The Eagle Express

Beginning of the year newsletter

Fairfield Public Schools Mission Statement


Mr. Dustin Gordon~Superintendent

“Education is understanding relationships.” -George Washington Carver

Greetings to the Fairfield community! As the new superintendent of Fairfield Schools, I would like to formally introduce myself to those out there who are not familiar with me. My family and I moved to Fairfield in 2006 for a math teaching position and basketball coaching adventure. In the last 14 years, the journey here has included the graduation of all three of my children, top performance of our staff and students in academics, and the community thrill of winning numerous state championships in athletics. The support of the Fairfield community has impressed me and is, I believe, the most outstanding reason why our school has had such success in all realms of the educational process. The relationships garnered in the past 14 years along the way have been amazing and I hope to continue fostering the reciprocity between school and community in my new role as your superintendent.

Prior to coming to Fairfield, I earned a secondary education degree from Montana Western with a major in English and a minor in Mathematics. I went on to further my education credentials at the University of Montana and received a K-12 Educational Leadership Master’s there in 2009. In total, I have served 23 years in Montana public education, with 12 of those years in a teaching capacity and the last 11 in administration. As the Fairfield Elementary Principal for three years, I became acquainted with the tremendous staff who always go way above and beyond for our younger students. For the last eight years, I have focused on the high school end of the building and forged a strong working relationship and expectation with the 7-12 staff, elementary principal, and all the various departments that make our school run smoothly. I have become very familiar with every part of our fine school system and am glad to have the opportunity to step into the next phase as Fairfield Superintendent and carry on the relationships I have already established in the past 14 years.

As a veteran educator, I have acquired experience in many areas of teaching, athletics, and administration through the years that will propel my knowledge base and enhance my abilities as a superintendent. As a teacher, I am a seasoned veteran in curriculum development, classroom management, instructional techniques, Math Club advisory, Homecoming festivities, and was chosen as the faculty negotiations representative. I have been an athletic director, coach of multiple sports, MOA official, tournament manager, and MHSA school voting delegate. In administration, I have been a transportation director, RTI leader, SPED coordinator, staff supervisor, scheduling guru, dean of students, scholarship committee member, and Principal’s Cup regional advisor. Professional recognition has included appointed positions as an Executive Board Member of the School Administrators of Montana and the President of the Region II Principals Association. Through these professional affiliations, I have gained valuable insight for the optimal service to our school and community, while simultaneously representing and promoting Fairfield positively in the state of Montana. Relationships beyond our school and throughout our state are a strength I have taken a lot of pride in creating and maintaining for the betterment of all the Eagles in regard to current educational alternatives and trends, staff recruitment, and funding opportunities.

Within the Fairfield community, I have been very involved through the years as a member of the local Lions and have also served a turn as the president of that organization. The Lions have assisted school efforts to improve the football field in recent years, as well as the city tennis courts. We have also helped many school students get eyeglasses, as well as community members. One of my greatest achievements in the area of relationships to serve Fairfield has been the founding and presidential term that inspired the Fairfield Education and Community Foundation. It has been important for me to serve and I have also strived to bring business to local establishments since 2007 through organization of summer sporting events. Again- all of these activities have been very dependent on strong relationships and organizational leadership that form the essence of a successful administrator, school, and community.

Leadership is all about relationships, and at the heart of relationships is trust and communication. Hopefully my credentials and past experience, as well as my endeavors here in Fairfield over the last 14 years, have earned your trust in the business of education. As far as communication goes, I will try to be accessible coupled with a down to earth approach to problem solving. In the age of Corona Virus, communication is more essential than ever. In my initial days as your superintendent, it has been my primary goal to accept input and keep everyone informed about changing developments related to the management of COVID-19 in regards to our school and community.

“Education is a shared commitment between dedicated teachers, motivated students, and enthusiastic parents with high expectations.” -Bob Beauprez

It's a new frontier to navigate~Courtney Bake, EK-12 Principal

Lots of uncertainty, lots of newness, lots of flexibility....that is what our new school year is bringing us. I also think that it could be one of the greatest and best years yet!

A bit about me:

1. I am starting my 25th year at Fairfield Schools.

2. Over the years I have taught: K-12 PE/Health, High School Anatomy and Physiology, HS Montana History, Para in the 5th grade, Weight Training, Adaptive PE, Advance PE, World History MTDA.

