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Big Sky schools receive technology, nutrition, music grants

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Students at Ophir and Lone Peak high schools
will have access to the latest educational technology
and software in their classrooms next fall,
thanks to a grant from the Yellowstone Club
Community Foundation.
“As a district, we’ve been able to outfit most
of our classrooms with the LCD projectors and
document cameras our teachers need—but not
all of them. So, some teachers were able to have
these devices easily available to integrate into
their teaching while others could not,” said Andrea
Johnson, Superintendent.
The YCCF funds will be used to remove this
inequity so teachers from kindergarten through
high school, will have these tools. In addition, the
YCCF grant included the purchase of necessary
software to use with these technologies, as well as
with the laptop computers a previous YCCF grant
helped fund last fall.
The YCCF’s investment in school technology
is particularly important for a small rural school
district like Ophir, Johnson said. “The technology
we will now have in place will not only
allow our kids to access the world much more
readily, but will allow them to reach the high
achievement standards which are a priority goal
in our district.”
These grants, like other YCCF awards to Ophir,
exemplify the foundation’s approach to partnering
with the school district to provide outside funds imperative
for the school’s educational goals. Through
another grant, the YCCF is making possible the
school district’s firs ever cafeteria salad bar.
“Our hope is that with the ability to purchase and
fill a salad bar, we will be able to increase participation
in our school lunch program enough to
qualify for us for federal awards and become more
financially self-sustaining,” said Wellness Committee
Chair and Board Trustee Barbara Rowley.
“We are excited that our students will have daily
access to fresh fruits and vegetables.” Without
the grant, the district likely wouldn’t ever have
had money to buy, stock and operate a salad bar
on its own, she added.
Finally, students in the Ophir District will have
a music education otherwise out of reach for the
district. The grant will pay for stringed music
instruction and the creation of a pep band.
“Reaching and assisting the Big Sky community
through the school has been and will be a continuing
focus of the YCCF,” says Casey Schwartz,
YCCF Executive Director. “It is obvious to
anyone that the school is the very heart of this
community, and that by helping kids, we help
families, and the community as a whole.”

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