LOCAL NEWS BREIFS

Libby Public Schools
pursuit of

better
education

On June 16, the Office of Public Instruction released the list of awardees of the grant. Out of the 43 districts that applied for the grant, only 31 received money, including both Libby and Troy. For a district to qualify, they must fulfil one of two criteria: the school district average Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) test scores must be below the state average, or, over half the students in the district must qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. The good news is that Libby schools passed our SBAC’s with flying colors, ranking quite well in the state overall. The regrettable fact, however, is that a significant amount of Libby’s students fall within the second category. According to Beagle, between 57% and 58% of students rely on receiving lunch from the district.

However, since the lunch program has an opt-in system where parents must sign their child up, it is estimated that nearly 65% of the older students in middle and high school live with food insecurity and their needs are simply not reported. This means, out of the 1219 students in the Libby school district, between 694 and 792 of the students are living with food insecurity.

Though it might go without saying, the effects of food insecurity on economically disadvantaged children are devastating and can negatively impact cognitive, emotional, and physical development in children. Students with food insecurity on average have smaller gains in reading and math, are more likely to miss school, less likely to graduate, and less prepared to enter the workforce after school. In an article in Pediatrics in 2006, Whitaker, Phillips and Orzol found that in food-insecure families with young children, mothers and their children are far more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and a host of other unresolved mental health issues. Other studies, such as done by Children’s HealthWatch found that even families with “low food-insecurity”, where individuals do not consider themselves hungry but still have inconsistent meals, can suffer adverse effects as well. Though statistics and data can often seem abstract and dissociated from everyday life, these affects are easily confirmed in Libby’s schools where economically disadvantaged students have lower test scores and are in more need for counseling and aid from the school.

Such a mountain of obstacles can seem insurmountable, yet the most recent grant hopes to mitigate these problems at school as food-insecurity continues in the community. The district will have access to up to $450,000 a year for five years starting September 30, to reach students considered economically disadvantaged. The money will go towards new evidence-based curriculum that can help students in the most need, teacher training that is better and quicker at identifying students who need more help, new counselors, new classroom supplies, plans to involve parents more in the classroom, and integrating Side by Side Consulting, a consulting firm that provide a level of quality control for the teachers in the schools. They will provide consultants that offer instruction and possible solutions for teachers to improve and serve students better all year long.

The new grant offers a chance to help those most in need in Libby by focusing education funding towards those students who simply want to learn but are impeded by their circumstances. And though the additional funding will most likely continue the trend set by the last decade of increased test scores, graduation rates, and college entrances, the new funding will inevitable only offer a band aide to an underlying issue of food insecurity in our community. We can hire more counselors, have better teachers, and listen to the best consultants in the country, but as long as our students live in food insecurity, they will always be starting one step behind.

By Tyler Whitney, The Montanian

 

Wildflowers & Wings Class

offered in

Libby

Come out to enjoy a unique outdoor educational program entitled, “Wildflowers & Wings,” on Saturday, June 27 in Libby. We’ll take this timely opportunity of seasonal wildflower bloom and early summer tail end migration of birds to visit several locations.

The group will maintain safe spacing as we explore by road tour and take a few short walks into private land locations. We will meet at Riverfront Park in Libby at 9 a.m. on the southwest side of the Kootenai River, on the left before you cross the Hwy. 37 bridge heading north. Four wheel drive vehicles, and full gas tanks are recommended. We will be limiting this class to 10 participants for health safety, driving safety, and ease of parking.

“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” John Muir wrote this many years ago, but in these troubled times, the sponsors of this class feel it is important to go ahead and offer this combination class.

We will visit a few different habitat types to field study a variety of wildflowers, and to observe birds of prey, waterfowl, woodpeckers, shorebirds, and songbirds. Participants should come prepared for the day with full gas tanks, water, lunch, binoculars, spotting scopes, bird field guide, hand lens, wildflower field guide, cameras, and sense of humor. Libby Hostel Base Camp sponsor may have accommodations if needed. Our instructor has over 40 years experience in forestry and wildlife, and 20 years teaching outdoor education programs. Estimated wrap up time is 3:30 p.m.

For more information and to register email b_baxter53@yahoo.com or call 291-2154.

Submitted by Brian Baxter

 

Cabinet View Golf Club’s

Memorial

tournament

winners

Cabinet View Golf Club held their Memorial tournament on June 6 and 7.

The First Flight Gross Winners were Ryggs Johnson and Mike Managhan who took first place with a score of 122. Bob Hanley and Chris Hanley took second place with a score of 138.

First Flight Net Winners were Wally Winslow and Jerad Winslow with a first place score of 125. Wayne Haines and Gary Peck took second place with a score of 131.

Second Flight Gross winners were Rory Hendrickson and JR Rebo  with a first place score of 142. Don Wilkins and John Resch took second place with a score of 143.

Second Flight Net Winners were Mike Fissori and Ron Thatcher with a first place score of 131. Jay Adams and Steve Lefever had a second place tie with Jon Schell and Brett Weidman with scores of 138.

Third Flight Gross winners were Bruce Moog and Darryl Pfeifer with a score of 155. Terry Patrick and Jr Crismore took second place with a score of 156.

Third Flight Net winners were Justice Fahland and Frank Fahland with a score of 136. Patrick Holzer and John Matlock took second place with a score of 139.

Hole Prize Winners included: Ruth Fenn on hole #3, Darryl Pfeifer on hole #7, Paul Bradford on hole #11,  and Dan Rohrer on hole #15.