3. I became 1/2 time Elementary Principal 2004 and in 2020 was promoted to EK-12 Principal full time.

4. I have coached: HS and JH Volleyball, HS/JH Track, HS Basketball.

During this time there is one thing that has always held steady at Fairfield Schools and that is our drive for success. It was proven even at a higher level this past spring for nine weeks during the COVID19 pandemic. Our teachers and staff barely missed a beat by providing quality instruction to all students EK-12. It was not easy but we did it and I was in awe of what we did so that students could finish out their school year!

This year isn't going to be easy either but I have full confidence in our staff that no matter the obstacles, we have your children at the forefront and will do everything in our power to do what we think is best for kids!

Staffing Changes

Fairfield Schools Welcomes:

Mr. Greg Misner as our EK-12 Special Education teacher, Head HS Football Coach

Mr. Justin Harpster as our K-12 PE teacher, Assistant HS Football Coach

Mr. John Bakkum as our JH and Earth Science Teacher

Other movement:

Mr. Dustin Gordon will be our Superintendent

Mrs. Courtney Bake will be EK-12 Principal

Mrs. Cathy Anderson will be our EK-6 Special Education and Title teacher.

Mrs. Caroline Rogers will be our 2nd grade teacher.

Mrs. Jennifer Schenk will be our K-6 Counselor in the afternoon.

Mrs. Cassidy Lindberg will be 3rd grade in the afternoon.

Mrs. Tammi Smith will be 7-12 Counselor.

Mr. Greg Misner, K-12 Special Education

Fairfield Schools welcomes Mr. Greg Misner as our new K-12 Special Education Teacher. Mr. Misner grew up in Northern Michigan and has been in teaching for the past 14 years. He has taught in Noxon and Fort Benton before returning to Michigan but his love for MT has drawn him back. Greg is married to Nikki and they have a son Easton who will be in the 5th grade. Mr. Misner enjoys archery and hiking in his spare time and he is most excited about being part of an elite school system that puts students first and living back in north central MT. Mr. Misner will also be our Head Football Coach. Welcome Mr. Misner!
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Mr. John Bakkum, JH/HS Science

Welcome to the team Mr. John Bakkum. Mr. Bakkum will be teaching 7/8/9 Science this coming school year. This is John's first year teaching as he graduated in May from Montana Western (go Bulldogs). Mr. Bakkum grew up in Townsend, MT and enjoys playing basketball, golf and gaming in his spare time. John grew up with two parents who teach in Townsend and he has a sister Gabby. He is most excited about Fairfield because it is a close knit community. Welcome!
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Mr. Justin Harpster

Fairfield Schools welcomes Mr. Justin Harpster. Justin will be teaching K-12 PE and weight training. He is a recent Master's graduate of MSU-B in curriculum and design and did his undergrad prep at Rocky. Justin will be an assistant football coach for the Eagles.

Justin has spent time coaching at Billings Central under the legendary Jim Stanton and played for him as well. Mr. Harpster is moving to Fairfield with his future wife Lexi and they are excited to be in Fairfield. Mr. Harpster says he understands the expectations and will always give my best to create positive relationships and promote a lifelong commitment for our youth to live a healthy and physical life. Welcome to the Eagles!

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Fairfield Schools Reopening Plan~A work in progress

Fairfield Public Schools Return to School Guidelines


Revised August 10, 2020

This plan takes into consideration recommendations from the MT Office of Public Instruction, the Governor’s Plan for Reopening Schools, Center for Disease Control (CDC), Teton County Health Department and Fairfield School District Policies. Every effort will be made to facilitate the safety of the students and staff of Fairfield Schools as we reopen the school building for the 2020-21 school year. It is important to recognize that these efforts are intended to mitigate, not eliminate, the risk of Covid-19 transmission. In addition, it is not realistic to expect that every recommended safety guideline (i.e. physical distancing, face coverings) will be 100% adhered to throughout the school day. Fairfield Schools is committed to providing as safe of an environment as possible, while understanding that there are risks associated with school reopening. In spite of these risks, the negative impact on students and families due to school closure has to be considered. The following plan of action outlines the steps and considerations that Fairfield Schools will take to mitigate the risk of virus transmission within the school environment. These efforts are sure to change and evolve, and we will require a great deal of flexibility from the community, parents, staff and students as we work through the progression of this pandemic. Reopening our school will require everyone to be responsible for taking care of their own health and the health of their families while also respecting the needs of those around them.

