Principal Contact Information

  • Weekly Updates 2.5.23

    Posted by Jennifer Courtney on 2/5/2023 2:00:00 AM

    Dear Big Sky Students & Families-

    Please note-there IS school tomorrow 2/6, there is NO SCHOOL on Monday 2/13, and Monday 2/20! 

    The GOAT Basketball game is right around the corner, along with many other activities that week.  Also please note to get into the game you either have to have your activity card, a family pass or it will cost $12 a person. 

    Bon Fire-

    When:  Wednesday, February 15th from 6 to 8 PM.

    Where: South West corner of South Avenue West and 31st Avenue/Guardsmen Lane. 

    If anyone has wood pallets they can donate for the bonfire, please drop them off at the AG Center on South Ave. 

    GOAT Basketball Game-

    When: February, 17th 

    Doors open to the arena at 5pm for the general public but students can get in at 4pm to help get pre-game going. Student section will then come out in a procession around 5:45pm for a 6pm tip-off for girls and then 8pm tip-off for boys. Our half-time show will be during the first game, girls at 6pm. Half-time around 6:45pm.

    Sweetheart Dance-

    When: Saturday, February 18th from 7-9pm

    Ticket sales will begin next week on Feb 1st. $10 a ticket and $15 for a couple. $5 discount if you buy a tee shirt for the GOAT! After next week tickets will be on sale every Tuesday and Thursday in the main lobby during lunch and then the week of Valentine's day (dance and goat week) they will be sold every day at lunch. 

     

    Parent Volunteers Needed! If you are willing to help with chaperoning the Bon Fire,  pre-game set up, during the game support, post game cleanup or chaperoning the Sweetheart Dance please email esmith@mcpsmt.org. 

    Class Registration Process-students-please make sure you have followed these steps, if you fail to get your courses requested, you may not get the electives you want. 

    Registration Process:

    1. Students will view the presentation below-explaining graduation requirements and considerations for course selection. They will then have time to think about the classes they would like to take for the 2023/24 school year before counselors come into English classrooms.
    2. Throughout the month of February, counselors will be in English classes to answer questions, finalize course requests, and input courses into Infinite Campus.  
      • Registration Presentation explaining graduation requirements and considerations for course selection. 
      • It will be helpful for students and families to review and complete the Registration Planning Form and Planning Checklist before counselors come into English classrooms in February. Students are invited to write in their course selections for next year, think about their future goals after high school, and make sure they are on track to graduate. This will help students and parents have input and a draft of what they want to take for their counselors to review. 

     Helpful tip: review the registration presentation, and your student’s transcript in Infinite Campus, discuss goals after high school, and graduation requirements - see our website link below, and use the Course Offerings sheet to see what courses are offered next year.

    Have a great week Big Sky! Please be in touch if you have any questions!

    Jennifer Courtney

    Principal, jccourtney@mcpsmt.org

    Comments (-1)
  • Weekly Updates 1.29.23

    Posted by Jennifer Courtney on 1/28/2023 1:00:00 AM

    Dear Big Sky Students & Families-

    This week’s email is a long one, so please read to the end regarding important information related to attendance and the upcoming GOAT events! 

    ATTENTION SENIORS-it’s time for you to start reporting scholarships earned.  Please use this link each time you have received an award or scholarship-

    http://www.mcpsmt.org//cms/module/selectsurvey/TakeSurvey.aspx?SurveyID=141.  

    Semester 2 Attendance updates: The Big Sky Administration team would like to outline the new expectations for attendance in response to the 17% Federal Absenteeism rate first semester. Big Sky will be working hard this semester to lower that absenteeism rate below 10%. Our promise to you is that we will track daily attendance and tardies. When your student is missing from school we will communicate with you to understand why they were absent and to identify barriers and supports available to overcome challenges you may face in helping your student attend school. 

