By Abbie Digel Explorebigsky.com Editor

BIG SKY– At a March 15 School Board meeting in Big Sky, the board voted unanimously for the district’s name to be changed from Ophir School District to Big Sky School District #72.

After a series of three public meetings held in February, where community members and parents had the opportunity to voice their opinions about the proposed changes, the board unanimously voted in agreement of the change, which will be in effect July 1. Ophir School District has been in operation for 99 years, and the name change came as a branding move, said Superintendent Jerry House at one of the public meetings, and would capitalize on recognition of Big Sky.

As for the name change, everyone in attendance was in agreement, but with the other prominent change, high school graduation requirements, some parents still expressed skepticism. Although the change passed, one parent expressed concern about how children who weren’t in honors classes would perform with the higher amount of credits (27, up from 22.)

Loren Bough, Chairman of the Board, assured parents that with the variety and latitude of courses offered, students should have no problem meeting the new requirements. “This system allows for the students to choose a variety of paths,” Bough said. The new graduation requirements will be implemented for the ’12-’13 school year.

And with a tap of the gavel, the changes were put into action.

Parents are invited to join teachers in a meeting on March 28 to discuss the kindergarten through eighth grade math curriculum, and whether it is meeting the needs of the students.