The components of this plan will remain flexible and adaptable to the potential changes in the phases and levels of concern for individual and public health. Therefore, this document will be dynamic and updated regularly as new information becomes available and/ or additional requirements are requested of the School District.

Learning Options:

  • Fairfield Schools Face to Face Option

    • Available for students who wish to attend school onsite everyday. This will entail the student being on our campus from 8:10-3:32 Mon-Thur. and 8:10-2:32 on Friday. They will have regular instruction from Fairfield Schools Staff.

    • Students will be eligible for extra curricular activities.

  • Fairfield Schools Distance/Remote Learning Option

    • Students will have the option to engage in remote/distance learning and will not be required to attend school within the building. The deadline to notify the district if a student will use this option is 5:00pm on August 18.

    • Students opting out of in-person in the brick and mortar instruction and choosing virtual learning at home will need to print out and return a signed Online Learning Contract .

    • There will be a full workload of classes each day. The rigor will match that of the classroom.

    • The distance/remote learning option is with a company called Edgenuity and will be monitored by a Fairfield Staff person.

    • There must be a commitment to online learning for a full semester. Students will only be allowed to return to face to face instruction at the start of a new semester.

    • Students will need significant assistance from an adult (parent/guardian).

    • Attendance will be taken daily as students login to complete assignments.

    • Students will be graded as if they were present in school, this includes meeting course deadlines.

    • Students choosing the full distance option will not be eligible for extracurricular activities.

  • Fairfield Schools Hybrid/Blended Learning Option

    • Will only occur when teachers/staff/students have to be out of the building due to positive cases within our schools.


  • Close Contact – a person who was exposed to a communicable disease. For COVID-19, this is someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before illness onset until the time the patient is isolated.

  • Cohorting – forming groups of students, and sometimes teachers or staff, that stay together throughout the school day to minimize exposure of other students, teachers, and staff across the school environment.

  • Contact Tracing – the process used by public health professionals to identify, notify, and monitor individuals who have been exposed to a communicable disease.

  • Contagious Period – the period of time when a disease can be spread to others. For COVID-19, people are contagious starting 48 hours prior to onset of symptoms or testing positive if they have no symptoms, and while they have symptoms.

  • Exposure – having come into contact with an agent (e.g., bacteria, viruses) that causes a particular health problem. For COVID-19, this is having come within 6ft of a person infected with the virus for 15 minutes or longer, during their contagious period.

  • Isolation – separating sick people from healthy people. This means staying home and away from others in the household as much as possible.

  • Quarantine – the separation of individuals who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine is for people who are not showing symptoms of illness. This means staying home and away from others in the household as much as possible.

  • Transmission – the way viruses and bacteria spread from one infected person to another person and causes them to become infected.

School wide organization:

  • Efforts for physical distancing will occur in every setting. Face coverings will be required of students and staff, unless there is a verified medical condition, in certain situations where mixing of cohorts occurs or physical distancing cannot be practiced efficiently. (i.e. arrivals, departures, buses, transitions).

  • Students will be organized into grade level “cohorts” schoolwide. Efforts will be made to prevent intermingling of grade level cohorts during the school day.

  • Recess and lunch will be scheduled and structured to avoid intermingling of grade level cohorts.

  • Field trips, assemblies, and other gatherings may be permitted under appropriate State of Montana phased reopening.


  • At no time during the school year will anyone other than students and staff be allowed in the school building during school hours. County Health requires us to have only students and staff on site to limit direct contact.

  • Communication with teachers or myself needs to occur via email or phone. If you need to drop something off at the school, and it is impossible or impractical to send it with your child, you will need to contact the offices.

  • When school is released in the afternoon, parents who are picking up their children must wait in their vehicles. There can be no congregating of anyone outside the doors of the school. A school employee will be outside of the door to monitor traffic and make sure that students make it safely.

  • Workout Room- Community members with up to date paid access are not allowed to use the facility during the school day. Community hours are 6-7:30am and 4:00-10:00pm. The weight room will be cleaned and disinfected every morning prior to students using it.