     Attendance policy: Unexcused absences

    • 2 days = Teacher will contact the student 
    • 3 days = Dean communication (within 1 week)
    • 5 days = Teacher email or phone call home
    • 10 days = WRAP meeting, Grad coach, Child protective services, Youth Crisis, Withdraw
    • 15 days = TABE test, CPS, Job Corp

    Tardy Policy: Unexcused tardies (all periods)

    •  4 tardies = Meeting with Dean (warning)
    • 7 tardies = Meeting with Dean (final warning)
    • 8 > tardies = Lunch detention for each tardy after 8 

     What you can do:

    • Talk to your student about the importance of attendance
    • Talk to your student’s teachers if you notice a change in behavior. 
    • Set a regular bedtime and morning routine for your student
    • Prepare for school the night before, finish homework and get a good night's sleep. 

    We appreciate the partnership we have with parents and know that the success of all our students is a shared value. Big Sky will continue to update parents with specific information about the attendance of your child. 

    Follow the Eagle Code: Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Resilient, Be an Eagle

     Resources:

    https://www.leg.mt.gov/content/Committees/Interim/2017-2018/Education/Meetings/Mar-2018/attendancebrief.pdf

     Course Requests 23-24’ School Year: Please reinforce your child’s attendance during Advisory.  This week they will receive their course request sheets.  They will also be shown how to request courses for next year, this is a really important time to make sure they get the classes they need and want. 

     GOAT Event Updates:

    Bon Fire-

    When:  Wednesday, February 15th from 6 to 8 PM.

    Where: South West corner of South Avenue West and 31st Avenue/Guardsmen Lane. 

    If anyone has wood pallets they can donate for the bon fire, please drop them off at the AG Center on South Ave. 

    GOAT Game-

    When: February, 17th 

    Doors open to the arena at 5pm for the general public but students can get in at 4pm to help get pre-game going. Student section will then come out in a procession around 5:45pm for a 6pm tip-off for girls and then 8pm tip-off for boys. Our half-time show will be during the first game, girls at 6pm. Half-time around 6:45pm.

    Sweetheart Dance-

    When: Saturday, February 18th from 7-9pm

    Ticket sales will begin next week on Feb 1st. $10 a ticket and $15 for a couple. $5 discount if you buy a tee-shirt for the GOAT! After next week tickets will be on sale every Tuesday and Thursday in the main lobby during lunch and then the week of Valentine's day (dance and goat week) they will be sold every day at lunch. 

    Parent Volunteers Needed! If you are willing to help with chaperoning the Bon Fire,  pre-game set up, during-the-game support, post-game cleanup, or chaperoning the Sweetheart Dance please email esmith@mcpsmt.org. 

    Thank you as always for your support of your child’s academic success.  If you have any questions please feel free to reach out.

    Jennifer Courtney

    Principal, jccourtney@mcpsmt.org

    Comments (-1)
  • Weekly Updates 1.22.23

    Posted by Jennifer Courtney on 1/22/2023

    Dear Big Sky Students & Families-

    Remember-NO SCHOOL TOMORROW, Monday-it’s a records day for staff.  Semester 2 starts Tuesday so be sure to check your schedule for any changes. 

    We are so excited to share a new opportunity with you all! Big Sky will be one of the first schools in the state to offer the Best Buddies program. 

    Best buddies is an international non-profit organization. We work to empower people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, known as IDD, by helping them develop meaningful peer relationships, teaching communication and self-advocacy skills, and helping them feel valued by their community. This is an inclusive program allowing people with or without IDD to join. Students with IDD can be paired with another student who doesn’t have IDD to create an amazing bond. This is a great way to get involved with your school or community and help out others. If you have further questions please feel free to contact Myleigh Kukay at 24kukmyl@student.mcpsmt.org, or visit their website at https://www.bestbuddies.org/.

    If you are interested in joining please use this form to sign up! 

