Friday, June 21, 2019

Coal Board Fully Funds School Grant

by Robert "Bob" Lewandowski

The Colstrip Public School District grant application to the Montana Coal Board for ADA Compliance Modification and Improvements to the Colstrip High School Gymnasium was fully funded for $473,550.00 at the Montana Coal Board meeting on June 20, 2019. Of that amount $207,224.00 was a cash award and the remaining $266,326.00 is contingency biennium funding beginning July 1, 2019 (first priority).

This has been a project in the making for over a year with community strategic planning meetings, numerous board meetings and facility committee meetings.  There is so much work and planning that goes into a competitive grant process. It is such a thrill to see this project funded. When the award was unanimously approved by the Coal Board, I wanted to jump up, do a fist pump and cheer; however, I settled for a smile and the opportunity to thank the Coal Board. This award couldn't have come at a better time for our town and school.

Colstrip was awarded the grant to address ADA issues in our gymnasium seating and address the safety concerns with our gym floor. As for myself, I have helped too many people get up after falling down with our current bleacher system. Finding handicap seating is also been a problem. I know that tournaments bring a large number of people with disabilities and needs. It will be nice for them to have handrails and appropriate access to sit in the bleachers. 

The award not only addresses the need to replace the current gymnasium bleachers with ADA compliant bleachers as well as sanding, painting and refinishing of the gym floor, it also will allow the school district to address it's deferred maintenance list that totals over $3.5 million dollars. Anything we can do to help offset these types of expenses will certainly help minimize the taxpayers obligation and burden.

The Coal Board's support of this grant application will be experienced by thousands of southeastern Montanans in a single year. In fact, the district basketball tournament alone brings thousands of spectators, family members and fans by itself. This grant will be shared by all of our surrounding communities.

There are so many to thank for this award, and in the process, that I don't know where to start without leaving someone out. Whether you attended a strategic planning meeting, board meeting, facilities meeting or a ball game and mentioned the need to better serve the handicapped and the safety of students and community alike, thank you.  Thank you to those that stood along side and represented our school and community and provided a testimonial at the Coal Board Meeting: Brent Burton, Bruce Brown, Tyler Bush, Jim Atchison, Joanne Schrupp and Jody Bird Williams. Thank you supporting legislators like Representative Kenneth Holmlund, Senator Barry Usher and Senator Duane Ankney, just to name a few, for their continued support of the Coal Board. Special thanks to our Mayor John Williams for his leadership and guidance throughout this whole process.

Most of all, thank you Montana Coal Board and Staff for seeing the need and the opportunities here in Colstrip Montana. The Coal Board is 100% funded by Montana coal severance tax. With that, I would humbly ask our community to thank the Coal Board Members for their support:







John Williams, Chair
Colstrip, MT
District 2
Field: Impact Area
john.williams@mt.gov
Term: March 10, 2017 to January 1, 2021

Sidney Fitzpatrick, Vice Chair
Hardin, MT
District 2
Field: Impact Area
sidney.fitzpatrick@mt.gov
Term: March 10, 2017 to January 1, 2021

Sean Smith
Anaconda, MT
District 1
Field: Business

Term: May 31, 2019 to January 1, 2021







Marianne Roose
Eureka, MT
District 1
Field: Public Administration
marianne.roose@mt.gov
Term: February 15, 2019 to January 1, 2023

Tim Schaff
Roundup, MT
District 2
Field: Education
tim.schaff@mt.gov
Term: February 15, 2019 to January 1, 2023







Amber Henning
Missoula, MT
District 1
Field: Attorney
amber.henning@mt.gov
Term: January 26, 2018 to January 1, 2021






Friday, May 17, 2019

Graduation 2019

Robert "Bob" Lewandowski

Friday was the last day for 35 seniors at Colstrip High School. The day started with graduation rehearsal before walking the halls at Pine Butte Elementary and Frank Brattin Middle School. There were a few sentimental moments watching these students finish up with their formal education. The Class of 2019 was my freshman class when I arrived. They were so young back then, and now are ready to go out on their own.

Best of luck Class of 2019. Like always "Make Dust or Eat Dust!" Most of all, I wish you happiness. Wait..., I am not done yet: BE YOUR BEST SELVES! One more thing...don't forget to call home!

See you all on Sunday, May 19, 2019 for the Colstrip High School Graduation at 2:00 PM at the High School Gymnasium.

GO COLTS! GO FILLIES! 

MAKE DUST OR EAT DUST!

"Get out in front and stay there!"
 
Class of 2019 with the teachers that taught them at PBES.
 



Thursday, May 16, 2019

Capturing the Moment

by Robert "Bob" Lewandowski

There is no better compliment as an educator than those that come from a student. This act of kindness is definitely a great example of a student being their BEST SELF!

Special thanks to Senior Cody Blaede and all of the students that I have had the opportunity to capture during activities and sporting events. Its a pleasure being a part of your successes.

WELL DONE CODY BLAEDE!



 

 

 

GO COLTS! GO FILLIES! 

MAKE DUST OR EAT DUST!

"Get out in front and stay there!"

Monday, May 6, 2019

Teacher Appreciation

by Robert "Bob" Lewandowski

It's Teacher Appreciation Week, don't forget to thank our teachers!