  • Students will have assigned seating on the bus to help with contact tracing. Family members may be assigned to sit together. Students will be spaced out as far as possible.

  • Hand sanitizer will be available on the bus, it should be used as students enter and exit the bus.

  • Students will be asked to wear masks while on the bus.

  • Follow previously established bus rules.

  • Parents should keep sick children at home.

  • Bus drivers will wear a mask.

  • Bus drivers will self-monitor their health, symptoms, and temperature.

  • Bus will be disinfected and cleaned after each route.

Classroom organization:

Physical Distancing:

  • Efforts will be made to provide 6 feet of physical distance whenever possible.


  • Every class will instruct and encourage appropriate hygiene, including frequent thorough hand washing, use of hand sanitizer, and respiratory etiquette.

Face Coverings:

  • Face coverings will be required, unless there is a verified medical condition, during arrivals and departures to and from school, during transitions, and other times when cohorts intermingle and physical distancing is not possible.

  • Teachers will have the discretion to require face coverings being worn in certain situations within the classroom where physical distancing is not possible and barriers are not used. Students will be encouraged, but not required to wear face coverings outside of specific teacher directed situations.

  • Face coverings will be provided to students and staff that do not have their own.

Sneeze shields:

  • Sneeze shields will be installed as requested and as necessary and needed around the school facility.

Sharing of materials:

  • Classroom Teachers should avoid and monitor the sharing of classroom materials between students.

Utilization of outdoor spaces:

  • Teachers are encouraged to utilize outdoor spaces when instruction and weather permits.

Building Cleaning and Disinfection:

  • Custodial staff will be provided in an effort to increase building sanitation on a frequent basis.

  • Teachers and staff will be asked to assist in sanitizing frequently touched surfaces within the classroom. (i.e. desks, door handles, pencil sharpeners, keyboards).

  • Appropriate chemicals (EPA -approved) will be utilized in disinfecting surfaces, and utilized when students are not present if at all possible.

  • Custodial staff will document regular sanitation of commonly used areas.

  • Shared items such as PE equipment and Library books will be sanitized between classes.

Health Screening:

  • Parents will need to do temperature checks and monitor their child’s health on a daily basis.

  • Temperature checks will be conducted by office staff and classroom teachers as necessary.

  • Any student or staff member with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher

should not be present in school. A student with a fever will be isolated and given a mask to wear. Parents will be contacted immediately to pick the child up from school.

  • School staff will monitor students for symptoms of illness and contact parents if there is a concern.

  • Students and staff should be fever free without fever reducing medication for 24-48 hours prior to returning to school.

Parent Responsibilities:

  • Children exhibiting symptoms of illness must be kept home and not sent to school.

  • Students should be dropped off at school after the school building has been opened to avoid a congregation of students prior to the start of the school day.

  • Parents will communicate with the school office immediately should their student show symptoms or become ill.

  • Parents will make sure that the school has up-to-date contact information including phone, email, mailing address, physical address, and emergency contacts.

  • Contact the school secretary to update your information when necessary.

Reaction to a confirmed positive COVID-19 Case in Fairfield Schools:

  • Fairfield Schools will follow safety and health guidelines and recommendations from local health officials in the event of a confirmed positive case including:

    • Possible school closure if necessary for contact tracing and disinfecting.

    • Work in coordination with county health on the necessary action and a timeline to return to school.

    • Reassess school safety procedures to evaluate effectiveness.

    • During building closure, offsite online/remote learning will be conducted.

    • Onsite instruction within the building will resume upon approval from local health officials.

    • Individuals testing positive will be required to quarantine as directed by county health officials. Those exposed to a positive case will quarantine as directed by county health officials in accordance with public health and safety guidelines.

    • Students will be provided remote learning opportunities during the period of quarantine.

    • Staff will be accommodated to allow remote instruction with an aide in the classroom during the quarantine period.

Extra-curricular Activities/After School Activities:

  • The decision to conduct extracurricular activities will be made by the board of trustees, with guidance from state and local health officials and the MHSA.

  • FLY (3rd-8th afterschool program) will not be in session until further decisions are made.


  • Communication with school staff will be conducted in person and via school email/text.

  • Communication with parents will occur through Infinite Campus text message/email, email, website, facebook.