    Best Buddies Sign Up

    ATTENTION SENIORS-it’s time for you to start reporting scholarships earned.  Please use this link each time you have received an award or scholarship-

    http://www.mcpsmt.org//cms/module/selectsurvey/TakeSurvey.aspx?SurveyID=141.   

    The Senior Awards Breakfast will be Thursday 6/1 at 9am. Students earning awards or scholarships will receive an invitation. 

    ALL STUDENTS-please take a moment to fill out this follow-up survey regarding attendance & absences:

    Follow-Up Student Absenteeism Survey

    The Eagle of Excellence is a student award program in which Big Sky staff nominate Big Sky students each month who demonstrates, exhibit, or exemplify what it means to be an Eagle. To be an Eagle means you are or are striving to be responsible, respectful & resilient. Here is how students earn this award:

    In the last two week of each month, staff nominates one student who they believe did an excellent job of demonstrating or embodying the tenets of being an Eagle.   

     

    • “Eagle of the Month”
    • The administration sends out a Google Form asking for nominations

     

      • Staff nominate one student that demonstrates/exemplifies what it means to be an Eagle
      • In their nomination, staff tell us how their nominee exhibits being an Eagle
      • Admin collects all nominations and compiles a final four list for each grade level to send out to staff
        • These nominations will be included by grade level with their write up
      • Teachers will vote for one student per grade
      • The student with the most votes in each grade level will receive the Eagle of Excellence award
      • Admin team will deliver a certificate and prize (BSHS shirt, BPA card, etc.) to students during class; they will also be acknowledged on the next Eagle TV (picture and write up read); those that were nominated will be given the write up the teacher submitted

    This is a great way for our Big Sky staff to recognize a variety of Eagles from different walks of life who are striving to do their best each day. We look forward to celebrating your student!

    Have a great week Big Sky! Don’t forget to be checking the Big Sky calendar for all upcoming events!

    Jennifer Courtney

    Principal, jccourtney@mcpsmt.org

    Comments (-1)
  • Weekly Updates 1.15.23

    Posted by Jennifer Courtney on 1/15/2023

    A reminder of the upcoming finals schedule:

    • Monday 1/16-no school
    • Tuesday/Wednesday-regular 1-7 period
    • Thursday-regular block (2, Adv, 4, 6)
    • Friday-block (1,3,5,7)
    • Monday 1/23-no school (records day for teachers)

    Don’t forget to purchase your GOAT T-Shirt during lunch-shirts are $10 a piece and if you purchase a shirt you will receive a discount on your dance ticket. The Sweetheart Dance will be on Saturday 2/18 at Big Sky High School from 7-9pm.

    Have a great week Big Sky-be sure to check out the activities calendar for all upcoming events-Big Sky Calendar.

    Jennifer Courtney

    Principal, jccourtney@mcpsmt.org

    Comments (-1)
  • Weekly Updates 1.8.23

    Posted by Jennifer Courtney on 1/8/2023

    Dear Big Sky Students & Families-

    I want to take a moment and give a shout-out to our Big Sky Swim team! They dedicate every Saturday to getting in the pool and dominating this sport.  This upcoming Saturday 1/14 Big Sky should show up and make some noise, at Griz Pool at the University of Montana starting at 11 am!  

     Upcoming Finals Schedule:

    • Monday 1/16-no school
    • Tuesday/Wednesday-regular 1-7 period
    • Thursday-regular block (2, Adv, 4, 6)
    • Friday-block (1,3,5,7)
    • Monday 1/23-no school (records day for teachers)

    Do you need some extra help studying for finals? Next week (January 9-13), seniors in the National Honor Society will be offering lunchtime help with studying and homework! We will have students available to help with any subject. Come down to room 33 at lunch to get paired up with a tutor.

    Let’s give a shout-out to Officer Cameron our School Resource Officer, tomorrow, Monday is Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, Officer Cameron is a kind, compassionate member of our school community and we are lucky to have him in our school. 

    GOAT GAME!!! Is right around the corner! 

