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School year off to a ‘strong’ start

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By Gabrielle Gasser ASSOCIATE EDITOR

BIG SKY – The Big Sky School District Board of Trustees met on the afternoon of Sept. 14 to hear updates on several projects and vote on a few key action items.

On the docket were a variety of back-to-school updates, a progress report on STEAM Lab construction and a new communications app among other things. The Superintendent’s Report, MS/HS Principal’s Report and Elementary School Principal’s Report all concurred that the school year is off to a great start so far.

The new 4K program has taken residence in the elementary building and has had a “strong” start, according to Elementary Principal Brittany Shirley. Superintendent Dustin Shipman added that the high school expedition was excellent and a great way to foster relationships between students and staff ahead of the school year.

Coming up soon is Homecoming Week which Shipman said has been set for Oct. 3-8 and is being planned by the Student Council and a dedicated team of parents.

Now that the new track at the school is fully completed, the district will be setting hours for the public to use it.

“That’s going to be a really nice thing for the community,” Shipman said.

The district launched its new communications app on Sept. 14 which will now serve as the main channel for communication providing information and announcements for parents.

Construction on the STEAM lab building has begun, according to District Representative Cristie Tate. All exterior foundations are completed, she said, and the foundation walls are now being built. The goal is to have the building framed in as quickly as possible ahead of winter, Tate said.

Work on the parking lot by the high school has started and that access point is closed. Tate said the lot will remain closed until next spring when it can be paved.

Following reports and updates, the board voted on seven action items including a partnership between the district and the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office. According to Shipman, the district has been trying to increase the presence of the Sheriff’s Office on campus. The solution both parties landed on is providing office space in the front office of the MS/HS building for a deputy to work there.

“They’ll be a presence on campus a lot more, which will work [well] for us,” Shipman said.

The next school board meeting will take place on Oct. 11 at 3:45 p.m. in the Ophir Elementary Conference Room and via Zoom.

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