Possible changes coming for Class B

KING OF BEASTS  —  A huge Lion performs during the Culpepper and Merriweather Circus that was in town for two shows on Thursday.  Photo for the I-O by Amy Salois





By Adam Jerome, I-O Reporter

The Conrad School Board met on June 25 for their monthly meeting.Even during the summer months, the school board remains busy.

Some of the highlights include possible options by the Montana High School Association (MHSA) for Class B, selected dates of sports camps, raises for classified staff and administration as well as options for paying for school improvement.Sport coaches resignations were also brought up.

Karen Lee started off the meeting by issuing reports on MAP Testing, Common Core and Montana Digital Academy.

In regards to digital academy, Lee said there had been progress made from the first semester to the last.In the fall as a new program there was much excitement and enrollment, but many kids did not finish their classes.

In the spring semester there was a lower turnout, but every student enrolled managed to complete their chosen class.

Next up for business was a conversation about MHSA and the status of Class B.CHS Principal Ken Larson will be the President elect of Class B taking over in two years.

With many Class B schools seeing diminishing enrollment, many of these schools will have to evaluate a possible move to the Class C.

Larson remarked that while these small schools can still field competitive teams in almost all sports, football is a reason for the possible drop.Football is different because in order to maintain a status quo 11-man team there needs to be between 25-40 participants, something these small schools may not be able to accomplish in the coming years.

Some ideas floated around by MHSA have been to possibly change Class B from four divisions to two.

Just in this possible proposal there are issues including more expenses due to travel and less time in the classroom.As it sits now, Conrad is in a very favorable position travel wise, if this proposal ever goes through that could cause some issues.

Another thought MHSA is mulling around is the possibility of these schools remaining in Class B, but organizing a special conference just for football with a possible 9-man game as opposed to the current 11-man style.While this sounds irregular, there are many schools in South Dakota and Wyoming that play 9-man football.

On the coaching side of things, Bob Bender; assistant football, Ralph Diedrich; assistant wrestling, Heather Rutherford; head softball, Mollee Gemar; assistant girl’s basketball and Kurtis Janzen; head tennis all resigned their respective positions for CHS athletics.

Staying with sports, it has been agreed that Conrad Schools will no longer offer boy’s and girl’s intramural basketball for fifth and sixth graders.The sixth graders will be able to move up to the seventh grade level if they so choose, while the fifth grade boys and girls will have the option of the youth league basketball program that is not affiliated with the school.

The Conrad Public Schools Classified staff was given yearly raises in accordance with past practices.The school administrators were also given a one percent annual raise, which once again goes with past practices.

Due to the last levy not passing the school system will have to use different sources of money to fix the roof at Meadowlark, the lights and gym at Prairie View and the boiler system.

The Meadowlark roof and the Prairie View concerns will be paid from rental money accrued from Big Sky Special Needs Cooperative due to the use of parts of Prairie View School.

The boiler is a separate issue.As of now the school is applying for a state Quality Schools Grant to help with the maintenance and possible replacement of the old boiler.

The next Conrad Public Schools Board meeting will be on July 9.  As always the public is encouraged to attend.