kelley Knack as JV girls coach, John Swanson as boys’ c-squad coach, and Mark McClain as assistant junior high boys’ coach.
Harrison trustees approve coach, teacher and class adds
The Harrison District School Board met on Nov. 8. Here’s a look at what was covered.
• Jarod Schaak was approved as junior high girls basketball co-coach.
• Tylor Pitcher was approved as half-time music teacher and halftime instructional aide.
• Discussion was had regarding an activity bus the booster club is looking into as a potential gift to the school. No final decisions were made on that pending further discussion.
• Looking ahead to the second semester, the board approved the addition of band class offerings.
• The board will meet again on Dec. 6 at 7 p.m.
School Board talks enrollment, Covid funding and entryway improvements
The Sheridan School District Board of Trustees met on Nov. 9. Here’s a recap of what was discussed.
• An Alder-area trustee vacancy following the relocation of former trustee Theresa Sutton remains open. Another open seat was filled by Luke Cordingley.
• The board approved pursuing the return of a wrestling co-op with Beaverhead County High School, as well as a softball co-op. The wrestling co-op had existed in the past but waning interest ultimately cancelled the program. Interest in the sport has returned and the district hopes to rekindle the opportunity. Paperwork now gets sent to the Montana High School Association for consideration and approval. Twin Bridges is also a part of the co-op.
• The district is considering proposals regarding use of ESSER III federally funded Covid-19 money. Funds will primarily be used in Sheridan High School’s ventilation system, changing an old air handler system located in the attic to a new system which will pull fresh air from the outside in, better circulating classroom air. If any funds remain after that improvement, the district will look to improve the elementary and middle school building’s pneumatic control system.
• In his report, Sheridan Superintendent Mike Weatherbee made special note of his district’s growing enrollment. Just four years ago student numbers were on the decline, and Weatherbee worried staff cuts were imminent. In October 2016 Sheridan High had 188 students, including 50 high schoolers and 133 in elementary-aged attendees. By Oct. 2021, 69 students were enrolled in high school and 151 in elementary, 220 in total. “If we had continued to decline in our enrollment into 2017, we probably would have had to release some of our staff, because we couldn’t afford them,” said Weatherbee. “We were fortunate attendance and population went the other way.”
• Sheridan High School’s ongoing entryway project is officially complete, and just in time. The improvement includes railings and a heated sidewalk – now the snow just needs to fall to see how well it performs.
• The Sheridan Board of Trustees will meet next on Dec. 14 at 7 p.m.