    February 17th, 2023

    The GOAT game is a yearly battle that Big Sky will finally be part of (or as I’d like to say taking the trophy).  This year we will battle Hellgate for the Golden Goat. This series of events is all about participating and sportsmanship.  The school that demonstrates these qualities (including winning the basketball games at the Adams Center) will have the Golden Goat for the next year and will take on Sentinel in 2024. 

    Things to think about right now are:

    • Student shirts will be on sale for $10 in the next few weeks, our goal is to sell at least 500!
    • Foam fingers and blue/gold crowd towels will be on sale for $3/$2 (we want every student to have something in their hands during the game)
    • We are looking for someone that can mix some music for us, we can’t share the theme yet, but if you have the ability to mix old & new together please reach out to me directly! 

    Have a great week Big Sky! As always if you need anything, don’t hesitate to reach out!

    Jennifer Courtney

    Principal, jccourtney@mcpsmt.org

    Comments (-1)
  • Weekly Updates 1.2.23

    Posted by Jennifer Courtney on 1/2/2023

    Dear Big Sky Students & Families-

    Welcome to 2023! There are only 3 weeks left in 1st semester, so nows is the time to check your Infinite Campus and dig deep to finish up strong.  Remember if you don’t pass a class required for graduation we will either place you in credit recovery 2nd semester or you will need to plan to retake it during the summer.

    We will also be sending out Honor Roll letters once the semester ends, we are so proud of our students for working hard and maintaining a 3.5 or higher GPA! This week’s email will include 2 important topics-welcoming our new Assistant Principal, Mr. Jack Young, and details on the GOAT Game! 

    Hello Big Sky! I am excited to join the Eagle family. My Name is Jack Young and I have been in education for 17 years. I join you from New Lenox, IL (southwest suburb of Chicago) where I taught in the Lincoln-Way school district. I spent 8 years at the North campus where I was a Physical Education teacher, Dean of Students, Department Chair, Head Wrestling Coach, and Head Cross Country coach. I left the North campus in 2015 after it was closed due to a reduction in district enrollment. I have spent the last 6 years at Lincoln-Way Central where I taught Physical Education, Dean of Students, Assistant Athletic Director, and J.V. girls soccer coach. As you can see, I absolutely love working with students and being part of a school community. I am married to my incredible wife Laura, and we have four amazing children Avery (12), Nolan (10), Louise (7), and Drew (5). We also have two Labradoodles Bryce and Millie. Moving to Montana has been a goal of our family since our first trip back in 2002. We love to hike, fish, ski, climb, spend time at the lake and most of all be outdoors as a family. Thankfully we have extended family in Missoula which will help with the cross-country move. I am excited for this opportunity and eager to begin working with the Big Sky staff, students, and families.  

    Go Eagles! 

    Jack Young

    jyoung@mcpsmt.org

     

    GOAT GAME!!! Is right around the corner! 

    February 17th, 2023

     

    The GOAT game is a yearly battle that Big Sky will finally be part of (or as I’d like to say taking the trophy).  This year we will battle Hellgate for the Golden Goat. This series of events is all about participation and sportsmanship.  The school that demonstrates these qualities (including winning the basketball games at the Adams Center) will have the Golden Goat for the next year and will take on Sentinel in 2024. 

     Things to think about right now are:

    • Student shirts will be on sale for $10 in the next few weeks, our goal is to sell at least 500!
    • Foam fingers and blue/gold crowd towels will be on sale for $3/$2 (we want every student to have something in their hands during the game)
    • We are looking for someone that can mix some music for us, we can’t share the theme yet, but if you have the ability to mix old & new together please reach out to me directly! 

    More details to come soon!!!!

