Plan sought to allow Sacred Heart into public school sports


A discussion on whether students attending private schools such as Sacred Heart should be eligible to participate in the Miles City Unified School District’s athletic programs was continued at Tuesday’s monthly meeting of the Unified Board of Trustees.

Originally addressed at November’s meeting, Policy 3510 as it currently reads prohibits private and home-schooled students from participating in MCUSD athletics. Citing a long-time and successful affiliation with Washington Middle School, however, Sacred Heart School Principal Bart Freese asked the board to reconsider the policy.

“Our students have been participating in the sports programs at WMS for many years,” Freese said in November. “Until this last month, we have been allowed to participate if there was not a team available at Sacred Heart. Our children and our families have enjoyed this and have appreciated this cooperation for well over a decade. We believe this agreement is mutually beneficial for all the students in our community, as it has contributed to the development of a strong peer group among them as they transition to high school together.”

Discussion resumed at Tuesday’s meeting, and Superintendent Keith Campbell said talks were encouraging.

“The discussion gathered around Sacred Heart and what they can do to be included,” Campbell said. “The board said if they change the policy, they need to open it up to all private entities, including home schools. Now the ball is in Sacred Heart’s court, and they will have to come up with a proposal on how they would work with our administrators to level the playing field and make sure all students are adhering to the same guidelines.”

Campbell said Sacred Heart will now form a committee to put together an action plan they can present to the board’s policy committee in April.

“There was a lot of conversation, and all of it was positive,” he said. “There were a lot of good questions, and just trying to establish a plan of action.”

Also on the agenda was a PowerPoint presentation by Custer County District High School students and Future Farmers of America members Amanda Williams and Fiona Martin. The two were a part of an FFA contingent that recently attended the National FFA Organization Convention and Expo in Louisville, Kentucky.“The girls did an outstanding job with the presentation,” Campbell said. “The trip was a lot of fun for them, and they had a ton of pictures to share.”

After analyzing how to best use the three classrooms created as a result of the Lincoln School renovation project, Campbell made a recommendation to the board. Beginning in the 2014-2015 school year, the third-grade classes from Jefferson and Highland Park will be relocated to Lincoln School.

“There are two main points as to why we made this recommendation,” he said. “First, the K-2 classrooms are at their capacity. If we’re going to expand at all, we need to be able to open up a room for those grades. The second reason, and this is big for me, is the fact we bus all the kids from Jefferson for art and library every week. By opening up a room there, we could potentially end that busing situation, by putting a library there in the future, as well as art classes.”

Under staffing, new hires ratified in the Elementary School District include Vonnie Horan-Substitute teacher, Cole Campbell-Temporary help, Dominic Emeline-Special Ed Aide WMS, Tricia Jenness- Substitute Teacher and Chris Reed-WMS Assistant boys’ basketball coach.

New hires ratified – High School District: Vonnie Horan-Substitute teacher, Samantha Brush-Substitute teacher, Jill Nalewaja-Assistant CCDHS cheer coach, Cole Campbell-Temporary help and Pam Welch-Substitute teacher. .

Resignations/Terminations – High School District: Jena Stratton-Assistant Softball coach.