Approaching A New Adventure… #SAVMP

Teachers arrive back to school tomorrow and our students will join us for a new school year on Wednesday. I love the beginning of a new year…everyone is excited!  My own children have their new school supplies separated, organized, and ready to be placed in their recently washed backpacks. They are eagerly awaiting for Wednesday!


As I enter my first year as principal, I reflect on the unforeseen changes that have occurred over the last two weeks. Our elementary schools have been overcrowded for the last few years; and the best way to provide space at this time was to add eight new classrooms (four at two separate schools).  Although the schools look beautiful and are ready for new students,  we had no idea that the additions would not provide enough space.

The administration team brainstormed many possible scenarios and the best situation for our students was to add a classroom at our school. However, our classrooms are also full… we had to get creative. Teachers, tutors, and Mental Health support staff had to move or share rooms.  We had to quickly post a new teaching position and hire a new teacher who would be ready for students in less than five days.

As I reflect on the last four days, I am truly grateful for my new team! They have been flexible, understanding, and supportive. Change is never easy, but this team consistently focuses on doing what is best for our students and they have rolled with it all! Thank you to the entire staff at Hedges Elementary!


3 thoughts on “Approaching A New Adventure… #SAVMP

  1. Natalie, it sounds like you are already creating those relationships which are so important as a principal. You’re consulting with others at your school and all of you are focused on making decisions based on what’s right for students. The challenges you face — overcrowding, hiring teachers at the last minute, moving people around to make room for students — those are similar to what we face at our schools as well. Flexibility and resourcefulness are very important traits for school administrators!

    What is causing the overcrowding in your area? Are more families moving back to their hometown? Are there new industries or businesses in your area? Is this a problem that will continue? If so, what is the District planning (besides building more classrooms)?

    Here’s wishing you a wonderful opening-of-the-school-year! If you’re like me, you may have difficulty sleeping tonight 🙂

    Keep in touch,

    • We are still trying to figure out why the overcrowding continues in our area. However, it seems that people are moving to back to Montana to be with family and to live among the beauty of the many mountains. We thought the eight classroom addition would help…I believe our district will pursue the need for an additional elementary.

      • That would be exciting – to start a brand new school! If you have the opportunity, jump on that chance! I started a new school as a teacher, and it was wonderful. I wish I could have that opportunity as a principal, but alas, it doesn’t seem like it’ll happen for me.

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