Pass Creek School has only six students this school year – two seventh-graders, two kindergarteners, one in first grade and one in second.
And because the school has fallen below 10 students for several years, Gallatin County School Superintendent Mary Ellen Fitzgerald will ask commissioners on Tuesday to approve an application to classify the one-room schoolhouse as an “isolated school.”
According to state law, any elementary school that falls below an average of 10 students for two consecutive years must apply to have the school classified as an isolated school. The trustees of the school must specify “conditions affecting transportation such as poor roads, mountains, rivers or other obstacles to travel,” the distance the school is from any other school and conditions that would result in an unusual hardship to the pupils if forced to go to another school.
The closest school to the tiny one-room schoolhouse is Springhill School, another small, rural school that has 19 students this year, Fitzgerald said. Springhill is more than 12 miles from Pass Creek on mostly gravel roads.
Pass Creek is almost 20 miles north of Belgrade and about half the roads between are gravel.
Also on the commission’s regular meeting agenda are:
* A discussion about changing the boundaries of the Fort Ellis Fire Service Area.
* A decision to accept a contract for a Community Development Block Grant for the Gallatin Gateway Water and Sewer District.
* A public hearing on refunding the 2006 Open Space Bonds.
* Amending budgets for several departments including the sheriff’s office, county attorney, road department and city-county health department.
* A public hearing to discuss revising qualifications to serve on boards of adjustment.
The commission meets at 9 a.m. Tuesdays in the community room at the Gallatin County Courthouse, 311 W. Main St. in Bozeman.
Meetings are televised on community cable television and audio streamed on the county’s website, www.gallatin.mt.gov.
Jodi Hausen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 582-2630. Follow her on Twitter @JodiHausen.