Open House 2017

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SGHS Open House, Thursday, Sept. 7, 6:30 – 7:30 PM

Sweet Grass County High School will host an open house for parents and the community Thursday, September 7th beginning at 6:30 PM. This is an opportunity for parents to experience their son/daughter’s fall semester schedule, meet teachers, get first hand information about class expectations, find out about programs at SGHS, and visit with other community members. Students may attend with their parents if they wish. In addition, community members are welcome. During the evening you can visit classrooms and talk with staff. There will be refreshments offered during the visit. This is a great opportunity to see what goes on during a school day and in the school building. While the Board and staff of SGHS are proud of what we accomplish in our school, community/parent interaction and input is valued. The open house is a very important way to initiate that communication. So make plans to attend the school public “kick-off” for the academic year.

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SGCHS Recieves Top Rating

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U.S. News and World Report rated Sweet Grass County High School among top 5 high schools in Montana this last April. The publication annually ranks schools throughout the nation based on how their students perform on state-required tests and how well they prepare students for college. College preparation includes ACT test results and criteria related to how many students participate in and successfully pass tests in the Advanced Placement program. In addition the ratings take into account graduation rates. These ratings are based on results of 2015-16 testing results.

U.S. News rates over 28,000 public schools in the U.S. There is not a quota system for each state as the number of schools receiving ratings is determined at a national level. The state of Montana had one gold rated school, seven silver rated schools, and nineteen bronze rated schools. SGCHS was a silver rated school with the fifth highest score for the state and was the highest rated class B school in the state as the other schools rated higher included two Class C schools, one Class A school, and one AA school. In terms of national ranking, SGCHS was in the top 10% with a rating of 2208 out of 28,496 rated schools.

This is the second silver rating for SGCHS in a row in the U.S. News process as in 2015 it received a third place rating in Montana. The award is a reflection on the curriculum and instruction delivered by the entire staff of SGCHS, along with the work ethic instilled in students by the community. Congratulations to the students and staff of SGHCS and the community of Big Timber/Sweet Grass County.

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Divisional Golf 2017

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Girls and boys golf teams place 3rd at Divisionals. They are off to state! Way to go Herders!!!

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Flu on the Rise

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As we approach February we are seeing our usual colds, winter allergies, and other illness that are common for this time of year. We are seeing a few students who have tested positive for influenza "flu," as this is the prime time for the flu to surface. As the flu is so easily spread, I feel it is important to remind you of the symptoms to be on the lookout for in your child. 

To ready more click on the link below:

http://www.sgchs.com/images/uploads/Letter_from_the_School_Nurse.pdf

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Weather Causes Changes in Schedules

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Weather Impacts on SGCHS Over the last week the snow and wind created havoc with the Sweet Grass County High School daily schedule of classes and events. SGHCS did not have school on Friday, December 16 and Monday, December 19 due to the weather conditions and the difficulty of travel because of the conditions. The Montana Office of Public Instruction does allow a district one day of grace in cases of weather, but expects any other days to be made up, so SGCHS will be looking to make up one of the snow days missed. This date will be done in conjunction with the Big Timber Grade School district to assist the coordination of buses. While it is not definite, one date being considered is April 13th. Presently the calendar has a 5 day break for Easter. This change would mean a 4 day break for Easter – Friday through Monday instead. Again this has to be decided by both boards before it is final. Expect an update on this soon. Also during the winter storm extended weekend, three basketball games were postponed. The make-up dates for those events: Townsend at Big Timber – Tuesday, January 10th , games start at 3:00 PM Big Timber at Three Forks – Tuesday, January 31, games start at 3:00 PM Big Timber at Whitehall – Tuesday, January 17, games start at 4:30 (no C squad) Any other changes will be posted here. We hope all of you stay safe and warm.

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Fall Semester Test Schedule

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Semester Test Schedule

January 13, 2017   

8:30 - 10:00: 1st Period   

10:05 - 11:35: 4th Period   

11:35-12:10: Lunch   

12:15 - 1:45: 2nd Period  

1:50 - 3:20: 3rd Period    

 January 14, 2017

8:30 - 10:00: 6th Period

10:05 - 11:35: 5th Period

11:35 -12:10: Lunch

12:15 - 1:45: 7th Period

School dismissed

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SGCHS Recieves National Recognition for AP Results

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5 Montana School Districts Make Advanced Placement Honor Roll

HELENA, Mont. – Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau announced today that five Montana school districts are among 433 districts nationwide being honored by the College Board on the 7th annual Advanced Placement (AP®) District Honor Roll. In order to make the cut, districts must have increased access to AP® coursework while maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP® exams.

