The Sacajawea community is committed to
ensure high levels of learning for all students.
We are a compassionate community that honors grit
and celebrates growth in order to face the future
with a level head and a critical eye.
** In this Title I school, parents have the right to request certain information on the professional qualifications of the student’s classroom teachers and paraprofessionals providing services.
Dear Sacajawea Middle School Families,
I hope this letter finds your family well and ready for the adventures that lie ahead. As we embark on a new school year, we are excited to officially welcome you all to Sacajawea Middle School. We look forward to the weeks ahead as we start this school year off getting used to our new alternating days and block schedules.
The Sacajawea School Community thrives on collaboration. Our goal is to build strong and positive home-to-school relationships where we work to support your child(ren) in all areas of their middle school experience. Family involvement is crucial in creating an environment where students can thrive, and we look forward to this partnership in support of our students.
As we journey through the school year, please expect the SMS Newsletter to provide you with consistent updates about upcoming events, parent involvement opportunities, and other important school information. We aim to keep you well-informed, so that we as a school community can create the best experience possible.
It is an honor to serve as Sacajawea Middle School’s principal and assistant principal. We look forward to connecting with you. Please know your child is in good hands here at SMS and we are grateful to have you all as a part of our school community as we navigate the 2023-2024 school year.
Ashley Henigman, Principal
Holly Walker, Assistant Principal
Para Familias de Habla Hispana
Please read carefully...
The bell rings at 8:10 each morning after which students may enter the building. Class starts at 8:20am. Students should not enter the building before 8:10am unless they are
attending Early Birds in the library.
Early Birds is available each morning at 7:30am in the library. Students may
quietly work on homework or read a book during that time.
To report an absence for your student, the most efficient method is to log in to your
PowerSchool Parent Portal. On the left-hand menu, click on "Attendance Monitor,"
then "Report New Attendance."
If you need to reach the office, please call 406-522-6400.
Lisa Tesseneer and Cindy Smith work in the office.
If your student needs to leave school early, please call the office with the time you would
like to pick the student up, and we will give the student a blue pass to leave class
early and meet you at the office at the desired time.
If your student will be arriving to school late, please let the office know
and we can get them a pass to class.
There is a Lost and Found in the cafe. Please encourage your student to
check there frequently for notebooks, Chromebooks, water bottles, clothing, etc.
BREAKFAST: Breakfast is available starting at 8:10 in the cafe where they can Grab’n Go or take a few minutes to eat. We ask that students clean up after themselves and to make sure they don’t leave anything behind.
CELLPHONES: Cell phones are expected to be in student lockers/backpacks promptly at 8:18. Students may then retrieve and use cell phones at 3:25 when the bell rings. Cell phones are not to be carried during the day (unless there is a medical or language specific need that is pre-approved). ABSOLUTELY NO cellphones are allowed in locker rooms. We truly appreciate your support in regards to student cell phone use.
BACKPACKS: Backpacks need to fit inside a school locker. Students cannot carry their backpacks with them from class to class as we don’t have storage for them and it becomes a fire hazard to have them on the floors. Please encourage your child to pack lightly and use their locker to stay organized.
HATS: Hats may be worn outside only. When students enter the building the expectation is to take your hat off and keep it off while inside. We want to see everyone’s smiling faces! There may be some special days for hats, such as Fridays, so stay tuned for that information.
GYM CLOTHES: If you have ordered an HE shirt from the link on our website, it will be arriving at the school within the next week, and we will hand them out to your child. If you missed the previous order deadline, you can order again by following the link here, but your shirts won’t arrive for about a month. Your child’s HE teacher will communicate about dressing out expectations.
AFTER SCHOOL PLANS: Please make sure your child knows their after school plans in advance. Understandably, changes are sometimes made; however, we want to respect our office staff who field all of these phone calls. If you do have an emergent change in plans please feel free to call the front office in a timely manner (before 3:00) so we can get your child a message.
BUS/CAR/RIDE/WALK: SAFETY is a priority at SMS. The parking lots are a busy place upon arrival and pick up. If you are dropping off or picking up please be patient and aware of students who are walking/biking.
You may drop off and pick up in two locations: Front oval (off of South 3rd), and the North lot (off of Cambridge). Please do not park in the South lot or use that area as this is designated for our buses. Walkers and riders of all things with wheels… PLEASE use crosswalks and sidewalks. Stay safe out there Falcons!
SCHOOL NURSE: If you have a student with a medical condition or general medical needs please contact our school nurse, Jeana, at (406)-522-6412 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reporting Student Pick-Ups
If you know your student will need to be picked up early during the school day, it would be incredibly helpful if you could call the attendance office before 10:00 am to let us know. We can then write a blue pass to give to your student so they can meet you at the office at the designated time. This will eliminate the disruption and disturbance of us having to call into the classroom to have them sent to the office.
Thank you so much!
