Voting begins for schools participating in One School at a Time - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Voting begins for schools participating in One School at a Time for February

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BILLINGS- The start of the new month marks a new round of voting for One School at a Time. 

Huntley Project High School would like to purchase a new microphone system to enhance their fine arts programs and community events held at the school.

"We do some awesome programs throughout the year from Veteran's Day programs all the way to Christmas programs, everything else. But we do have some outside organizations that use our community and our building,” said Superintendent Mark Wandle.

If more than one microphone is needed, their current system requires cords strewn across the floor and results in feedback. 

“So when they come in, it's nice to have a microphone system that would be more conducive to everybody being able to participate rather than handing off the microphone or having hard lined mics in here, and that's where we probably have it the most,” Wandle said.

Reliable audio would help to polish off performances. 

"All of those individuals have put in a ton of time and effort and so anything that can take away from any of the distractions or the inconveniences of putting on a play and really be able to project it out to a crowd where everyone can hear it and really enjoy the performance even more, that's what we're looking to try to do." Wandle said

A new system would make it easier to show off all their hard work.  

"Individuals are just looking to focus on their performance and those items. And we do enhance a lot of our programs for our special needs students and so when they come up and sing we want to make sure it's just a great experience for everybody," Wandle said.

Shepherd High School would like to purchase some heavy duty easels for their art classes to make better use of space. 

"My painting class, specifically, has 29 (students) in it, and 29 bodies in here trying to work with big canvases, they're nudging elbows and getting into each other's work and we just need something that is more economical for them to freely move and freely create," said art teacher Baylee Riley.

They would like to create a studio style classroom, by eliminating the large desks and forming a circle with the easels. 

"They're super excited about having even just one easel, we each get our own easel,” Riley said.

This would give each student their own space.  

"Each student would have their own station that they would individually get to work on paint and draw and have a couple tables in case they needed to work with ceramics or anything. Other than that they would be in their own space, their own creative zone." Riley said.

Distractions could be decreased by providing more room to work.

"They get to zone out and really focus. Being in middle school that's the hardest aspect is focusing on it and not being distracted by others around them kind of avoiding having someone right across from you or next to you. They get their own zone, own place," Riley said.  

Riley said that her students were excited at the prospect of having one easel, let alone one for everybody. 

"Taking a more serious aspect I have some phenomenal artists that do some great things, and they should be having the best materials to work from to produce the best work." Riley said.

Laura Walker is one of several art teachers that travels throughout the district. She teaches at  McKinley, Poly Drive, Central Heights, and Burlington throughout her week.

 She would like to purchase mini i-pads to assist with learning photography, that could be used specifically for her art classes. 

"It's very little time, we wish we had more, but that's not the case, and so every single day I have to go a new school, and bring all the materials that I need and figure out the settings, or what's the classroom looking like," Walker said.

Teaching at four different schools, it becomes difficult to insure that needed supplies will be available or ready to use. 

"When you're that teacher that comes in for just one day a week you have to see if you can kind of squeak by and get six I-pads, whether the kindergarteners are using it for Project-Lead-The-Way, testing, activities, it can get kind of problematic. And sometimes they're not plugged in, and so you can lose photos, you can lose work, apps can be deleted, a lot of mistakes that happen normally," Walker said. 

Walker said having this type of technology available can open up minds about different types of creativity. 

"There's so much more to art, it's a huge umbrella. There's a lot of things that are underneath it. And digital is a big part of it. And so if we're going to teach that in fourth and fifth grade we need to have those materials," Walker said

Walker believes that looking at art differently could even lead to future passions, and professions. 

"You could have a fifth grader that hates art but loves the stop motion process and flip book animation and that's going to continue his love for it on to middle school and high school and hopefully into the future, and that's what we're here for," Walker said.

Donations can be made toward any of the projects as well. To vote, donate, or nominate a school, visit ktvq.com

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