7th annual AP® District Honor Roll:

Great Falls Public Schools

Hamilton School District

Helena School District

Polson School District

Sweet Grass County High School District

“Congratulations to the Montana school districts that are expanding access to high-quality classes that often result in college credit for students,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau said. “Students who complete AP coursework get a head-start on their college education, setting them up for continued success.”

During the 2015/2016 school year, Montana students completed 4,661 AP® exams in 30 different subjects ranging from biology and art, to English and statistics. Montana’s 2017 AP® Summer Institute will include workshops for educators in chemistry, calculus, English language and composition, Spanish language and culture, and U.S. history. The institute gives Montana high school educators an opportunity to receive professional training that will raise academic standards and improve college and career readiness among their students.

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Board Meeting

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   SCHOOL BOARD MEETING

November 8, 2016 6:00 PM SGHS Library

AGENDA

1. Call the meeting to order

2. Public Forum

3. Student Council/Student Representative

4. SGCEA

5. Department report – Art

6. Principal Report

7. Superintendent Report – Recertification of taxable evaluation

8. Committee reports – Possible action items a. Building and Grounds – Labor Safety review report, Insurance report (FB bleachers), gym floor, other items

9. Board members’ reports

10. Old Business

11. New Business

     a. Student attendance agreement

     b. Policy proposal: (Update criminal background check for employment)

               i. Delete #4111.2 – Consent to background check form

               ii. Policy #4111 – Amend legal reference

12. Review the claims

13. Approve the minutes

14. Correspondence

15. Adjournment

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Basketball Schedule Change

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The basketball game in Whitehall has been moved from December 20th to December 19th to accommodate the elementary Christmas Program.

 

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College Application Week

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College Application Week

Montana College Application Week

October 31-November 4, 2016

Our school is participating in Montana’s statewide College Application Week! Our goal is to provide every graduating high school senior with the opportunity to apply to college. We will provide computer lab time for student to explore colleges and apply online. Application fees are waived or deferred at Montana colleges during this week. Your counselor will have information about how to make sure you receive your fee waived or deferred.
 
You can help by reaching out to students to encourage them to apply to college. Seek out those students who might traditionally be overlooked when it comes to college planning, and talk to them about their options for college.
 
Visit Gear Up Montana for more information: http://mus.edu/gearup/caw.asp

Sweet Grass County High School will host College Application Day on Tuesday, November 1st.

*Remember the FAFSA priority deadline is December 1st at most colleges (University of Montana’s priority deadline is November 15th.*

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School Board meeting

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SCHOOL BOARD MEETING

October 11, 2016 6:00 PM

SGHS Library

AGENDA

1. Call the meeting to order

2. Public Forum

3. Student Council/ Student Rep report

4. SGCEA

5. Department report - Ag

6. Principal Report

7. Superintendent Report – Student count

8. Committee reports

      a. School Improvement – goals report, planning

9. Board members’ reports

10. Old Business

11. New Business

      a. Cancel Outstanding Warrants

      b. Attendance Agreement

      c. Personnel –

           i. Speech/Drama coaches recommendation

12. Approve the claims

13. Approve the minutes

14. Correspondence

15. Adjournment

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Website Outage

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Our website host, Prime Inc., recently underwent a server crash and our website was down.  It is up and running, but many of our updates for the month of September were lost.  We are working on getting everything up to date again. We are sorry about this inconvenience.  

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SGHS Activities are underway

Please come out and support the Herders during homecoming week, the volleyball game will be Thursday night starting at 4:00 and the football kicks off at 7:00.

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Sporting Events

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Home sporting events will be broadcast this year.  Go to nfhsnetwork.com and type in "Sweet Grass County High School". There is a fee for watching the sporting events.
Enjoy!

