Some schools wait to open next week

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 Several Flathead Valley schools begin classes next week after the Labor Day holiday:


Bigfork School District will start school at 8 a.m. with an early dismissal at 1 p.m. Sept. 4. Regular school day dismissal is 3:15 p.m.

Hot meals will be served on the first day of school. For kindergarten through sixth grade, breakfast is $1.25 and lunch is $2.25. In grades seven through 12, breakfast is $1.50 and lunch is $2.75. The district is offering a new way to pay for student meals online through For more information, call Judy Kinyon at 837-7409.

Bus routes have changed this year and may be viewed at For more information about bus route changes, contact Reenie Clock at 837-7429  or

An open house for Bigfork Elementary and Bigfork Middle School is planned from noon to 3 p.m. today for students and their parents. Middle school students may check into their lockers at this time.

The elementary and middle school building underwent several technology upgrades during the summer. This year, there will be Interwrite/Smartboards in every classroom.

Students will have access to two mobile laptop carts (including 20 machines) in addition to two computer labs. Each kindergarten class has six iPads and many other classrooms have access to three to five iPads in addition to a mobile cart of 20 iPads.

Kindergarten enrollment is expected to be between 45 to 50 students. Third grade is the only level to start the year with more than 20 students per classroom; otherwise classrooms average 15 to 18 students.

Due to increased enrollment, one full-time-equivalent position has been added to the kindergarten- through fifth-grade staff and a half-time position to the sixth- through eighth-grade staff. There are now three teachers per grade level.

The elementary/middle school welcomes seven new staff members. Brenda Clarke will be the new assistant principal and instructional coach. Clarke has 17 years of experience as an educator.

Ashley Myers, a recent graduate of Biola University in California, will teach kindergarten. Kalispell native Ashley Herriott will teach first grade. Herriott recently student-taught and was a long-term substitute for more than a year at Hedges Elementary School in Kalispell. Second-grade teacher Jana Barrett has seven years of experience teaching in Rogers, Ark., and two years’ teaching part-time in Northborough, Mass.

Sami Jones will teach third grade. Jones previously student-taught third grade at Elrod Elementary in Kalispell. This is also the first year of teaching for University of Great Falls graduate Tabatha Venezio. Venezio will teach fourth grade. Melissa Fahrney will be the new school psychologist. Fahrney brings more than five years experience in bilingual school psychological services.

Bigfork High School will hold a freshman orientation at 6 p.m. today in the high school gym. The high school welcomes two new teachers: Louis Jessop, English, and Suzanne Hines, Spanish.


Over the summer, several storage upgrades were made at Fair-Mont-Egan School. A new paper storage room was created, freeing up space for cleaning supplies. Other upgrades include a new garbage enclosure, storage for music and drama equipment, cabinet storage for science equipment and a cover for the school’s north entry to protect students from the weather.

Fair-Mont-Egan students start school Sept. 4.

Regular class times are from 8:30 a.m. to 3:20 p.m.

Tara Brown transfers from her former position as Title I teacher to kindergarten teacher. The new Title I teacher is Chamea Bennett. Nancy Easley is the new librarian.



Sept. 4 is  the first day of school for Kalispell Montessori Elementary. Renee Boisseau is the new administrator this year. Boisseau has 30 years of public school experience, of which 15 were in administration.

School supply lists are available at

Back-to-school information on other local schools will be featured in future editions of the Daily Inter Lake.

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