SMS Newsletter

March 2023

March Core Value: Humility

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

Friday marks the end of Trimester 2 and the start of the final third of our school year. Expectations and routines have been firmly established, we have completed our mid-year assessments, and are fully prepared to finish the year with strong and effective learning.

The middle schools are involved in several significant initiatives this spring. Our social studies teachers are reviewing the proposed state standards and aligning them with the district values. We will present recommendations to the Board of Trustees in the coming months and then begin to review potential curriculum resources. On a similar note, our English/Language Arts teachers are currently considering resources to fully support our on-going focus on literacy.

We are also addressing the current district budget shortfall with a more efficient middle school program that will feature a new master schedule. The schedule will continue a robust and comprehensive program based on the core values identified by our consensus team: addressing the budget shortfall, strengthening student achievement, maintaining student opportunities, and maintaining opportunities for teacher collaboration. We believe that the new schedule will provide new opportunities for an innovative, high quality program.

More information will be shared on each of these initiatives throughout the spring. In the meantime, enjoy your spring break with your students.

Gordon Grissom

Important Note to Parents and Guardians

It would be so helpful if you could call the school in the morning when you know your student will need to be picked up early. 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 us having to call into the classroom to have them sent to the office and disturbing everyone in there.

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

Sally Bell’s New Life Chapter

Madame Bell, Sacajawea’s French Teacher, is retiring at the end of the trimester and moving to Europe to be closer to family.

Mme Bell has taught French and the Gifted Independent Studies program at SMS for the past 14 years. She has been recognized for her creative instructional strategies, her knowledge of standards-based learning structure, and, most significantly, her ability to see the value and potential in every student.

We celebrate Mme Bell’s success over the years and this new chapter in her life.

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, Thursdays

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 March/April are below:

6th Grade

  • Conflict Resolution

  • Friendships

  • Listening Skills

7th Grade

  • Well-being

  • Assertiveness

  • Compromise

8th Grade

  • Emotional Regulation

  • Overcoming Obstacles

  • Teamwork

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.

Winter Policy Reminder

Please remember to send your kids to school with winter gear every day: layers, coats, hats, gloves, boots, etc.

Unless temperatures fall below 0 degrees Fahrenheit, students are to remain outside of the building until 8:10 am. This includes students having school breakfast.

Students are also going outside after lunch, as long as temperatures are above zero, and should be reminded to bring their winter gear with them to lunch, as they are discouraged from returning to lockers outside of passing periods.

THANK YOU, and stay toasty!

Nursing Station

We want to keep our school healthy, and we need your help!

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 hours
  • Cough that they cannot control
  • Body aches, headaches, ear aches, severe sore throat
  • 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 night each night is recommended.
  • Drink a lot of healthy fluids - water is the best! (and no, 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 health care 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: (406) 522-6400 or the school nurse: (406) 522-6412 with questions.

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.

SMS Talent Show

Come one, come all!

The SMS Talent Show is close at hand!

Where: Willson Auditorium, 404 W Main Street

When: Wednesday, March 8th @ 6:00 pm

Admission is $5 per person, and concessions are available for purchase at intermission.

Bring the whole family, and enjoy the show!

Geography Bee Regional Qualifiers

A huge CONGRATULATIONS to the SMS students who qualified for the Regional Geography Bee Competition in Missoula on March 26th, 2023!

Everett Pohl

Alex Ziegler

Henry Huber

Colin Williams

Elise O'Reilly

Gavin Shiver

Dagny Brechbuhler

Sydney Fosdal

Quinn Varness

"Thank you from all of us at International Academic Competitions!

We hope to see you at Regional Finals!"

Health Enhancement

Greetings from the SMS Health Enhancement Department!

We are looking for the following winter equipment: Nordic ski gear (skis, boots, and poles), ice skates, and helmets (biking or skiing).

Please get in touch with

Justin Mollgaard (

or Holly Walker (

if you would like to donate your used equipment.

A huge thank you in advance!

Bozeman Girls' Softball

It’s that time of year again to boost softball participation in our valley! This is a great opportunity to get girls playing and learning! Middle school softball is now part of the rec league.

Click the image for more information, and

use the button link below to register!

Registration deadline is March 5th, 2023!

2022 - 2023 SMS Yearbook

Yearbooks are on sale!

Books can be purchased at:

Follow the prompts for Sacajawea Middle School Bozeman, MT.

Parents, you are welcome to share your photos of school events and activities for the SMS yearbook. To share photos, or 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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The Annual Used Book Sale will be coming up in May. (5/30-6/2)

If you are cleaning up/out and have quality books that our community would be interested in purchasing, please hang on to them for our big drive in April, or drop them by the school.

The sale features affordable used books for students, staff, and the community.

Thank you to everyone who is scanning their receipts and contributing

to the SMS Library through BOXTOPS!!

Remember to check your email for overdue notices.

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

Overdue/fine notices are going to your students through their school emails and the emails that you have provided. Please be aware that fines will be posted in PowerSchool and will follow students through high school.

Poetry Slam

April 19th after school in the SMS Library -

students and staff can perform original or classic poetry.

Over Spring Break, students have the option to check out extra books.

