Posted: Sep 26, 2012 7:27 AM by Dustin Klemann - Q2 News
Updated: Sep 26, 2012 7:27 AM
BILLINGS - School District 2 began its series of community meetings in order to get parents' perspective on what needs to change.
Between the two meetings at Lewis & Clark Middle School, more than 100 parents and faculty provided input with electronic clickers to presentation questions.
The workshop provided immediate results to many questions: everything from parent confidence in the school board to what should be the biggest focus in the master plan.
Classroom size and technology dominated the larger issues in K-12. An option introduced -- and to be discussed more in depth at future workshops -- is moving sixth grade classrooms to middle schools. This would allow more room for elementary students and create smaller classroom sizes. In Tuesday night's audience, 88 percent agreed with the possible option.
Although only serving as an introductory meeting, parents got some statistics on School District 2, both exceptional and in need of improvement.
In the past four years, the district saved $2.3 million on energy reduction efforts. It ranks in the top 12 percent in the nation.
As for school buildings, age is becoming an issue. The average age of buildings in the district is 52 years. Rennovations have eased the aging process but the issue is on the lists of the district.
Graduation rates in the Billings area are 77 percent, ranking fifth in Montana.
Terry Bouck, SD2 Superintendent, ended the first meeting encouraging people in attendance to bring three more people they know. School District 2 is stressing the importance and effect parent input can have.
More meetings are set for October 16 and 17 at Castle Rock Middle School. These meetings will address population size within the school district as official attendance numbers will be presented.
School district officials expect to submit final plans January 2013.