     We have lots of activities happening this week:

    •  Tuesday-Wrestling Senior Night-4pm JV, 5pm Varsity
    • Thursday-Boy’s Basketball vs. Helena 4pm Frosh & Soph, 5:30pm JV, 7pm Varsity
    • Saturday-Girl’s Basketball vs. Capital 11am Frosh & Soph, 12:30 JV, 2pm Varsity

    Have a great week Big Sky! I am so proud of each of you and can’t wait to finish up semester 1 strong and start preparing for course registration for 2023-2024! Please be in touch if you have any questions. 

    Jennifer Courtney

    Principal, jccourtney@mcpsmt.org

    Comments (-1)
  • Weekly Update 12.18.22

    Posted by Jennifer Courtney on 12/18/2022 1:00:00 AM

    Dear Big Sky Students & Families-

    Booster Club has your last-minute Holiday gifts!  Big Sky Booster Club will sell Spirit Gear at the basketball home games on Tuesday, December 20th, from 4-7pm! 

    ***Wednesday is a 1-7 period day (not a block day), please plan accordingly

    ***GOAT game-hopefully you have marked your calendars! Over the winter break, there will be an opportunity for students to come in and make posters and get lots of things ready for the game-stay tuned for more details on which day/time. 

    This week’s Spirit Dress Up Days:

    • Monday: PJ Day and Hot Cocoa from Student Gov't
    • Tuesday: Crazy Sock Day
    • Wednesday: Ugly Holiday Sweater Day with a competition judged by the Student Gov't (submit/tag photos of you in a sweater to @bshsstudents Instagram to participate)

    Biomedical Surveys-we have a student looking into the absence rate at the three AA MCPS high schools. Please take a moment to fill out the survey regarding your personal knowledge and experiences with absences here at Big Sky- 

     

    Student Survey

    Parent Survey

     

    Congratulations to our Speech & Debate team for taking 1st place this weekend! 

     Speech and debate results

    Be sure to plan to come to the home Wrestling Dual on 1/3 (it’s our only home Dual) to cheer on our seniors! JV starts at 4pm, Varsity starts at 5pm.

    Have a great break Big Sky, I’ll send my next weekly updates on Monday 1/2.  If you need anything over the break please don’t hesitate to reach out! 

    Jennifer Courtney

    Principal, jccourtney@mcpsmt.org

    Comments (-1)
  • Weekly Updates 12.11.22

    Posted by Jennifer Courtney on 12/11/2022 3:00:00 AM

    Dear Big Sky Students & Families-

    I want to take a moment to express pride for our Big Sky community! Friday was a challenging day and at the end of the weekly updates, I’ll share more information but we also had a great showing from our Basketball, Wrestling, Speech & Debate, and Swim teams.  We have much to celebrate despite the stress. 

    I would encourage everyone if you are on social media to follow Big Sky High School for pictures, updates, and scores and to leave a comment for your peers.  Also, be sure to check out the Big Sky calendar page for upcoming events. 

     

     

    • Sign up for a winter break BREAKFAST KIT! If you would like to get a breakfast kit to help with a meal during the holiday, please fill out this link-Breakfast Kit 
    • The link must be filled out by Sunday 12/18 to get your kit before break. 

    As we go into the holiday season I am grateful to be the Principal of Big Sky and hope that you all can rest and rejuvenate over the break.

    Jennifer Courtney

    Principal, jccourtney@mcspmt.org

    Comments (-1)
  • Weekly Updates 12.4.22

    Posted by Jennifer Courtney on 12/4/2022

    Dear Big Sky Students & Families-

    This week have lots of competitions underway for our winter activities & athletics! We wish safe travels to our Basketball teams headed to Billings, Wrestling to Butte & Flathead, and Swimming & Speech & Debate to Kalispell.  Don’t forget to check out the updated Big Sky Calendar for all the activities coming up at Big Sky! Big Sky Calendar

    Also-students please consider purchasing your Activity Card for $25, this one-time fee gets you into all home events so you don’t have to pay each time.  If you need any support with a scholarship for this, please see Becca in the Attendance Office.  Here are a few additional updates for this week:

     

      • PSAT scores will be released on December 5th, if you took the PSAT in October you need to check the email you provided on your registration form to receive your score. 

