BROKEN BOW—Another year has come and gone for Broken Bow Public Schools and what a year it was! Despite COVID-19 restrictions and concerns, students and staff were able to attend in-person school for the 2020-2021 school year and did not have to return to online learning.
Broken Bow Superintendent Darren Tobey said one of the biggest concerns was how long the district would be able to remain in school amid the coronavirus. He said he understands the frustration of the past year but is proud of everything the students accomplished.
“What a year! I don’t think—knock on wood—we’ll experience anything like this in the future but again a tremendous job by our students, staff, and school board. Where we started in August to where we finished here in May it’s pretty exciting and the growth that a lot of our kids and school district made over that time is extraordinary. It was a long year but we battled through it and again I’m proud of our community, our school, our students, and our staff, and our board of course for battling through unknown waters,” Mr. Tobey said.
Looking ahead to the next year, Mr. Tobey said the district will miss those staff members who have resigned but is eager to welcome the new hires including two new administrators coming on board in July: Trent Benjamin will be the Director of Teaching & Learning and Justin Peterson will be the head of the SPED Department.
A year of masks and quarantine will go down in the history books but the students of Broken Bow battled through the year becoming Southwestern Conference Champs for girls and boys, which Mr. Tobey describes as a huge accomplishment for students, staff, sponsors, and coaches.
He said the North Park Elementary students made tremendous strides in state testing and appreciates the no-complaining mentality that many students and staff maintained with the goal of doing better than when they started.
Mr. Tobey told KCNI/KBBN a process that started about a year ago has been to overcome the struggle of making a clear building/facility project plan. Some middle and high school rooms need updating but how much money should be put in? A survey was sent out which found five areas of need. Committees have been working the last few months to discuss a collection of ideas which will be brought together and turned into plans for the next several years down the road.
The public is invited to a Community Facility Meeting on Monday, June 7 at 6 p.m. in the high school library to discuss the future of Broken Bow school facilities such as fine arts, ag, athletics, etc.
“The last thing we want to do as a board and a superintendent is spend some tax payer money unwisely if there’s a better plan in the future. Can we hold off for a couple years before we update something if we know we’re going to get this in the future? So we just need to do a good job of planning what our facilities are going to look like down the road and basically that’s what the meeting is. And we’d love to have people’s input on what they feel we need here at the school moving forward,” Mr. Tobey said.
Speaking of facilities, the preschool addition on the north end of North Park Elementary is scheduled to be completed by July 1. The preschool will then move from Custer to the new facility. Mr. Tobey said he is excited about the preschool program having more resources all under one roof. The Custer school building will also be discussed during the facilities meeting on June 7.
“The future looks bright for our kids,” Mr. Tobey said. Contact Mr. Tobey at 308-920-0651 with questions or concerns.