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Bozeman Montana School Expansion Bond Passes

by Hart Real Estate Solutions

The Bozeman School district received great news from the Bozeman community on November 3rd, when voters passed 21.5 million dollars worth of bonds to expand both the Hawthorne Elementary School and Sacajawea Middle School.

Now, district officials can turn their sites towards a second high school in Bozeman.

As Bozeman grows, the community will need to continue funding the schools to help them address the rising student population and keep Bozeman the wonderful community that has attracted so many new residents.




For the second year in a row, the Bozeman School District has grown to its largest size in its history. Last year, enrollment hit 6,294 people but this year, enrollment has grown by more than 200 students and has now reached more than 6,500 students. In spring, administrators had estimated a 170 student addition.

Now, a record 2,000 students will attend Bozeman High School. 1,470 middle schoolers are now between Chief Joseph and Sacajawea Middle School. And nearly 3,045 elementary students will be spread across Bozeman’s Elementary schools.

In light of the growing enrollment, Bozeman will ask voters to approve bonds to expand Sacajawea Middle School and expanding Hawthorne Elementary School. That vote will occur November 3rd, 2015.

The Bozeman School District has also started planning for a second high school in Bozeman. They want a new school in place within the next four to five years, when enrollment at Bozeman High, currently the best ranked public school in Montana, is expected to reach 2,400 students. The district is already in discussions with a few architecture firms to get the project rolling.

Bozeman has seen increases in population all across the board. Whether for travel, tourism, schools or overall population, its clear Bozeman continues to attract additional residents.




Bill Covers Montana School Inflation Costs

by Tim Hart

A 54 million dollar bill to cover the costs of inflation for Montana public schools passed through the legislature this past week. The bill keeps the funding for Montana public schools at the same level as previous years, by adjusting for inflation. The state will increase education funds by 2.3% and 1.8% over the next two years.

By passing the bill, the legislature has relieved many school officials from the stress of budgeting their next school year without knowing exactly how much funds they will receive.

For Bozeman Public Schools specifically, school officials have worked hard to achieve additional funding through grants and other programs, including their recent 3.3 million dollar award to fund new mental health programs in schools and their 1.3 million grant to improve student performance in mathematics. However, these people still need help from the state to maintain these programs and maintain the quality of their education overall.

As Bozeman has expanded, the local schools have hit new enrollment records, making it even more important to maintain funding and stay up with inflating costs. If the Bozeman School District wants to expand one of its middle schools and bring in new public preschool programs, proper funding will be a necessity.

Bozeman’s hard work to receive and deserve the funding from the Montana Legislature, along with its efforts to achieve additional grants has helped contribute to a 4% graduation rate improvement, the highest ACT scores in the state, and some of the highest AP exam scores in the nation.

Of course, all local, public schools in the area will see the benefits of the bill's passing. Gallatin County schools still remain top class institutions and will continue attracting new families to the area.




Graduation Rates Hit New Highs in Montana

by Tim Hart

Graduation rates for high schools in MT rose to their highest level since 2000, with Gallatin County’s five High Schools included. For the state of Montana, graduation rates rose to 85.4 percent. Four years ago, the total was at 80.7 percent.

Of Gallatin County’s five public high schools, West Yellowstone came in 1st at 92.3 percent. Manhattan High came in at 90 percent, Bozeman High with 88.1 percent, Belgrade High with 86.8 percent, and Three Forks High with 84.2 percent. Of Montana’s 14 AA high schools, Bozeman ranked third, behind Missoula Sentinal and Helena Capital.

Montana’s drop out rate also improved over a four-year period, from 5% to 3.7 percent.

Bozeman High School’s graduation rate (88.1 percent) jumped by more than 4% from 4 years ago. School officials gave credit to teachers, students and parents for the improvement, but also noted their hard efforts with their new programs and availability of online courses.

The school’s drop out rate fell from 3.3% to 2.9 percent. Economically disadvantaged students who make up around 20% of Bozeman High’s student body saw their graduation rate rise from 66.7 percent 4 years ago, to 75.8% currently. School leaders recognized those numbers can still improve, but hope that their new pilot, public preschool program can help shorten the gap.

High schools in Gallatin County continue to improve their high standards. Their hard work and commitment to excellence have led to many homebuyers specifically seeking out these schools for their children.



Bozeman Deaconess Hospital has started a 15 million dollar addition that will better address the needs of Bozeman residents while also preparing the next generation of doctors for the area.

The hospital broke ground two weeks ago and it plans on the building being 5 stories high and 88,508 square feet. The basic shell of the building should be ready by December of 2015 and then its interior should finish within the following six months. The hospital may not have to fit the entire bill assuming MSU can approve the leasing of a portion of the building for its growing medical programs.

Montana State University is awaiting approval to lease space in the new addition for its growing WWAMI doctor-training program. Currently, they are awaiting approval from the Board of Regents to make sure they have adequate funds to lease the space.

MSU’s WWAMI program gives prospective medical students a chance to live and breath the medical world from a variety of perspectives. In their first year, MSU students would study at the school, they would attend the University of Washington in their second year, and then go to clinical training sites for their 3rd and 4th years. MSU hopes that Bozeman Deaconess can become one of these clinical training sites in the future. The University of Washington has given their approval for Bozeman Deaconess to become a clinical training site.

Leasing space from Bozeman Deaconess will help better involve practicing doctors in the training of medical students. 1 out of 7 doctors can thank the WWAMI program for allowing them to practice in the state of Montana and surely would be willing to pay the help forward to future doctors. MSU would lease the 12,000 square feet of space for $16 a foot, or $192,000 a year.

MSU continues to build its academic reputation in a variety of different subjects while growing its student population. MSU's effect on Bozeman real estate shouldn't be underestimated. Renters and investors continue to see the effects of MSU. As the medical school in MSU grows, so will MSU’s reputation. MSU will hope to continue to attract the nation’s best and brightest with their continued academic focus. Having more doctors coming to Bozeman can only be good news and should continue to attract out of towners looking to move, while calming their concerns for medical care in a rural area like Montana.



Longfellow Wins US Department of Education Honor

by Tim Hart

Longfellow students have something to be proud about coming into this 2014-15 school year. The school was honored with the 2014 National Blue Ribbon School Award, presented by the U.S. Department of Education. Longfellow has 325 kids from Kindergarten to 5th grade.

Longfellow was one of 337 schools nationally and one of two in Montana to receive the honor. The school won in the exemplary high-performing school category. Over the last 5 years, the school has adequately and consistently met the standards set as an overall school. Longfellow also excelled with their special education students as well as low-income students.

On state standardized tests, Longfellow students displayed their excellence. 97% of students scored a passing level or higher in reading, 93% in math, and 94% in science.

Bozeman schools continue to excel, with Longfellow helping to lead the way. Bozeman’s Morning Star school won the same award in 2009, reflecting the overall health of the Bozeman education system. Families with children can come to Bozeman with faith that they can find a quality education for their kids.  


Bozeman Education Taxes to Dip Slightly

by Tim Hart

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 Expands School, Will Cost 2 Million

by Tim Hart

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.

Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8