Rally in the rain: High school boosters make progress

Originally published in the 9/22/17 print edition of Yellowstone County News.

LOCKWOOD — Despite the continuation of a drizzling rain, a number of parents and students turned out Saturday for the Kickoff Rally for the Lockwood High School election campaign at the Ace Hardware parking lot. Volunteers collected packets and received neighborhood assignments to distribute information aimed at encouraging support for a proposal to consider building a high school in Lockwood.

Voters in Lockwood School District will decide on Nov. 7 whether to authorize the Board of Trustees to pursue designing and gathering cost estimates for a possible new high school and expanding Lockwood into a K-12 district.

Chad Hanson, chairman of the Lockwood Community Education Committee that is leading the campaign, emphasized that the election will not raise taxes. That choice will be the subject of a bond election, which will likely be held in the spring of 2019.

Joining the volunteers were a few school board members and Superintendent Tobin Novasio, who pointed out some of the benefits of having a high school in Lockwood. A recent survey, he said, added to a growing mountain of research that says students do better in smaller schools. Novasio’s primary motivation for a Lockwood high school is concern about the fact that a fourth of Lockwood students fail to complete high school.

He also commented that there are those who don’t believe that Lockwood is large enough to have its own high school, but it would be the largest high school in Montana east of Billings.

Given that Billings School District 2 is likely to propose building a new high school within the next five years, for which Lockwood taxpayers will have to help pay, the question for taxpayers is not one of “if” but of where they want a high school they are paying for – on the west end of Billings or in Lockwood, said proponents.

“I don’t think we can afford not … Read full story in print edition of Yellowstone County News or finding a location near you to pick up the paper. 

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