This is a great time to pursue an interest!

A Message from Thrive

Are screens a constant battle at home?

As both a parent and a Thrive Parent Liaison, I have experienced the challenges of parenting with technology firsthand. Our kids always seem to be staring at a device—leading to endless frustration. What is a parent to do?

1. Set Health Limits: Both Apple and Android products have some great Parental Controls available. Tips on setting these controls can be found through a quick Google search. Inform yourself and set limits accordingly.

Park devices in a community area (such as the kitchen) at night to promote healthy sleep and a reprieve from constant peer connection.

2. Maintain a Strong Relationship: Our kids need us now more than ever—not screens. Take walks together. Listen when our kids are ready to talk. Provide empathy and compassion as needed.

Dr. Gordon Neufeld, in his book Hold On To Your Kids has a fabulous chapter on parenting in the digital age. Definitely worth a read!

Questions? Please contact your SMS Thrive Parent Liaison:

Ashley Mares Jones

(406) 922-4230

Bozeman Friends of Music Scholarships

The Bozeman Friends of Music (BSD7's "booster club" for music programs) is pleased to announce that this year's student scholarship application process is open, now through April 1st!

Each spring, the Bozeman Friends of Music offers $250 music scholarships to students who typically use the funds for summer camps, private music lessons, or instruments (repair, rental, purchase). Applications are due April 1st of every year.

Applications are accepted for 5th through 11th-grade students in band, orchestra, or choir who attend Bozeman Public Schools District or other K-8 public schools that feed into Gallatin High School or Bozeman High School.

New this year, the STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION and MUSIC TEACHER RECOMMENDATION FORM will both be done completely online via these Google Forms.*

Further information (FAQs) and links to the forms can be found on the BFOM website at For additional information, please email the scholarship committee at


Anika Stern and Cheri Ladd LeCain,

BFOM Scholarship Committee

*Note 1: For the Teacher Recommendation Form, students can direct their music teachers to the BFOM website, or the student can email the link to their teacher by cutting and pasting it into an email.

*Note 2: For the Student Scholarship Application Form, students in 5th-8th will need to use a non-BSD7 email address to submit the form since their BSD7 accounts can't be used outside of the district. The email address can be their own or a parent's/guardian's.)

Low Income Families: Applications For Home Renovations Now Being Accepted

Bozeman Sunrise Rotary Club is accepting applications up to April 1st from homeowners to receive free home repairs during our 2023 Fix-Up Festival. This is our fourteenth year organizing this one-day event that is scheduled for Saturday October 7th, 2023.

Prior to our event, we will assess our community's conditions for Covid-19, and issue any needed guidelines for all Fix-Up Festival homeowners and volunteers to observe. Guidance will be based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Applicants must be low-income to qualify (up to three times poverty level income adjusted for the number of residents), confirmed by HRDC as part of our applicant screening process. They also must be Belgrade, Bozeman, Four Corners or Gallatin Gateway, MT homeowners who live in the home. Owners of mobile and modular homes qualify. Preference will be given to elderly (62+), disabled, and veteran homeowner applicants.

We also accept applications submitted by friends, neighbors and relatives of anyone who meets our qualifications. As in all previous years, we can only help those who apply to be considered for selection!

There Are Many Ways To Apply By April 1st

The easiest way to apply is online by submitting applicant information directly on our secure website, On our homepage either click where it says APPLY ONLINE HERE, or click on the Apply section, then click on Apply Online. Applications are also ready for printing and/or emailing by clicking this link: FUF Email-able Application.

Our colorful printed tri-fold applications are also available now at HRDC, the Gallatin Valley Food Bank, Family Promise, and by calling the Love INC helpline to request one. Since we accept applications year-round, our printed applications are perfect anytime to hand to a deserving client, distribute to prospective applicants and locate in highly visible locations (i.e., assistance brochure racks, reception counters, waiting rooms, public areas, etc.).

Our website has much more information about the Fix-Up Festival, such as how to become a Home Adopter and/or a Sponsor.

John Mills

Bozeman Sunrise Rotary Club Member &

Fix-Up Festival Applications Coordinator

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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.

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 – March 24, May 16

  • Lockdown – Apr. 12

  • Direct Response (specific to situation, e.g. high winds) – Mar. 31

Upcoming Dates and Events


  • 1st: Team Madison Ski Day - Big Sky
  • 2nd: Team Boulder Ski Day - Big Sky
  • 3rd: 6th Grade Ski Day - Amende, Spyke - Bridger Bowl
  • 3rd: End of Trimester 2
  • 4th: Speech and Debate Meet, BHS 8:30 am - 3:30 pm
  • 7th: 5th Grade Parent Info Night, SMS 6:00 - 7:30 pm
  • 8th: SMS Talent Show, Willson Auditorium 6:00 pm
  • 13th - 17th: Spring Break, NO SCHOOL
  • 26th: Regional Geography Bee Competition, Missoula
  • 30th: Band Concert, BHS


  • 6th: Montana Science Assessment, TENTATIVE
  • 13th - 14th: PIR Days, NO SCHOOL
  • 19th: Poetry Slam, SMS Library after school
  • 27th: 7th/8th Orchestra, GHS

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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