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Spring Newsletter
Casey Klasna
Friday, April 20, 2018

Spring 2018 Newsletter

Greetings from Ennis Schools!  We hope that your spring is going well--as always, there is a lot happening in the district:  

Technology Levy Highlights

In May of 2016, shareholders of Ennis School District approved a generous technology levy that has greatly benefited our students.  Here are a few examples:

  • All  high school students receive a laptop to use in the classroom and at home. Our teachers have embraced our students using technology in the classroom, and many class assignments and projects are assigned online.  Students often interact and work on projects through their devices while building technology skills.

  • K-8 students and teachers have opportunities to integrate technology with the use of iPads that are located throughout the elementary school.  

  • The technology fund allowed Ennis Schools to purchase interactive smartboards. Multimedia lessons are often projected to the smartboards where students and teachers can easily interact.      

  • This levy also allows the district to utilize a professional  Information Technology company to manage the district’s network to ensure that our students and data are safe and secure, and allow our teachers more contact time with students.    

  • We were able to redesign and introduce a new website and mobile app. During strategic planning sessions, communicating effectively with ours shareholders was made a priority, and we hope this is an effective method to provide access to school information.     The app is free and can be found on the Apple Store and Google Play. The district’s website can be found at www.ennisschools.org.  Please help spread the word!

Reading and Math Intervention Specialist

We are currently advertising for a reading and math intervention specialist.  We feel that the district would benefit greatly as this teacher would:

  • Assist our  K-12 teachers to identify students that may need more help catching up to their peers in these areas.

  • Work with students one on one and in small group settings to allow more student-teacher contact time.    

  • Provide more challenging opportunities for our advanced students.

May Election

At the March school board meeting, trustees approved asking voters for a levy to finance the school’s general fund.  We are thankful that this community has been very so very supportive of our students, and we encourage all shareholders to exercise your right and cast your vote this election. We are asking for this levy support because if approved, it would allow the district to operate at our maximum budget. Doing so  will allow Ennis Schools to continue to offer and enhance outstanding educational programs for our students and staff.

  • The amount of the levy is $79,968.84; this amount is approximately 0.82 mils.

  • Passage of this levy will increase the taxes on a home with a market value of $100,000 by approximately $1.10, and on a home with the market value of $200,000 by approximately $2.21.  

Mail Ballots for May Election    

The school election on May 8 will be mail ballot only this year.  There will be no polling place to cast your votes, rather all shareholders will receive their ballots in the mail.  Ballots may be returned to the following locations on or before May 8:

  • Prior to Election Day:

Clerk & Recorder, 103 W. Wallace St., First Floor, Virginia City, MT 59755.  Hours: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.  

Ennis High School, 223 Charles Avenue.  Hours: Monday-Friday 8 a.m. -3p.m.

  • On Election Day, May 8

Clerk & Recorder, 103 W. Wallace St., First Floor, Virginia City, MT 59755.  Hours: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Ennis High School, 223 Charles Avenue. Hours: Monday-Friday 8a.m. -8p.m.

Trustee Election Cancelled

The district has two trustee positions to fill, but will do it by acclamation, meaning there is no need to have an election for trustees because two people have filed for two positions.  A big thanks to our candidates for choosing to serve on the school board!

  • Incumbent Kris Inman, and community member Jennifer Rohrback will both serve a three year term.  

  • These individuals will give their oath of office at the May 16, 2018 school board meeting.  

School Safety

It’s nearly impossible to turn on the news today and not hear something about school safety. Please know that should an incident occur, every party involved has our students safety and well being at the forefront of any action. We would like you to know that:

  • School safety is part of the district’s strategic plan and we continue to be proactive and take proper safety precautions at our school.   

  • The district has appointed a safety committee to determine additional safety measures; we participate in numerous safety drills throughout the year and are consistently improving safety measures and how to protect our students.

  • The school has a strong and positive working relationship with local law enforcement including the Ennis Police Department, the Madison County Sheriff's Office, and the Forest Service.  Individuals from these organizations can often be found visiting our school talking to kids, walking through the halls and talking with staff. We are proud of the working relationship with our law enforcement.  They are dedicated to our county, town, and most importantly, our kids.

Building Project

There is a need in the high school to increase safety and security of hallway and weight room areas. We are making plans to add storage off the south side of the gymnasium, and extend the weightroom to allow better access and supervision.  

