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Top Stories From SCSD#1 in 2023

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Parents Discuss Curriculum Concerns

The January 2023 SCSD#1 board meeting was held at the Big Horn High School on Jan. 17. Around 30 people, teachers and community members, attended the meeting.

There were seven parents and teachers who signed up to comment, and Board Chairman Clint Krumm said he was glad to see so many people turn out to address the board.

John and Kelly Bridges from Big Horn talked about the life skills class, and they felt it should be canceled at Big Horn.

John Bridges talked about curriculum issues at Big Horn Elementary school. He wondered what curriculum was in the classrooms. He said that there is no curriculum policy. He said that parents have a right to see materials that will be used to teach various subjects. He said the teachers could chose what they want to use, and that they could choose other materials to teach the subject.

Kelly Bridges read an excerpt from the ‘Wit and Wisdom’ materials which are for 9-year-old students, that she felt was extremely and unnecessarily violent.

She added that in the first grade her 6-year-old daughter was shown a completely inappropriate video that was about rioting, brutality and violence. Her daughter was confused and troubled by the video. “There are plenty of ways to discuss Martin Luther King Jr. and what he did in an age-appropriate way.” Bridges said and added that people want positivity and added “We can do better for our children.”

Superintendent Pete Kilbride Retired in June

Pete Kilbride, who has been superintendent of SCDS#1 for five years, retired at the end of June. Prior to that he was four years a principal as Tongue River Middle School, and prior to that he was counselor at TRHS.

When asked if it was a challenge to run two high schools, two middle schools and two elementary, Kilbride had this to say,

Kilbride lives in Dayton, but he said that he has felt well-received in Big Horn. He said one of the big goals for him was bringing the schools together better. It is a fact that there is a competition between the two schools in District One. “We want a healthy competition between the two sides, but not an adversarial one,” he said

A SCSD#1, both schools have graduation rates of over 90%. In 2022, Big Horn had a 93% graduation rate, and Tongue River had 98%. Kilbride said that he felt while academics are important for the students, personal development is important as well.

Stepping into Kilbride’s shoes will be Jeff Jones. Jones has been the principal at Tongue River Middle School for five years. He said that he has observed the superintendent’s role from many angles.

Jones said he has been in Wyoming for about 17 years. He was principal in Idaho at a large middle school. He said before he took this principal job at TMRS, he taught at Sheridan College, in the teacher education department.

Jones lives in Sheridan. When he moved to the area, he was assistant principal at the Sheridan Junior High School, he was there for about five years. Later he taught at Sheridan college.

When Kilbride stepped into the superintendent role, Jones was hired as TRMS Principal. He said what he plans to do when he takes over his new role as superintendent.

Jones added that they had good people in SCSD#1, and that was important, as without good people there are more challenges. He said that teachers and the community all work together on both sides of the district.

Both Jones and Kilbride said that having been teachers, they like to connect with the students, “I’m not willing to not be around kids as a superintendent,” Jones said.

SCSD#1 Board discusses Substitute Teachers.

The SCSD#1 School Board Trustees held a work session on Tuesday, Nov. 7, in Big Horn. The board discussed housing options for new hires, they talked about finding ways to provide temporary housing for those teachers coming into the district until they can find a more permanent place to live.

Superintendent Jeff Jones talked to the board about substitute teachers, which are in short supply, and the fact that it used to take a long process getting the training and submitting the application to the Professional Teachers Standards board.

He added that the teachers now have more flexibility to do it on their own time by being able to do the training online instead of having workshops or training sessions at the school. “Having the flexibility to do it on-line is really helpful.”

“We want to encourage people to reach out and get involved and help to fill a need in our school system.” Jones said

At the SCSD#1 School Board of Trustees work session on Nov. 7, Superintendent Jeff Jones discussed finding ways to fast track the training for substitute teachers to fill in the gaps when a teacher or other school employee is ill or cannot be at work for whatever reason.

At the Dec. 19 Board Meeting, Superintendent Jeff Jones gave an update about how the ‘fast track’ for substitutes is working at SCSD#1.

He said that there has been a lot of interest, but he would ‘absolutely’ like for people to continue to reach out to him about being substitutes. He talked about how the ‘fast-track’ works.

“We want to encourage people to reach out and get involved and help to fill a need in our school system.” Jones said. He presented the board with a hand-out showing how well the fast-track is working.

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