Front office staff
One of the most important aspects of your child's success is their attendance at school. We are here to support you and your child as we navigate their time at Sacajawea Middle School. We have a variety of resources to share with families, including strategies to support attendance and engagement along with personnel to work with you in support of your child’s education.
Our staff would be pleased to assist you to ensure your student has the greatest opportunity at Sacajawea Middle School. If you have concerns or questions regarding attendance please contact:
Julia Anderson (406) 522-6470 Executive Secretary
Ashley Mares-Jones (406) 922-4230 Thrive Parent Liaison
- Students should miss no more than 9 days of school each year to stay engaged, successful, and on track to graduation.
- Absences can be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with school work, or dealing with social conflict, along with other potentially serious difficulties.
- By 6th grade, absenteeism is one of three signs that a student may drop out of high school.
- By 9th grade, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th grade test scores.
- Missing 10 percent, or about 18 days, of the school year can drastically affect a student’s academic success.
- Students can be chronically absent even if they only miss a day or two every few weeks.
- Attendance is an important life skill that will help your child graduate from college and keep a job.
- Make school attendance a priority.
- Talk about the importance of attending school everyday and have that be the expectation.
- Maintain routines, such as finishing homework, being organized for the next day, and getting a good night’s sleep.
- Try not to schedule dental and medical appointments during the school day.
- Don’t let your child stay home unless truly sick. Complaints of headaches or stomach aches may be signs of anxiety. Please communicate with the school if this becomes a pattern.
- Have an awareness of your child's use of technology (gaming and cell phones) that could be impacting sleep, social connections, and other healthy habits.
Please communicate with the Sacajawea Middle School front office in regards to your child's absences. If your child will not be present at school, please call our attendance hotline at 522-6410 to excuse your child.
We want to keep our school healthy and we need your help!
(The following information is subject to updates.)
How do you know when to keep your child home from school? Below is a list of guidelines to help you decide. Keep in mind that sending an ill child to school limits their ability to learn and also puts other students at risk.
Please do NOT send your child to school with the following symptoms:
- Fever of more than 100 degrees within the last 24 hours (Please do not give your feverish child fever reducing medication and send them to school)
- Vomiting within the last 24 hours
- Diarrhea within the last 24 hour
- Cough that he/she cannot control
- Body aches, headaches, ear aches, severe sore throat
- Generalized rashes (over multiple parts of the body) until they have been seen and diagnosed by their health care provider as non-infectious.
- Chickenpox, until all blisters have dried up and crusted over, typically 5-7days after the first blister appears.
- Very tired or sudden lack of appetite
Please remember to help your children practice these positive health habits:
- Frequent hand washing with soap and water is the BEST way to prevent the spread of germs. Hand sanitizer is a good option as well, when used correctly.
- Get plenty of rest, 9-12 hours of sleep each night is recommended.
- Drink a lot of healthy fluids, water is the best! (soda doesn’t count!)
- Eat a healthy diet with a lot of fruits and vegetables.
- Do not share cups or utensils with others.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue or elbow.
**If your child is placed on antibiotics by your healthcare provider, please do not have them return to school until they have been treated for at least 24 hours or follow your health care provider’s recommendations.
Please keep in mind that the school can NOT give your child medication without a written order from a health care provider and your signature. You can get these forms from the office.
Based on Parents comfort level with their student, Middle Schoolers are allowed to keep in their backpack: 1 dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen in its original container (the travel size works well) for minor issues like headaches, cramping, or muscle soreness.
Please call the office: 522-6400 or the school nurse: 522-6412 with questions.
Welcome Back, SMS! We are excited for another year together!
Who are our school counselors?
Leah Kreitinger - Assigned teams: All 8th-grade teams, share all 6th-grade teams
Meghan Powell - Assigned teams: All 7th-grade teams, share all 6th-grade teams
Brad Stein - SAFE-TI Program counselor
School Counselors at Sacajawea help all students:
Apply academic achievement strategies
Manage emotions and apply interpersonal skills
Develop awareness of postsecondary options (higher education, work force, etc.)
We do this by providing:
Small group interventions to support student needs
Short-term individual counseling with students
Collaboration with families/teachers/administrators/community for student success
Advocacy for students at student-focused meetings (IEPs, 504s, or family/team meetings)
Data analysis to identify student issues, needs, and challenges
Acting as a systems change agent to improve access, achievement, and opportunities for all students
Fly Falcons, Fly!
Upcoming Dates and Events
- 4th: Labor Day, NO SCHOOL
- 5th: Intramural tennis begins
- 6th: 6th grade volleyball begins
- 9th: BFOM Annual Musical Instrument Swap, BHS
- 12th: PTO Meeting, SMS Cafeteria 7:00 pm
- 14th: School Picture Day
- 19th: SMS Parent Night, 6:00 - 7:30 pm
- 25th: K-12 PIR Day, NO SCHOOL
- 19th - 20th: K-12 PIR Day, NO SCHOOL
- 26th: School Picture Retakes
News from the Library
🕢 Library Hours 🕓
Early Birds - 7:30 - 8:00
After School - 3:30
SMS PTO Meeting
Please join us for our next PTO (formerly PAC) meeting on
Tuesday, September 12th at 7:00 pm.
