Online engagement dates

Each year, as part of a continuous improvement cycle, Rocky Mountain School District develops an operational plan that outlines the goals and strategies that will be the focus of the work for the upcoming year. This plan is guided by the current 4-year strategic plan using a variety of student data as the foundation for decision making, schools develop school success plans that identifies targets for improving student learning.

Join the District online to hear more about the draft 2024-25 Operational Plan.

April 30 at 10-11am

May 1 at 7-8pm

May 10 at 1-2pm

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Rocky Mountain School District No. 6

Posted on Dec 11, 2023
Several students and a instructor in a high school theatre.  Two students in the front of the picture have opened two trombone cases and the trombones are sitting behind them. Two students meet with the instructor in middle of the photo.  Another student
DTSS students participating in the instrumental music program led by Bryant Oleander

Rocky Mountain School District is excited to announce that they have hired Bryant Olender to lead a new music program for the students in the Columbia Valley. Bryant is well-known in the community for his extensive music career which includes being the music director and pianist for Michael Buble.  He is currently producing local artists and is the new Director of Valley Voices Choir. 

The new music program has begun with a bang.  There are over 60 students participating between J. Alfred Laird Elementary School (Laird) and David Thompson Secondary School (DTSS).  At Laird, there are 25 students in the ukulele club and 12 in the vocal music program. The group has named themselves the Singing Bananas. In the first few weeks, the ukulele club has learned most basic chords on their instrument and have been practicing seven songs for their upcoming performance at Garden of Lights event to be held at Groundswell Community Greenhouse and Gardens. The Singing Bananas have learned ten Christmas songs for their performance.

At DTSS, 20 students have signed up for the instrumental music program and a group of students have also formed a vocal music group. In the first two weeks, all the band students went home with an instrument, and each were able to make sound and play it by the week they returned. The vocal music program is shaping up to be a group of motivated students that are trying vocal jazz and pop music.  They are excited about where this might take them. 

Superintendent Karen Shipka stated, “we are very excited to hire Bryant and rebuild our music program in the Columbia Valley.  Despite our extensive efforts, the district was unsuccessful in recruiting a music teacher however the district was always committed to providing this learning experience for students. We heard our school community express a great desire for a music program and even though it took some time to find the right person, we found that in Bryant”.

Principals Mike Hubick and Terri Ann Hayes are very excited for the music programs being offered at their schools.  Principal of DTSS, Mike Hubick said, “I am thrilled with the early interest shown by parents and students in the extracurricular music programs now being offered at David Thompson Secondary School.  We are blessed to have the talent and commitment of Mr. Bryant Olender to lead us forward, providing opportunities for youth in the valley.  Mr. Olender’s commitment to foster music talent and fill the valley with music is an inspiration.  Already, I have observed Mr. Olender working with students and am impressed with his ability to engage students and capture their imagination!"

His sentiments were echoed by Principal of Laird, Terri Ann Hayes, "We are so pleased to be able to offer high quality music instruction to our students at Laird. For many of our students, ukulele and choir are the highlight of their week! Mr. Olender brings so much joy and enthusiasm to his music classes; we are all privileged to be able to work with him this year".

Students are being offered the instrumental music program on Tuesdays and vocal music program on Thursdays at DTSS, and ukulele and vocal music program on Fridays at Laird.  Bryant Olender shared, "Overall, I am so impressed by the motivation every single one of these kids has. In a short time we have started a great foundation for something that will grow into a beautiful culture at the schools. I am truly grateful to be a part of this and am enjoying every single moment". 

If your child attends DTSS or JALES, and you would like to register them in one or both programs, please contact the school.