Darnell explains SD10 policies, programs


Dr. Tom Darnell, SD10 Superintendent

Dr. Tom Darnell, Superintendent of Anaconda School District No. 10, explains, in his own words, how he governs the schools and policies within SD10. He goes into detail how the district is staffed and operated.


 The Anaconda School District Number 10 is a Class A school district located in Anaconda, Montana with a student enrollment hovering around 1000 students and 81 certified staff.  Numerous support staff including cooks, engineers, paraprofessionals, secretaries, custodial aides, instructional aides, and others provides the services necessary to operate the school district on a daily basis.  The school district is one of the largest, if not the largest, employer in Anaconda. The district is a K-12 district and maintains and operates five different campuses.  Dwyer Primary houses grades k-2; Lincoln Elementary houses grades 3-5; Fred Moodry Middle School houses grades 6-8; Anaconda High School houses grades 9-12; and the Anaconda High School Technology Center houses the high school vocational programs as well as the central offices for the school district.  In addition, we maintain and use two athletic facilities.  Mitchell Stadium, a landmark historical stadium, is used for Football and Track programs and events.  The Memorial Gym, also a historical building, is used for physical education, volleyball, basketball, and wrestling as well as numerous other group or community events.

Numerous educational innovative programs are presently being utilized within the district.  Some of these include a “Response to Intervention”  program for the primary grades; a Striving Readers Program; a four track graduation program for the  high school students; Graduation Matters; and Aspire.  All of these programs are designed to benefit students in the district’s goal of improving learning opportunities for all of our students.  The district also offers after school tutoring for students who qualify for this additional remediation.  An early childhood program is housed at Dwyer Elementary for preschool children who have special learning needs.  Several students reside in group homes located in the community.  In a cooperative agreement with the AWARE organization we educate approximately 25 of these children in their new facility located just off of Highway 1 east of town.

Extra -curricular activities are an important part of the school’s offerings for our students and include athletics, music, and numerous student clubs and organizations.  Sports activities offered include football, volleyball, golf, basketball, wrestling, cross county, track, softball, and tennis.  Our music programs include both vocal and instrumental music.  The district also offers the opportunity for students to participate in orchestra in grades 5-12.  Numerous clubs offered at the middle school and high school give students the opportunity to delve into areas of interest and/or community service such as student council, key club, National Honor Society, and others.  In cooperation with the Discovery Ski facility we offer a downhill skiing program for grades 3-8 as well as an after school Archery in the Schools program for grades 5 and up.

The history of the community and the loss of the mining industry have had a significant impact on the school district.  The student enrollment has dropped since the mid 1980’s of an enrollment of more than 2500 students to the present level of just above 1000.  This decline has precipitated the closing of four school buildings over the years.  Closings include the Beaver Dam School, Dwyer Intermediate, Washington School, and a junior high building.  The District has authorized a committee to study the feasibility of a possible additional building consolidation.  This study is to be conducted and completed by early next spring with a recommendation to the Board of Trustees on how to proceed during the upcoming school years.

The school district has agreements with several organizations in providing services for our student body.  We utilize services of Altacare, Aware, Head Start, as well as others.  We cooperate with the community in the use of school facilities by the general public.

The school district is governed by a seven member Board of Trustees who meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the District’s Board room located in the Technology Center located at 1410 West Park.  These meetings are open to the public and we welcome your attendance.

The district is proud to play an important role in the lives of our youth and will continue to strive to provide the educational services and programs needed to develop “well rounded” future citizens of Anaconda and the state of Montana.   GO COPPERHEADS !!!!