Students at Longfellow Elementary in Bozeman will notice some changes to their school when they return to classes next week. This summer, Longfellow received 3.2 million dollars to renovate and update their school. The school focused on improving its energy efficiency, updating the building to modern codes and bringing healthier, fresher air to students. Changes include removing the old windows that had been there since the school’s founding in 1939. Now, the school has new, energy efficient classroom windows that will moderate temperatures in the school much better. The school has also added new air heating and ventilation in the hopes of creating a healthier environment, with fresher air for the students. A new elevator was also added to the school and will be ready at the beginning of September. Parents in the area can look forward to a healthier and more efficient school for their children this year. Anybody who would like to see the school and its new updates can visit Longfellow Thursday the 27th, at 3:30 pm.
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Bozeman High School received the highest average score for Montana’s high schools, scoring a 23.0 Composite score. Based against Montana’s 14 other AA ranked high schools, BHS also improved its own score from 2013 to 2014. Last year, Bozeman High School scored an average of a 22.5 on the ACT. Funny enough, Bozeman’s score last year still would have been high enough to take top honors again this year. The next highest school was Missoula Hellgate, who scored a 22.1 this year.
Bozeman High School may be able to hang its hat on its new test prep system. Before, the ACT had to be paid for and taken outside of school. However, starting last year, Bozeman began administering the exam to Juniors in high school and are given a full school day to take the test. Students who may have chosen not to take the test due cost, time, or interest, now do not have to worry and can at least make the attempt at going on to higher education. Any parent moving to Montana would want to consider the fact that BHS has made higher education accessible to all Bozeman students.
Not to mention… other Gallatin County Schools scored great too!
Three Forks 22.2
Willow Creek 20.4
Congrats to our next generation of college students!
A new school may be coming to Big Sky. The Big Sky Discovery School, a private Montesorri school, has been started by Big Sky locals Scott and Karen Maybee in an attempt to diversify the education options for Big Sky locals. The school will serve up to 12 students in first through third grade but will look to expand up to sixth grade in the next year. Both owners believe the new private school will only help enhance the quality of education available in Big Sky. As there is no Montessori school in Big Sky, Big Sky Discovery School will bring a less traditional education method to the area. The school’s calendar will mimic the local public elementary school, Ophir, but the prospect of a new school has received mixed reactions from locals. In general though, having multiple options for schooling can only help potential home-buyers feel more comfortable moving to a smaller town. The school aims to be environmentally sustainable while feeding their students only healthy, natural, organic food. The eco-friendly perspective may also align more with recently moved parents, who are looking to raise their children with these tenants in mind. Any home-buyer looking to move into Big Sky can only be heartened by having more educational options available for their children.
New construction, continued growth in Bozeman and a larger tax base have allowed the City of Bozeman to lower property tax rates, but still spend more money on education. The Department of Revenue reported that the elementary district has grown by 2.74% while the high school district grew by 2.97%. These numbers reflect the positive growth in Bozeman over the last couple of years, as both construction and real estate seem to have fully recovered from recession. With a larger tax base, Bozemanites can expect to see lower property taxes, yet the schools should be able to hire up to 12 more teachers or counselors for this coming fall semester. The education budget has asked for 70.4 million to spend this year, which is up 1.8% from previous years. As more and more people move to Bozeman looking to raise families in the right schools, Bozeman schools have continued to shine. They have shined so much so that they continue to attract more families, bringing in more money to improve schools, which again attracts more families. Hopefully, this positive trend continues, and Bozeman can help foster the next generation of smarter, more creative leaders.
Petra Academy, Bozeman’s second largest private school, plans to continue growing in the next year. Petra will break ground on a 2 million dollar classroom expansion that should be finished before fall of 2015. They plan on adding 8,600 square feet to the building, including 8 additional classrooms. Petra, who offers a Christian/Classical education to its students, has always limited its classroom size to 16, and had been forced to turn away students in previous years. Currently teaching 170 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, the expansion should ease this ongoing issue. With more and more young families looking to move to Bozeman, most of the expansions are aimed at Petra’s youngest students. The renovation will almost double the elementary wing of the school. Expansions like the one at Petra, should offer more than enough room for new Bozemanites looking for the right school for their children.
Top Montana high school students, who received a Montana University System Honor Scholarship, continue to choose Montana State University and Bozeman over any other college or university in the state.The MUS Honor Scholarship rewards students for exceptional academic excellence at the high school level, requiring applicants to maintain a 3.4 grade point average after 7 semesters of high school. MUS Honor Scholars can receive free tuition for up to four years based on this GPA coupled with their SAT and ACT scores. At MSU, this converts to around 5,300 dollars annually. Yet, even with high competition levels between Montana schools, sixty-eight percent of these students have applied to MSU, reflecting a higher percentage than all other Montana universities combined. MSU beat its own numbers this year, up five percent from the previous year. High quality programs continue to attract young ambitious thinkers, while its university culture and a positive relationship with the City of Bozeman continue to spur these numbers forward. Intelligent students in higher numbers can only be a positive sign for Bozeman’s future.
Reinhardt, Tanya. "MSU Remains School of Choice for High Achieving Students." Bozeman Daily Chronicle (2014): n. pag. Web. 7 July 2014.
After the thralls of summer begin to fade into the dry grasslands that signal in fall, parents start thinking about the school season. In fact, a recent realtor.com survey found that school districts impact 60% of home buyers. This carries so much clout with some buyers that are willing to spend more in order to buy within a the district they want their children to belong in. This oftentimes takes a higher priority than parks, trails, and other amenities.
A majority of the home buyers surveyed said that school-district boundaries will have an impact on their buying decision:
- 23.59 percent would pay 1-5 percent above budget
- 20.70 percent would pay 6-10 percent above budget
- 8.98 percent would pay 11-20 percent above budget
- 40.33 percent would not go above budget
For home buyers who said that school-district boundaries will have an impact on their decision, the majority rated the boundaries as an “important” consideration:
- 90.53 percent said school-district boundaries are “important” or “somewhat important”
- 2.04 percent were “neutral” about the importance of school-district boundaries
- 7.43 percent said school-district boundaries are “unimportant” or “very unimportant”
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