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MSU College graduation rates for SGCHS students

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Montana State University has released data showing the number of students that graduate from college or are continuing in college from a specific year's enrollment.  That data indicates that SGCHS has had from 4 to 13 students enroll each year at MSU since 2005.  The following chart compares the graduation rate or the continuing rate for SGCHS students compared to the entire MSU enrollment.  In general, SGCHS students tend to complete or continue college at about the same rate or slightly higher rate as other students. 

Statistics for SGCHS students attending MSU based on year of graduation from high school and enrollment in college

Year of enrollment             Number of SGCHS students enrolling that fall                               % of SGCHS students that graduating from that enrollment                               % of MSU students graduating from total enrollment that year

2005                                                                    13                                                                                            61.5                                                                                                                                        56.5

2006                                                                     3                                                                                             33.3                                                                                                                                        54

2007                                                                     10                                                                                           80                                                                                                                                          53.2

2008                                                                     6                                                                                             50                                                                                                                                          52.8

2009                                                                     4                                                                                             50                                                                                                                                          52.4

2010                                                                      9                                                                                            77.8                                                                                                                                      46.5

 

year                                Number of SGCHS students enrolling that fall                              % SGCHS students continuing at MSU from that year's enrollment                   % of MSU students continuing from that year's enrollment

2011                                                                 8                                                                                               62.5                                                                                                                                      57.1

2012                                                                 6                                                                                               66.7                                                                                                                                      62.4

2013                                                               10                                                                                               40                                                                                                                                         67.5

2014                                                                7                                                                                                71.4                                                                                                                                      76.8

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Seniors

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Seniors:

Gusts would like all seniors to bring a senior picture in to be displayed in the window.

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SGCHS Receives Gifts From Holman and Curtain

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SGCHS Receives Gifts From Holman and Curtain

Sweet Grass County High School District has been the recipient of several donations in the last few weeks. SGCHS and BTGS were gifted with a check of $5000 from the estate of Ralph M. Holman. The districts determined the best use of the funds was to place them in the operation and maintenance fund for the Civic Center. As explained to the representatives for the Ralph M. Holman estate, that facility is shared by both districts and the community for a wide variety of activities.

In addition, SGCHS received a $1200 donation from Paula Curtain. The gift was specifically given for the operation of the Civic Center. Paula has continued to give the donation annually for quite some time now. Donations of this type allow the district to plan the continued upgrading and maintenance of the facility.

The generous gifts are greatly appreciated by the students and staff of SGCHS and BTGS as the Civic Center continues to be a vital asset for our districts as well as the community.

 

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Weekly Notes

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Click here for weekly notes .....

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Superintendents Message -Common Core

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Message from the Superintendent

Re: SGHS and Montana Curriculum Standards: HISTORY, NOW, CONTROVERSY, ASK

I have been following and been involved in the discussion and concern that surrounds recent work on curriculum standards that have the label of Montana Common Core Standards.  I am appreciative of the attention this topic has drawn, as what our students are being taught is an important topic – and curriculum standards do influence that work.  When there is a change in this area, it should be reviewed and considered carefully. 

HISTORY:  I have to admit that part of me is amused by this recent stir.  Standards for curriculum have been a national topic since the 1970s when the nation became concerned that we were losing the “space race.”  Most of the work on standards during that era was done by the professional educator associations such as the National Council of Mathematics Teachers.  Those standards tended to impact only specific disciplines such as math, science, or English with little or no connection to the other disciplines.  That is not to say the work done was sub-standard (no pun intended); in fact, even in the most recent work on standards elements of those concepts are still evident.  You could say good teaching back then still has some impact on good teaching now.
The standards landscape did change somewhat during the 1990s as state education departments – in Montana that is the Office of Public Instruction (OPI) – became involved in standards review and writing.  This was again in response to concerns that the USA was slipping behind in international testing results.   OPI used a forward-thinking approach to that standard’s work.  Curriculum Content Standards were developed in areas such as math, science, social studies, world languages, health, arts, career, and vocational areas, but there were also standards that were not specific to a discipline for technology, workplace competencies, and media literacy.  OPI also “broke up” the Language Arts standards from the 70’s into specific areas such as speaking and listening, reading, and writing.  In the early 2000s, SGHS did extensive work in these areas to develop course descriptions and learner outcomes, and then used that work to determine if the standards were being addressed in our content. We took it a step farther and included the standards for technology, workplace competencies, media literacy, and Language Arts in all discipline areas as we felt those were “life skills.”  In reviewing our checklists on the standards we found we did not address every single standard in every single class.  But that work did allow us to consider what we needed to do to ensure that our students were getting the best content as well as the best teaching possible.   OPI continues to update these particular content standards on a rotating basis and has added Traffic Education and Guidance to the list.

