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SCSD2 awards bids, discusses bullying

SHERIDAN — Delta Construction received the bid contract at last night’s Sheridan County School District 2 board meeting for renovation of the Story School. The bid approved by the board is for $1,249,860 and work on the project will begin soon.

Board trustee Jim Perkins questioned facilities director Julie Carroll about the cost of the building renovations, noting that he believed an earlier estimate put the cost of the work closer to $850,000. Carroll said the earlier estimate had to be revised, since it was determined that the septic system and leach field would have to be replaced, restroom facilities would need to be moved to the new front part of the building and special electronic security doors would be installed.

The board also heard from Kristina Nicholls, counselor at Sagebrush Elementary, about the anti-bullying program called “Girls Night Out” hosted at the school.

The program began last year with third- through fifth-graders at Sagebrush Elementary in response to problems that were showing up at the school.

“We were having a lot of girl drama, a lot of friendships problems,” Nicholls told The Press, noting that many students were approaching teachers and faculty for help. “We were trying to be proactive and teach the girls how to handle those issues on their own, how to confront bullying, how to stop it, how not to be a bully and how to step in and be an up-stander and help other people when you see it happening to them.”

To help the students, Nicholls arranged “Girls Night Out.” The students were encouraged to invite a special woman in their life — a mother, aunt, grandmother or other significant woman — to a dinner, followed by a movie and discussion. The movie focused on the story of a girl who was bullied and how she handled it.
The program was so successful, that they held another “Girls Night Out” Feb. 27. Again, a dinner was shared and the group heard from Dr. Amanda Turlington of Northern Wyoming Mental Health Center about cyberbullying and Internet safety.

“This year it kind of grew,” Nicholls said. “We included all of the elementary schools and invited just fourth- and fifth-grade girls. We had 150 to 175 people this year. It was a great showing.”
“We have,” she added about whether she has seen reduced bullying problems. “There’s always going to be drama but it seems the girls have learned some tools to be able to handle it on their own and to step in and keep it from happening to others.”

Nicholls said the success of the past two events has encouraged the school to consider hosting the event annually, as well as expand to include a “Boys Night Out” next year.

“Mostly this came out of the girls being so vocal about it, but boys aren’t,” she said. “They deal with it differently. The focus of that (program) would be good sportsmanship, tolerance, respecting differences and non-violent problem solving.”

The school board also accepted several donations to Sheridan High School. The Witzel Family Foundation donated $520 to purchase tickets to attend a drama presentation at Casper College. First Interstate Bank and the B.F. and Rose H. Perkins Foundation each donated $1,000 toward Destination Imagination. Sheridan-Wyo-Rodeo donated $1,000 to the FFA for service performed during the rodeo and the Sheridan-Wyo-Rodeo Gold Buckle Club donated $1,000 to FFA for officers to attend a Leadership Camp.

“We’ve had a very generous community this spring,” said SHS Principal Dirlene Wheeler.

About

Christina Schmidt

Christina Schmidt has worked at The Sheridan Press since August 2012. She covers a variety of feature stories as well as stories related to local schools.

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