  • The weight room will be extended 500 square feet to the west to allow direct access from the gym into the weightroom . Teaching staff will be able to supervise the weight room and gym area at the same time which increases safety and security of kids.  

  • This project will also provide approximately 1200 square feet of storage.   We have been storing equipment in our hallways, and the clutter poses a safety issue.  We want to keep our halls free of objects and ensure a clear route for our staff and students.   If all goes well, we anticipate that the project will be completed early next fall.

Drug Testing Policy Approved

Since the spring of 2017, the district has discussed the possibility of drug testing our 6-12 students that are involved in extracurricular activities such as sports and cocurricular activities such as BPA, Skills USA, Close-up, WorldStrides, School Play, and Traffic Education.

  • Our goal is to keep our school and activites drug-free, to give our students another reason to stay healthy, and say no to temptation.

  • The board adopted the policy at the April meeting, and more information will be posted on the school website.

  • An orientation will be given to parents and students at a later date.  

  • This policy will go into affect the 2018-2019 school year.

School Bus Drivers, Jack Creek Bus Route

Among a statewide shortage of bus drivers, finding people willing to fill local routes has been a very difficult task; we have advertised many times and held informational meetings in hopes to recruit drivers.

  • We have attempted to fill the Jack Creek route for the last two years and our efforts have come up short.  It was decided at the April school board meeting to eliminate the Jack Creek Route for the 2018-2019 school year.   It will now be the responsibility of parents to transport their children to and from school. By state law, families living outside a 3 mile radius will be compensated 35 cents/mile.  

  • Families that are affected by the closure of the Jack Creek Route will need to contact the district office for an Individual Transportation Contract form.  Once these forms are complete, trustees will approve them at a regularly scheduled school board meeting.

  • We will continue to seek out drivers for our routes and activities and continue to encourage anyone that may be interested to contact the school.   

Softball Approved

Last fall, the school board was asked to consider the possibility of adding softball as an extracurricular activity.  Throughout the fall and early winter months, the board discussed at length this option.

  • With the amount of interest posed by our high school girls and community commitment letters of support, the board determined that softball be considered on a year to year basis.  

  • The program will assessed yearly by the administration based on of participation and finances. This program will start in the Spring of 2019.

School Play April 27th and 28th, 7pm

Our students and advisors have been dedicating much of their time before and after school to prepare for our annual school play.  Please come join the EHS Drama Department at the Elementary gym as they present:

"How the West was Dun… or Left High and Dry in Low Humidity Chasm"

  • Cost: Adults: $6.00 Students and Seniors: $5.00 Under 5: Free

  • Join us for a hilarious Western spoof of many of Hollywood’s finest with a few modern touches thrown in. Richard Coldheart must marry Polly Wanda Cracker to control the Cracker property.  However, it’s Polly’s homely sister, Prunella who wants to marry him! Meanwhile, our hero Sheriff Wayne John, has his hands full surviving the hilarious antics of well-meaning but not too bright Deputy Doowrong. When a bundle of villains including Snydley Dastardley, Belle Starr, Kid Kid, Schizophrenic Kid, Black and Blacker Betty and Calamity Jan attempt to take over Low Humidity Chasm things really go crazy.

  • Friday only, you can enjoy a three-course dinner served by the FCCLA before the play for only $20 (includes admission to the play as well.) Limited tickets are available so call the Ennis School (682-4258) now to reserve your tickets. Dinner begins at 6:00.

Giving Back to the Community

Another part of the school’s strategic plan is to encourage students to give back to our amazingly supportive community.  We’ve started with small steps that will continue to grow:

  • Our students recently made placemats for the Ennis Senior Center; they took a great deal of pride in their work and were excited to show off their talent.

  • Our JH and HS art students have also been involved in the Madison Valley manor showcasing their artwork in the halls for the residents to view and enjoy.

  • As part of graduation requirements, there are a certain amount of community service hours; we are considering  increasing those hours for our students to encourage them to be more involved with our community.

Doing what's best for kids!

Doing what's best for kids is at the forefront of everything we do, and our most common theme at Ennis Schools. It’s discussed at every board or staff meeting when decisions are made, and it will always be our priority.  Through our strategic planning process, we discuss enhancing the academic programs for kids and we are always looking how to make the school better. The opportunities available to kids in our district is impressive and stands out above the rest.  

On behalf of Ennis Schools, we thank you for your continued support of kids and we hope that you enjoy the rest of the spring season!  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the school.