Students in Laredo, currently in the Havre High School district, will now have another option in their education.
On Tuesday night, Voyd St. Pierre, superintendent of the Rocky Boy School District, spoke to the Havre Public Schools Board of Trustees about a formal request that his district had placed with Havre’s.
St. Pierre and the Rocky Boy school board were asking, on the behalf of a group of parents and students in Laredo, to allow their buses a few miles into Havre High School territory to pick up five students and take them to Rocky Boy schools.
St. Pierre explained that Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation has a housing problem, forcing some families to go out to places like Laredo, almost halfway between Havre and Box Elder, to find places to live.
The Havre trustees struggled with the decision, as it went against their standing policy not to allow any buses to cross in or out of Havre districts.
St. Pierre’s presence was the result of a meeting that happened back in May when the trustees asked Havre Superintendent Andy Carlson to set up with all of the area school administrators after parents from Rocky Boy came to Havre to ask to have buses come pick up students on the reservation.
Carlson said he invited all the bordering administrators and only St. Pierre and Hill County Superintendent Diane McLean made it. This request was a result of that meeting.
“I appreciate their trustees taking the correct avenue to approach these matters, ” Carlson said. “That is truly the way that busing issues should be handled. ”
After debating the request and discussing the implications of making this exception, the board decided to allow Rocky Boy buses the 5.5 miles into the Havre district to pick up those students.
After the meeting, St. Pierre said that he and his board would now wait to see if Havre trustees would request to resume bus lines into the reservation, a practice that ended in 2009.
“I think we’re here for kids first, ” St. Pierre said, reiterating a point first made by the Havre Education Association representative during the request’s discussion. “We understand where Havre has concerns, and we’ve shared our concerns. Hopefully we have reached a consensus. ”
“I will continue to work with St. Pierre and his trustees towards reaching an agreement they are comfortable with, ” Carlson agreed.