    • Website:

    • Facebook: Fairfield Public Schools

Fairfield Staff

Free and Reduced Meals Application

By filling out the Free and Reduced Meals Application you will help our schools qualify for much needed Title Monies and grants that help to supplement programs at Fairfield Schools. Your application is completely confidential.

Please see attached files to print and return to the school.

Breakfast/Lunch additional ala carte charges permission form

If your student is allowed to charge extra ala carte items to their lunch account we need your permission. Please read thoroughly.

Early Kindergarten

A bit about Early Kindergarten at Fairfield Elementary. Early K is for 5 year olds AND 4 year olds (by March 1st) that WILL GO to full day Kindergarten in the school year 21-22. This is a half day program that will follow the Montana Office of Public Instruction’s Standards for Early Learning. More information will be available at the office.

Response to Intervention/Instruction

Continuing on with our work as a Response to Instruction/Intervention school, we will continue to teach your children in the best possible way. This includes quick benchmark assessments of your student three times a year to see if they are working at grade level. If they are below or above, we do some further assessing to see what is missing or what needs to be challenged and go from there! We get together as a team at least every 5-6 weeks (along with everyday discussions) to discuss the best way to educate EK-6 students.

FLY Program (3rd-8th grades)

Fairfield Leading Youth (FLY) program is our after school homework and enrichment program run by staff. We look forward to providing this opportunity again for the youth of Fairfield in grades 3rd-8th.

Due to COVID-19, FLY will not be having an after school face to face element. We are working on a virtually tutoring option.

More information to come as we progress into the school year.

School Calendar 20-21

K-8 School Supplies list

Athletic Schedules

Physical Forms, Concussion Form, Training Rules

Activity Tickets and Pay to Play

Activity Tickets:

Any student participating in any extra- or co-curricular sponsored activity must purchase a Student Activity Ticket. Activity tickets are $30.00 for students and $60.00 for adults. No student will be deprived of participation due to economic hardships. Please contact the High School Principal if you have any questions.


Fairfield Public School Board of Trustees implemented a “pay-to-play” policy for all extra-curricular activities in grades 5-12. Those activities include all sporting activities, speech and drama, and pep-band. This policy states that all participants must pay a participation fee in order to participate in the mentioned activities. The current rate is $25.00 per activity with an individual cap of $50.00 and family cap of $90.00. Students who qualify for free and reduced lunch will be charged $10.00 per activity with an individual cap of $20.00 and family cap of $40.00. This fee is in addition to the $30.00 activity ticket. No student will be deprived of participation due to economic hardships. Please contact the High School Principal if you have any questions.

Tickets & fees can be paid through the office, utilizing cash, check, or online payment through the district website at

Fairfield School Wellness Policy

ESSA Notices to Parents



Asbestos Management Plan Available For Review By

Parents, Teachers and Employees

Our school district has conducted an extensive asbestos survey of all of our buildings. Based on the findings of this inspection, a comprehensive management plan was drafted. This plan details the response actions that the district will be taking regarding asbestos containing materials found in our building.

This plan is available for inspection at our offices without cost or restriction during normal business hours. If you desire to have a personal copy, please notify the main administrative office and it will be supplied to you within 5 working days. A copying fee will be assessed.

Our main administrative office is located at:

Fairfield High School

P.O. Box 399

Fairfield, MT 59436

We have endeavored to make our schools a safe place in which students can learn. Our procedures for dealing with this problem reflect that concern. Please let us know if we can answer any questions.

High School Class Registration

Wednesday, Aug. 19th, 9am-4pm

Fairfield High School, MT, USA


High School Class Registration is August 19th.

Wednesday, August 19th, 2020

-Seniors: 9:00 -10:30 a.m.

-Juniors: 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

-Lunch on your own: 12:00-1:00 p.m.

-Sophomores: 1:00-2:30 p.m.

-Freshman: 2:30-4:00 p.m.

9th Grade Orientation

Wednesday, Aug. 19th, 4-5:45pm

13 7th Street North

Fairfield, MT

9th Grade Orientation will take place from 4PM-5:45PM on Wednesday, August 19, 2020. Look for more information soon.

ACT Seniors

Tuesday, Oct. 6th, 8am

Fairfield High School, MT, USA


Fairfield Senior Class of 2021 will take the ACT on October 6th. Makeup date is October 20th.

Fairfield Junior Class of 2022 will take the ACT in the Spring of 2021.