Category Archives: Weather Closures

Get immediate email notifications about Weather Cancellations for our regularly-scheduled classes.

Fall 2021 Course Registration Is Open!

Registration for Fall 2021 is open, and we’re expecting our biggest enrollment yet! You can now register right away—and we are now taking online payment through PayPal. Courses are $60 per student per semester starting September 1, but if you pay now, it’s only $50. (You may pay by check on the first day of class at the $60 rate.)

Click here to see our list of course offerings.

Great Room Meeting. 26 April

Here’s an audio recording of today’s meeting about the future of the Great Room classes. You’ll have to sign up for a free account at buzzsprout to hear it. Sorry about that, but the file is too large to host at our website or on Facebook.

https://www.buzzsprout.com/1044103/episodes/3518002

Important Meeting: Sunday 4/26 at 3:00

In these difficult social/political/economic times, the future of the Great Room is in doubt. I’m calling a meeting, therefore, for all parents and students who would like to discuss what it will take to move forward. If there is a way to keep going, it’ll likely be figured out on Sunday, so if you’d like to be involved, please find a way to attend. Unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury of playing wait-and-see through the summer, so now is the time to be proactive.

The meeting is at 3:00 p.m. in the Great Room, this coming Sunday, April 26.

I have sent out a notice about this post through the Remind app. Please do let me know in advance if you plan to come.

Thanks!

Jack

New Communications App Now in Use!

Parents, to increase our efficiency and effectiveness in communication, we’ve just set up ten new “classes” in the “Remind” app. We need all parents with smart phones to go get the app and to register for those classes that pertain to them and/or their students. You’ll find our school listed under “We, Montana!”. You can download the app here.

For most new posts we make here, we’ll send out the appropriate notifications on the Remind app so that you’ll be informed immediately of things that pertain to you. So please go take a few minutes to look through the ten “class” options there—one of which is for “Weather Closures”, by the way.

Weather Closure Notifications in Process

Parents and Students,

I’m in the middle of implementing a new messaging technology through Remind.com. I hear that the service is really good, but having just entered in names and phone numbers for all who signed up to be on the text message list for weather closures, I see that the invitation message (over which I have no control?) is rather poor. It reads:

Hi ______, this is J. Pelham. I’m using Remind to send important updates…..

Most of you have probably already received a text message like this. Please respond to it. It’s legitimate.
Also, there were a handful of students signed up as well, and I’ll be entering those numbers into the system in the next few minutes. So they should be receiving similar messages shortly.

Thanks!

Jack

Road Report: 9 December 2019

All classes are a “go” for today, but judge for yourselves whether or not to travel.


See the latest road report.

I drove from Laurel to the Great Room at 5:30am today and here’s what I found:

  • Laurel to Zoo Drive: Lots of black ice. 45 mph proved to be a safe travel speed.
  • Zoo Drive to South Billings Boulevard was much clearer. 55 mph was safe.
  • South Billings Boulevard / Blue Creek was in surprisingly good shape all the way to Jellison.

I’m looking forward to seeing whoever makes it out today!

Jack

Adjusted Schedule for Monday Classes

Thank you all for the outpouring of prayers and sympathy on the occasion of my father’s death. I found out Sunday evening and promptly canceled Monday classes, expecting that we’d be flying immediately to Florida. But as it turns out, they decided to postpone the funeral until next Monday, December 1st, on account of this being a holiday week. So naturally, classes will be canceled for the 1st also.

These things happen, of course, and obviously, this makes quite a wreck of our semester-end events. So here’s plan going forward. If you’re all willing, on Monday, December 9, all classes will meet for a last class session for the semester. Then we’ll move the special events (bands, chorus, general music, and skits) into late January or early February—which will give us a chance to make up for lost rehearsals at the beginning of the next semester.

I want to begin the January semester on Monday the 13th. So I’ll figure out some exact dates and times in the next day or two and will post those.

Please let me know via email if your students can make it to class on December 9. (There may have been some confusion for each class regarding which Monday was supposed to be the last day of the semester.)

CLASS-SPECIFIC NOTES

Chorus. If you will please keep practicing at least a little through the end of the year, we should be in pretty good shape to pick it back up again on January 13 and to prepare for a concert in 3 or 4 more rehearsals. That, on top of a good rehearsal on December 9 will put us in good shape.

Skits. If you will keep working on memorization of your lines, and can come to class on 9 December, we’ll plan a for-family performance for February—AND a second performance of the same show, where we charge admission. It’ll be an experiment for us to see if we can figure out how to earn our own keep a little bit. I’d like to sell 100 seats at $5 each.