With that in mind, the Central Office staff would like to share their appreciation for what our teachers do for our kids and community. Even though we don't get out of the central offices as much as we would like, we want them to know how much they are appreciated. Teachers are the District's point of contact with the students and parents. The difficulties faced, and the obstacles that they overcome, are tremendous. 

THANK YOU Colstrip teachers for your resiliency and the effort you give each and every day!

GO COLTS! GO FILLIES! 

MAKE DUST OR EAT DUST!

"Get out in front and stay there!"



Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Vote "YES" for Kids on General Fund Levies

by Robert "Bob" Lewandowski

Historically Colstrip votes yes for kids and has passed general fund school levies for more than three decades. The May 7, 2019 Absentee Election Ballots went out in the mail on April 17, 2019. Polls will be open on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 noon until 8:00 PM in the FBMS Auxiliary Gymnasium. 

Late registration can occur up to, and including the day of the election by showing up at the Rosebud County Court house by completing and submitting a voter registration card. The late registrant may then obtain a ballot on election day at the FBMS Auxiliary Gymnasium between noon and 8:00 PM on May 7, 2019.

There are two levies to be voted on.
  • High School General Fund Levy
  • Elementary General Fund Levy
As you may know, it is very important for Colstrip Public Schools to pass the General Fund Levies at both the High School and Elementary School. Your support is critical.
I would like to encourage you to ask questions about the impact of the Levy Funds. I would also encourage you to get out and vote. A vote for the Levy Funds is definitely a vote for the children in which we serve. These Levy Funds are crucial for maintaining salaries, equipment, curriculum, activities and the operational expenses of this district.
This community has taken pride in passing Levy Funds in the years past. This is a community that has traditionally supported its kids. Our teachers and staff members have played a key role in this process. I can't stress enough the importance in passing the Levy Funds. Get the word out and support our kids and see that these levies get a FOR vote. Thank you in advance for any, and all of your effort in seeing this need through.
 

GO COLTS! GO FILLIES! 

MAKE DUST OR EAT DUST!

"Get out in front and stay there!"

Friday, March 15, 2019

Board Adopted Calendar for 2019-2020 School Year

by Robert "Bob" Lewandowski

The Board of Trustees approved the following School Calendar for the 2019-2020 school year. 
Please click on the link provided to view the calendar and print its definition and description. 

Please know the identified calendar was the calendar with the most votes in a distributed survey. For more information, review the process below.

WHEREAS: The Calendar Committee met on February 19, 2019 to develop two calendars that meet the minimum state requirements of 1080 hours of instruction as per Montana Code Annotated
  • 20-1-301. School fiscal year. (1) The school fiscal year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30. At least the minimum aggregate hours defined in subsection (2) must be conducted during each school fiscal year, except that 1,050 aggregate hours of pupil instruction for graduating seniors may be sufficient.
         (2) The minimum aggregate hours required by grade are:
         (a) 360 hours for a half-time kindergarten program or 720 hours for a full-time kindergarten program, as provided in 20-7-117;
         (b) 720 hours for grades 1 through 3; and
         (c) 1,080 hours for grades 4 through 12.
         (3) For any elementary or high school district that fails to provide for at least the minimum aggregate hours, as listed in subsections (1) and (2), the superintendent of public instruction shall reduce the direct state aid for the district for that school year by two times an hourly rate, as calculated by the office of public instruction, for the aggregate hours missed.
        
WHEREAS: The Calendar Committee developed two calendars for consideration and identified them with the following titles:  RED and BLACK 

WHEREAS: Each calendar meets the minimum of 1080 hours

WHEREAS: The BLACK Calendar or Base Calendar:
Base Calendar Option (See Link above): This Calendar is the same basic calendar that is utilized this school year. The Calendar length is 177 student contact days. School begins on Aug 22 and ends on May 29. It has(1) Snow Day; (10) Winter Break Days; (3) Spring/Easter Break Days. It has (139) Full Days; (37) Part Days; and (1) Half Day. There are (184) Professional Days and (7.5) Pupil Instructional Days (PIR) Days. The half (.5) PIR day is on the afternoon of May 29 for teacher checkout.

WHEREAS: The RED Calendar :
RED Calendar Option (See Link Above): The Calendar length is 177 student contact days.  School ends after Memorial Day. School begins on August 22 and ends on May 27. It has (1) Snow Day; (8) Winter Break Days; (3) Spring Break Days. It has (139) Full Days; (37) Part Days; and (1) Half Days. There are (185) Professional Days and (8) PIR Days. NOTE: Winter Break days are adjusted from the BASE calendar, removing 2 days from the end of the Winter Break thus letting school out 1 day earlier and a full PIR for teacher checkout. 

WHEREAS: The Survey Results Surveys were collected from the following:
  • Email
  • Superintendent's Blog
  • Facebook & Twitter
  • District Website
WHEREAS: Linked are the disaggregated survey results:
WHEREAS: The Board of Trustees selected the BLACK or Base Calendar at the March 11, 2019 Board Meeting. 
 

GO COLTS! GO FILLIES! 

MAKE DUST OR EAT DUST!

"Get out in front and stay there!"
 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Montana Activity Director Award Given

by Robert "Bob" Lewandowski

Congratulations goes out to Colstrip High School Principal and Activity Director Mark Ator for being selected at the MIAAA Montana Activity Director of the Year.

Well done Mr. Ator. Way to make dust!


















GO COLTS! GO FILLIES! 

MAKE DUST OR EAT DUST!

"Get out in front and stay there!"