     

    • Key Club is going to be selling Candy Cane Grams next week as a fundraiser for Soft Landing! We will be selling them for $1.00 each at lunch and students or teachers can buy them for whomever they would like in the school. They will be delivered on the last few days of school before break. 

      

    • Sign up for a winter break BREAKFAST KIT! If you would like to get a breakfast kit to help with a meal during the holiday, please fill out this link-Winter Break Breakfast Kit 
      •  The link must be filled out by Sunday 12/18 to get your kit before the break. 

     

    Lastly-Big Sky is a Title 1 school and as part of the state & federal plan to continue to receive funding (the Spaghetti and Breakfast kits are a few examples of what we can do with Title 1 $$) we are required to provide information to families throughout the year.  My request is that you take 5 minutes to watch our Value & Utility of Working With Parents presentation. 

    If you are interested in learning more about Big Sky’s Title 1 plan, please see the website link-Big Sky Title 1 Information 

    Thank you as always for your support of the Big Sky Community! Please be in touch if you have any questions.

     

    Jennifer Courtney

    Principal, jccourtney@mcpsmt.org

    Comments (-1)
  • Weekly Updates 11.27.22

    Posted by Jennifer Courtney on 11/26/2022 5:00:00 AM

    Dear Big Sky Students & Families-

    Welcome back after the break! I hope you enjoyed some downtime with family and friends and are ready to gear up for the 3 ½ weeks until the next break.  This week’s message has lots of things to note one of which includes an introduction to an additional Dean of Students-

    Hello to my new Eagle Family! My name is Christine Hiller-Claridge (most refer to me as HC) and I have been an educator for the last 12 years at Hellgate High School. Over those last 12 years, I have consistently been in the classroom teaching social studies, been the IB Coordinator and Credit Recovery Coordinator. In addition to academics, I coached volleyball at HHS from 2008 - 2015, four of which being the Head Coach. While I am a committed and dedicated educator, I take any opportunity I can to be with my family. We love to ski (alpine and backcountry), snowshoe, hike, be at the lake, watch a movie or play a game, or take a trip together. I am married and have two children, Finley (11) & Crosby (9). Finley is our performance arts enthusiast and Crosby loves his sports. I am quite excited for this opportunity to work with you all and look forward to getting to know each of you. 

    Go Eagles!

    Christine HC

    Mrs. HC will be working alongside Ms. Quinn and Mrs. Beed to support students.  I’ll be sending an introduction of our new Assistant Principal in the next few weeks.  We appreciate all of your patience while our administrative team has been short-staffed! 

    BSHS Holiday Giving Tree

    We want every Big Sky student and family to have a special holiday season. Please review the available wishes below and click on the button to sign up. Please bring labeled items to Big Sky High School front office by Monday, December 12th. Wrapped is great but unwrapped is fine too.

    https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0F4AAFAC29A1FDC61-bshs

    Student survey for Biomedical Innovations-Big Sky, take a moment to fill out the survey below to help collect data on how the amount of hours a student works affects stress levels (please fill out if you are 16-18 years old)

    https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdNF1vaAzi4P8zbuyLZ4Sivn2jj_T83uJVG4C7vafdBBhScnw/viewform?usp=sf_link 

    Thursday during Advisory we will be having our Fall Activities and Athletics celebration assembly-go to your Advisory first and then you will sit by grade level in the main gym! 

    Superintendent Search:  Community Forum

    Get involved in our Superintendent Search.  There will be a Community Focus Meeting on Monday, November 28th at 5:30 P.M. at Sentinel High School in the Margaret Johnson Theater.

    Have a great week Big Sky, please be in touch if you have any questions.  

     

    Jennifer Courtney

    Principal, jccourtney@mcpsmt.org

    Comments (-1)