By Dustin Shipman BSSD Superintendent

“The Ram’s Horn” is a regular column by Big Sky School District Superintendent Dustin Shipman, offering news and insight from the district.

The idea behind “The Ram’s Horn” column is to provide regular communication to the Big Sky community.

As with any organization that represents varying constituent groups, the school is committed to connecting with the public in numerous ways to ensure the best education for students. That includes regular communication from me as superintendent through this column. Students’ parents see me on a consistent basis, however it’s important to also reach out to the broader community.

We recently finished off a busy week in the district kicking off our strategic planning. We had more than 700 respondents to an online survey we hosted, and the steering committee wants to acknowledge everyone who took the time to complete the survey and meet with our consultant Skip Kotkins. He had an audience exceeding 100 people during his two days in Big Sky and was impressed by the level of engagement at the meetings, and in the thoughtfulness of the survey responses.

In addition, Kotkins found everyone involved committed to the strategic planning process and to making the school district the best it can be. This was the most important two days of this process as it offered a platform for anyone interested to speak candidly and confidentially regarding the district and its future.

Next, Kotkins will collate and categorize the feedback in order to prioritize planning categories for the steering committee. Within those categories, specific steps to operationalize the plan will be crafted along with accountability directives for the leadership of the district.

A draft plan will be available for focus groups made up of representatives from various constituent groups near the end of October. I’m confident this process will go a long way in guiding the district’s future as we evolve with 21st century education demands, and work with the leaders of tomorrow.

Know that my door is always open, and we invite you to visit the school any time as we continue our commitment to the children of Big Sky.