Everyone is welcome to attend!
PTO meetings are a great opportunity to meet other parents. You can learn how to volunteer your time to positively impact the learning experience of all of the students at our wonderful school.
We hope to see you there!
If you are unable to attend but would like more information or to stay involved,
please contact PTO President Krista Drake at 512.578.6908
or email at email@example.com.
A Message from Thrive
You are not alone.
30+ years ago, Bozeman School District began partnering with a local non-profit, Thrive, to provide school-based parenting support. Talented Thrive Parent Liaisons are at each school K-8. Services are free.
I have been the SMS Thrive Parent Liaison for 20+ years. I attend school meetings with parents, coach them over the phone/in person, and teach parenting classes. I also regularly make referrals to local community resources (such as private therapists).
Call, text, or email Ashley Mares Jones, your SMS
Thrive Parent Liaison, at firstname.lastname@example.org
or by phone at (406) 922-4230.
8th Graders to Costa Rica
🌞 Summer 2024 🌞
Great news! We are reopening enrollment for our Summer of 2024 EF Tours Costa Rica Adventure trip.
This travel opportunity is open to both SMS and CJMS 8th graders. By joining with the other middle school, students will have the opportunity to make new connections before high school.
There are limited spots on this tour as we already have a group of 14 students enrolled, so we would love to have you attend this meeting to learn more about this exciting opportunity!
Travel dates are June 14th-22nd, 2024
In case you missed the informational meeting in the spring or would like a refresher,
I am hosting another parent informational meeting!
Come and hear all of the details, including the itinerary, activities and the cost of our trip at our upcoming informational meeting on September 7 at 6:00PM in the 8th Grade Commons. Please click here to register for the meeting bit.ly/45jjh4x.
Reach out to email@example.com if you have any questions.
Bozeman Friends of Music's
Annual Musical Instrument Swap
Equine for Anxious Middle Schoolers
Is your teenager anxious and stressed out?
Would you like to find a place where they can let go of their worry and learn techniques to manage stress in a safe and supportive environment? Windhorse Equine Learning offers a six-week course aimed at alleviating your teen's anxiety by working with horses and practicing mindfulness skills and yoga. They will learn strategies to cope with stress that they can use any time, and they will have experiences with horses aimed at reducing stress and creating calm.
The class is $350. Full and partial scholarships are available.
- Open to middle and high school aged students
- Weekly 2-hour sessions for 6 weeks
- Thursdays from 4:30-6:30 pm starting September 21st
Windhorse has been offering this class since 2020, and we have seen amazing results. MSU researchers assessed the efficacy of the classes in 2021 and found that over two six-week sessions, an average of 79% of participants reported a reduction in anxiety and 91.5% reported reductions in depression.
If you know youth who are struggling with anxiety, please let them and
their parents know about this opportunity!
To enroll your teen, or if you have
any questions, please contact:
Executive Director, Windhorse Equine Learning
Clubs & Extracurricular Activities
Sacajawea is pleased to provide a number of activities in which students can be involved outside of the classroom. SMS clubs and after school programs will begin in October/November, so stay tuned for information to come!
** Clubs will require permission slips prior to participation **
HRDC's Healthy KidsPack
How does the program work and why should I sign up?
Every Friday afternoon, your child will receive a KidsPack bag from
school in their backpack or locker. Participation is discreet and
confidential. With Healthy KidsPack, you can stretch
your family’s budget and save time and energy on meal prep!
Who can sign up?
Healthy KidsPack is for everyone! Any family with children in
grades K-12 can sign up.
Signing up is easy! Click on the corresponding button below to print out a sign-up form.
Fill out the bottom portion and return to the SMS front office.
You can unenroll at any time.
Box Tops for Education
Did you know Sacajawea Middle School is part of the Box Tops for Education program?
It has changed to a mostly digital program. Traditional clip out Box Tops are being phased out but you can still send them to school (make sure it doesn’t say scan) to be turned in to the library.
The new process is so much easier!
1. Get the free, new and improved Box Tops mobile app on your phone.
2. Buy your groceries and ask for the receipt.
3. Take pictures of your receipt with the app within 14 days of purchase.
4. It will find any qualifying products and give 10 cents for each one to the school!
The money adds up and is used to enhance the book selection at our library.
It’s costs you nothing but 30 seconds of your time and you can help ALL the students at your child’s school. Encourage your friends and relatives to do the same.
On the Box Tops for Education website, you can find coupons and special deals.
Thank you so much for giving back to others!
Your PAC Team & SMS Library