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.

We are quickly approaching the end of the year in the Big Sky School District, with the last day of school on June 10. This is a busy time for our students as they begin final preparations for transition to the next grade level or, for our 12th graders, preparing for life after Lone Peak High School.

Throughout May and June the district administration will also be engaging in many processes to close out the school year and plan for next fall.

These include inaugurating Whitney Littman as our newest school board member; board members attending Montana School Boards Association training for school governance; collating and reporting the strategic plan accomplishments; finishing comprehensive testing of our students; completing final evaluations for all staff members; making recommendations on any curricular changes; building a workable timetable and schedule for our students; building the 2016-2017 budget; and recruiting staff for the upcoming year.

Finishing an academic year strong while looking forward to the next is a delicate balance that schools worldwide deal with this time of year. One strategy that works very well for schools is to have short- and long-term planning in place for the district. Here in Big Sky, we have a strategic plan that articulates the way forward for the district.

This planning makes it much easier to focus on the students as our No. 1 priority as the year comes to an end. When students, administrators, teachers, parents and all school community members have a clear direction to move in, we can focus our attention on teaching and learning in the final weeks of the school year.

We look forward to a productive end of the year and will continue to strive each and every day to reach the peak of excellence in all that we do.