Beginning Band. If most of you can come to class on December 9, we’ll start learning the Mo’ Better Blues and have a legit concert in late January or early February.

Intermediate Band. We’ll learn Mo’ Better Blues, too, and will play along with the Beginning Band in the concert mentioned above. You can also do your solos then, and we’ll perform Mercy, Mercy, Mercy (and perhaps one of hte others) for the concert.

General Music. If you can come to class on the 9th, we’ll have lots of fun, and we’ll sing a couple of Christmas songs—and we’ll practice the Montana State Song so that you can sing it in the early-Spring concert along with the big chorus!

Parents. We still have a large number of parents (over 20) who are not getting our email notifications of new articles that are published (like this one). This presents a considerable difficulty for us, as it’s hard to figure out who is not getting notified. Would you please go be sure you’re signed up to get the notifications, and that they’re actually WORKING? And if you think they’re not working, we really need you to check your spam/junk filter to see if they’re in there. If we can’t communicate with you reliably, it makes it very difficult to navigate the semester—and especially the concert season.
To be super-clear, we don’t just need for YOU to be satisfied that you’re getting our messages; we need you to tell US you are. And if you forget to do it, then we think you’re not, so we have to look for a way to contact you separately to find out. So please take a few minutes to let us know your status.
You can sign up for notifications (the first time) here. And you can edit your preferences here.
Oh, and please be sure you’re signed up for notifications for EVERY class your kids are taking—as well as for the Weather Closure category, and things like Movie Night and Talent Show (if you want those). The more we can be sure that everybody gets the posts they need, the easier life is for us all!

Homeschool Talent Show and Christmas Party. It’s still on for Monday, December 16! It’s not too late to sign up an act. Just contact me!

Movie Night. Movie Night is still on for Friday, December 20! We’re showing White Christmas. If you don’t already have plans for that night, please come join us and have some Christmas fun.

We Have a New Web Host!

Please send us an email to let us know you got the notification for this post! jackpelham@wemontana.org

I apologize for all the email troubles of late—and the website being up and down. Can you say “Cheap hosting company?”

Well, I’m glad to report that wemontana.org is now hosted by Zee Creative of Billings, MT, where we know by experience that the site will run with high reliability—as will the emails.

For those who are subscribed to our various post categories, we hope you’ll start getting emails that were previously being blocked by your email or Internet providers—but it remains to be seen just how it will work in each case.

Would you please take a moment and send an email confirming that you received the email notification for this post? That will help us to know how well it’s working.

Thanks!

Jack

Students Encouraged to Get Email Notifications

Dear Parents,

With the busy semester fast approaching, and with our total enrollment breaking 80 as of yesterday, I am reminded of the many benefits of excellent communication. I’d like you to consider having your students sign up for our email notifications for those categories of announcements that concern them. This can help reduce the likelihood that our announcements are missed altogether by a family, and can also increase the student’s overall habits of taking responsibility for his or her own learning and involvement. Obviously, this may not be the best strategy for our youngest students (at 6 years old), but many of them may be ready as early as 9 or 10. Naturally, you can decide what you think is best.

What I have in mind most specifically are reminder announcements for assignments, or announcements that announce new assignments not made in class. For example, an announcement might call for the Chorus to be ready to rehearse a certain number, or the Etiquette Class might be reminded to memorize a short poem. And further, we have at least six students this semester who are taking on teacher-assistant roles in the various courses, and it would be particularly good to have them well informed.

Thanks for your consideration! It’s going to be a great semester.

Jack Pelham

Website and Email Troubles

For the past couple of weeks, our web services have been intermittent. It’s up and running at the moment, but may well crash shortly, so I thought I’d send out this email while I can.

As soon as it seems to have been (really) resolved, I’ll send out another email to let you know.

Meanwhile, be advised that I have received several registrations through email in these past days, but I can’t respond to those emails when the system is down. No worries, though; I expect it to be resolved perhaps as early as tomorrow.

Thanks for your patience.

Jack

PARENTS: Need Your Help!

Hey, We, Montana! parents—-I need your help! As you know, we are taking an aggressive step forward for the Fall, so it’s forcing me to work both harder and smarter–as they say. If you’re willing, you can help make this easier for me in what may be a surprisingly simple way. It’s about communication. Please take a few minutes to read the following.

Continue reading PARENTS: Need Your Help!