NOW:   So now we come to the 2010s and the Montana Core Standards.  These were developed by the state education departments and representatives from governor’s offices across the nation  to give a national perspective to address our highly mobile population.   At SGHS, we have found that transfer students often had a much different experience in content than our students, and frankly most often were behind our students.   Montana has adopted the standards that impact math and English Language Arts, which is making our staff consider once more how we address the needs of our students in this day and age.  Furthermore, the new standards do reach across disciplines to impact science, social studies, arts, and vocational areas as well.  The developers of the standards recognized what we did at SGHS back in 2001; that reading, writing, speaking and listening are skills needed in every classroom and vocation.   So currently, we are thoughtfully reviewing what we teach once again to determine what would best serve our students.  I have included the Montana Core Standards at the end of this note for your review.  Check them for yourselves, and ask which of those skills you wouldn’t want your child to have when he/she graduates.

CONTRORVERSY!!!  As I mentioned earlier, I am somewhat amused (but impressed) that this last standards movement has drawn so much attention.  With all the work we have done with standards for the last twelve years, this concern of some community members is surprising; however, it should be important to all of us.  Education is a human endeavor that requires a commitment of everyone involved.  How that is approached or guided by standards is an essential concern.  What does insult me is that people from outside our community are given so much credibility about this topic.  If you have questions about what is being done, come talk to the people who invest their lives in that area in your own community.  We at SGHS do not claim to have merely one answer to the question.   We consider all aspects of our work and welcome the opportunity to discuss it.  Unfortunately, what has happened in Sweet Grass County (as in many communities across Montana), the topic of Common Core Standards is a political chip to be played.  What better way to draw our attention to a political stance than to champion something dear to all of us – the education of our children!  In my opinion, these particular opponents of the Montana Common Standards do not pay much attention to details of this matter, because these people simply want attention so their other political objectives can be introduced and claim support.  For example, the most recent statement from this group I have heard is the Common Core forces pornography into classes.  The fact of the matter is the reading lists in the Common Core appendices were not adopted by Montana and are not required; rather OPI decided that the materials used to teach the skills to our students are best selected by the local curriculum expert – the classroom teacher.   The Core reading list has many of the respected classics and any reading list will bring out personal differences, but we agree the list needs review before any items are adopted or used. 

ASK:  The learning outcomes and teaching materials at SGHS are open for review at any time.  Be aware that they are constantly being updated and revised.  Some of that present work is influenced by the latest round of standards so we can be sure our students are prepared for college and/or their future careers.  The newest standards have impacted our expectations and have caused us to reflect on what we need students to be able to do.  On the other hand the new standards have not caused us to drastically change our learner goals or any significant changes in materials/books.  Nor has it changed the fact that we want you to feel free to ask to see our curriculum work or the standards and to discuss them with myself or our staff.  We take our work seriously and have pride in our efforts and results, but we realize not everyone is going to agree at times with what we do or expect of students.  We welcome your questions and thank you for your support.
Alvin Buerkle,
Supt. SGHS

(The Standards as found at the opi.gov site under the Curriculum and Assessment tab.)
English Language Arts Montana Core Standards

Reading (Grades 6-12)
Key Ideas and Details
1. Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
2. Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
3. Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
Craft and Structure
4. Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
5. Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
6. Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
7. Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
8. Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
9. Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
10. Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
Writing (Grades 6-12)
Text Types and Purposes
1. Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.
Production and Distribution of Writing
4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
5. Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
Research to Build and Present Knowledge
7. Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
8. Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Range of Writing
10. Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Speaking and Listening (Grades 6-12)
Comprehension and Collaboration
1. Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
2. Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
3. Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
4. Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
5. Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
6. Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
Language (Grades 6-12)
Conventions of Standard English
1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Knowledge of Language
3. Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
4. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.
5. Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
6. Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

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