Bozeman School District

High School Transition Committee

Summary:  Updated September 5, 2018

NOTE:  The following document is a summary of meetings and recommendations from the High School Transition Committee.  These recommendations were presented to the Board of Trustees for directional support at the August 13, 2018 meeting and were approved by the Board.

Background: 

The District gained support from voters in Spring 2017 to move forward with the planning process for the construction of a second high school, with an opening date of Fall 2020.  Much of the work so far has focused on the design process of the new high school.  Equally important is the transition process that will be used to populate the second school when it opens.  The Transition Committee was convened in May 2018.

Responsibilities of the Transition Committee:

The Transition Committee is charged with making recommendations to the Board of Trustees for final determination.  Here is a list* of issues that will be discussed.

  1. A plan for how grade levels will be split to accomplish equitable enrollment at each school. (Target decision date: Fall 2018)
  2. A recommendation for high school attendance areas using the following criteria:
  1. Community and neighborhood growth.
  2. Keeping neighborhoods together whenever possible.
  3. School demographics and socioeconomic status.
  4. Safe routes to school, considering major roads and direct routes for buses.
  5. Maintaining contiguous boundaries; not creating islands whenever possible.        

(Target decision date: Spring 2019)

  1. A recommendation for School Name, School Colors and Mascot, pursuant to District Policy and Procedures 9250 and 9250P.  (Target decision date: Spring 2019)

*This list is tentative as there may be more items as the committee discussions progresses.  Items 2 and 3 may be discussed concurrently.

Transition Committee Decision Process:

The Bozeman School District uses a facilitated consensus process for most all committee work.  Committee members will be trained on this procedure prior to making any decisions.  Consensus requires full participation of all committee members.  In addition to background information, committee members will be given an opportunity to ask clarifying questions and discuss best and worst outcomes before decisions are made.  The committee will seek to achieve consensus, rather than a unanimous decision.

All committee recommendations will be forwarded to the Board of Trustees for final decision.

Committee Membership:

It is the desire of BSD7 Administration to engage a broad audience and representation for these important decisions. It is intended that the committee will include parents, teachers, administrators, school board, students and other community members.  The committee size will

be approximately 40 individuals.  There was an application process that was used to solicit representation from a variety of neighborhoods, schools and community members.

The current membership of the committee includes the following:

Current Total = 37 members

Meetings and Timeline:

The committee will meet periodically in May / Early June, 2018 and then take a hiatus for the summer months.  The committee will reconvene in the Fall 2018.  It is anticipated that the committee will continue to meet throughout the 2018/19 school year with meetings to occur as needed, could be as many as twice per month.  More frequent meetings may be needed, periodically, to meet recommendation timelines for the Board of Trustees.

Recommendations as of August 1;  Approved by Board on August 13, 2018:

The committee met twice before the close of the 2017/18 school year.  Our first major decision was grade-level split for the 2020/21 school year.  In discussing this issue, the committee had several questions and requests for information, summarized in THIS DOCUMENT.  

Consensus recommendation regarding grade level split in 2020/21:

After a presentation of the information and discussion, the committee reached consensus around the following recommendation:

When the new school opens (2020/21) the seniors will stay at Bozeman High School, while the other grades (9,10,11) will be split between the two schools that first year.  This decision means that the 2017/18 Freshman Class will remain together throughout their high school years.  Also, this decision means that next year's Freshman (2018/19) will split when they reach their Junior year.  The juniors that start at the new high school will represent the first graduating class.

In addition, the committee recommended that we establish an enrollment and placement policy for 9-12, which outlines the procedures for student transfer between schools.

Rationale:

Next Steps: