SMS Newsletter

April 2023

April Core Value: Growth

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.

Principal's Corner

The arrival of April–and maybe spring!--brings several significant events at Sacajawea.

On Thursday, April 13, we hold our annual Spring Conferences from 10:00am-6:00pm. The conferences provide the opportunity for our students to reflect on their learning to this point in the year–the growth they have experienced and the opportunities for continued improvement. All students will prepare for the conferences prior to the 13th and will document their progress in a Google slide deck or similar type of presentation format. Parents may be contacted to schedule an appointment with the team of teachers, may request one themselves, or may drop by during “office hours.” Specific notification will be provided by each team. Whether or not you schedule conferences with teachers, we encourage you to sit down with your kids and have them share their growth.

Also this month, the students will be taking the Montana Science Assessment (eighth grade only) and the Smarter Balanced Assessments for math and English/Language Arts (all grades). These state tests provide valuable information for the individual students and our school. Please encourage your students to perform at their highest level, ensure they have adequate sleep and nutrition, and avoid any unnecessary absences on testing dates:

  • MT Science Assessment–9:00-10:30 on Thursday, April 6;

  • Smarter Balanced Assessment

    • 6th grade–12:00-2:30 on Tuesday-Thursday, April 25-27;

    • 7th grade–9:00-11:30 on Tuesday-Thursday, April 18-20;

    • 8th grade–9:00-11:30 on Tuesday-Thursday, April 25-27.

As always, we appreciate your support of your students and your partnership with us on their behalf.

Gordon Grissom

Important Note to Parents and Guardians

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

Para Familias de Habla Hispana

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Talking Points: Para comunicarse en Español

Nueva plataforma para comunicarse en Español con el personal escolar en Bozeman. Haz click aquí para obtener más información

La Comunicación con el Personal Escolar de Sacajawea

Haz click aquí para obtener información importante sobre cómo mantenerse en contacto con la escuela de su hijos

Actualización de su información de contacto

Counseling Connection

Who are our school counselors:

Meghan Powell- Assigned teams: All 8th-grade teams, 6th-grade Mountain Team

Leah Kreitinger- Assigned teams: All 7th-grade teams, 6th-grade Prairie Team

Kace Doornbos- SAFE-TI Program counselor

Natasha Fraker- School counselor, Natasha is at SMS two mornings a week

Clodagh Shortt- Counseling Intern, working across all grade levels, Tuesday/Friday

Lexi Phelps- MSU Counseling Practicum Student, working across all grade levels, Thursday

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:

  • Classroom-based lessons (i.e. school-wide Tuesday morning advisory counseling lessons, SOS curriculum for 6th and 8th grade, Organizational Skills Bootcamp in 7th)
  • 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 improved access, achievement, and opportunities for all students

Tuesday Morning Whole Child Character Building Lessons:

This year we will be using the curriculum Character Strong. This program focuses on the Whole Child by teaching skills and strategies to build on character and emotional regulation. This program is aligned with both ASCA and Casel standards. Please click here for more information. The topics we will cover in April/May are below:

Clubs & Extracurricular Activities

Sacajawea is pleased to provide a number of activities in which students can be involved outside of the classroom. Encourage your kids to be involved in ways to develop their skills and interests!

We have student councils at each of the grade levels that meet during their respective lunch times, in addition to the following clubs, most of which take place from 3:30-4:30 pm on the designated days, unless otherwise specified:


Yearbook – SMS Cafeteria

Outdoor – Room A24


Knitting – Room F14 at lunchtime (11:24 - 11:57 AM)

Computer – Room C8

Art – Room C5

Archery – B27 (No previous experience necessary)


Book Club – Library in the morning (8:20 - 8:48 AM, during Falcon Red)

Ice Rink (6th graders) – Room F22 at lunchtime (11:24 - 11:57 AM) every other Wednesday

Forensics (Speech and Debate) – Room C7


Forensics – Room C7

Robotics/3D Printing – Room C8

Archery – B27 (Previous experience required)


Knitting – Room F14 at lunchtime (11:24 - 11:57 AM)

** Some clubs may require permission slips prior to participation. **

Clubs are free and students may participate when able; however, some clubs may be

limited in number, so students should contact the teacher, if interested.

A Message from Thrive

One of my favorite parenting strategies is called Going Brain Dead. It is a classic Love and Logic technique. In a nutshell, it is harnessing our own power as parents to not engage when our kid is misbehaving.

Tweens and teens do lots of things that can trigger us. When my teen is continually critical, I do not react well. Going Brain Dead allows me time to calm down and utilize my own Frontal Lobe, resulting in a more thoughtful response.

An example would be as a child continues to be argumentative or nasty, our parent brain simply turns off. It is as if we have lost the ability to hear their words. Should the child continue to escalate, we might state “I will hear you when your voice is calm like mine.” The trick is to be as monotone and boring as possible. Repeat as necessary and walk away.

As parents we often cannot control our kids behavior. We can however, control our own. Going Brain Dead is a powerful technique that can de-escalate an angry child.

For these and other parenting tips, contact Ashley Mares Jones, your SMS

Thrive Parent Liaison, at

or by phone at (406) 922-4230.

6th Grade Hearing Screening

All 6th graders will participate in a hearing screening April 4th.

Please contact Speech Language Pathologist Theresa Pfaff

at (406)522-6431 with any questions or concerns.

Attention Parents of all 6th Grade Students:

Prior to attending school, ALL incoming 7th grade students must provide documentation of the Tdap booster (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccination OR a notarized religious exemption form. Incoming 7th graders cannot attend without providing documentation.

Vaccination appointments can be scheduled with Well Child Visits with your doctors. Alternatively, the Gallatin County Health Department has walk-in clinics. They can be reached at (406) 582-3100 for more information.

Documentation may be shared through email with our registrar, Kayla Fortier (, faxed to the school (406-522-6474), or dropped off at the main office.

If you are in need of a religious exemption form, please contact Kayla Fortier

or call the SMS main office at (406) 522-6400.

2022 - 2023 SMS Yearbooks

Yearbooks are on sale!

Books can be purchased at: or by using the QR code below.

Familles will be able to order online until May 31st. June 1st through the last day of school, yearbooks can be purchased via cash/check in the counseling office

(this is quantity dependent).

Books are $25.00

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If you have any questions regarding yearbooks, please email Kace Doornbos at

Kace Doornbos M.S.

Student Assistance Specialist


(406) 522-6471

News from the Library

We have a variety of formats that students can use to access literature and information. Destiny Discover (the district library program) has an app accessible FREE through your App Store. Students can access and print e-books and audio books and log in using their ClassLink.

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  • Poetry Slam - 4/19 after school in the SMS Library. Please come join us as students and staff perform their poetry selections.

  • Used Book Sale - Please start collecting books that you have outgrown. We accept all levels of books for the sale. The sale is open to the community. We will collect books until May 25th and the sale will begin on May 30th - June 2nd. (Please - no textbooks)

  • All 8th grade students - Be aware that all library fines and materials need to be turned in before June 5th to clear your records for the High Schools

Remember to check your email for overdue notices.

Overdues are sent out to student & family emails ONLY - no paper copies are sent.

April is Poetry Month!

Here are some books on how to write poetry:

And a few novels written in verse:

Fundraisers for SMS Student Counsel

Candy Raffle Fundraiser

April 10th - 12th during all grade level lunches

Neon Hoodie Fundraiser

April 17th - 21st during all grade level lunches

One custom-made tie-dye neon hoodie made by Big Dye Country

will be raffled out for each grade level

Otter Pop Fundraiser

April 26th - 28th during all grade level lunches

While supplies last

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* Admission is $5.00

** Tickets will be sold April 26th - 28th during 7th- and 8th-grade lunches and at the door.

SMS PAC Meeting

Please join us for our next PAC meeting on

Tuesday, April 11th at 8:30AM.

Everyone is welcome to attend!

Presenters will include Superintendent Casey Bertram, Executive Director of Business Operations, Mike Waterman, and the Board of Trustees. The conversation will include a BSD7 Annual Report and an update on the May 2, 2023 School Election.

PAC 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 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 PAC President Krista Drake at 512.578.6908

or email at

Science Olympiad

Congratulations to students that participated in Science Olympiad at MSU!

It is a highly competitive event with teams coming from all over the state. The SMS Varsity team placed 7th out of 33 teams. Congratulations to the following people for placing in the top ten for their event.

Charly Bailey 3rd in Anatomy and Physiology

Ruth Wallis and Emma Wiechmann 3rd in Experimental Design

Gracie Dice and Nellie Monson placed 4th in Rocks and Minerals

Sorin Huseby and Kai Erdody placed 5th in the Bridge Event

Kai Loberg and Ollie Craine placed 6th in Solar System

Claire Becker placed 6th in Crave the Wave

Ruth Wallis and Emma Wiechmann 7th in Write It Do it

Siri Bateson and Laef Doyle 7th in Codebusters

Yuqi Fu 7th in Experimental Design

Kai Erdody 7th in Road Scholar

Daniel Bitters and Simon Milledge 7th in Rocks and Minerals

Lily Croskey and Annabelle Ellis 7th in Forestry

Bridger Belote and Charlie McSpadden 8th in Wheeled Vehicle

Emily Stanley and Chloe King 10th in Disease Detectives

------------- Expand Your World ------------- Host an Exchange Student

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The Rotary Youth Exchange program is a high school exchange program

sponsored by Rotary International that provides an opportunity for students from around the world to come to the United States, and for local American students to spend a year

abroad on an international exchange.

We are accepting applications for host families for these students.

The students will live with two to three different families during their exchange and

offer knowledge of their country and its culture.

Host family criteria:

• A safe and secure home for the student

• Room, board, and transportation for the student

• Financial ability to provide room and board (no other expenditures are expected of the family)

• Willingness to learn about the student and their culture

• Desire to provide a wonderful, life-changing experience for both the student and your family

The student will attend a high school in your area and will participate with your family in the same way as your own child. Help the student improve English, learn US customs, and meet

and make friends through school and other local activities.

Need more information? Contact:

John S. Patterson

Bozeman Rotary Club

(406) 581-9767

Upcoming Safety Drills

Throughout the year, we will have a series of drills to practice and standardize protocols to respond to emergencies which could occur. Upcoming drills will be conducted on the following dates:

  • Fire – May 16th

  • Lockdown – April 12th

Upcoming Dates and Events


  • 4th: 6th Grade Hearing Screening
  • 5th: 6th Grade Track Starts
  • 9th: Easter Sunday
  • 11th: PAC Meeting, 8:30 am
  • 13th: Spring Student Conferences, 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • 13th - 14th: PIR Days, NO SCHOOL
  • 19th: Poetry Slam, SMS Library after school
  • 27th: 7th/8th Orchestra, GHS
  • 28th: 7th/8th Spring Dance Neon Party, 5:00 - 7:00 pm


  • 2nd: Jazz Band Concert, GHS
  • 9th: PAC Meeting, 8:30 am
  • 11th: Choir Concert, Willson Building 7:30 pm
  • 17th: Band Concert, BHS 7:30 pm
  • 24th: 8th Grade to Washington D.C.
  • 26th: PIR Day, NO SCHOOL
  • 29th: Memorial Day, NO SCHOOL
  • 30th: Used Book Sale Begins, SMS Library
  • 31st: Last Day to Order Yearbooks
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HRDC's Healthy KidsPack

What is Healthy KidsPack?

A partnership between your school and the HRDC that provides free,

nutritious bags of snacks and simple meals to students to take home for the weekends.

Bags contain healthy, kid-friendly items that are easy to prepare. Items cycle each

week and include many local products.

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.

Free and Reduced School Lunch

Click this link for the online or printable application for free and reduced lunch rates OR to make a donation to assist students and families with a negative school lunch balance.

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

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