PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
LOCKWOOD SCHOOL DISTRICT #26
YELLOWSTONE COUNTY, BILLINGS, MT
Regular Meeting


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May 11, 2004

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CALL TO ORDER                    MAY 11, 2004

The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of School District No. 26, Lockwood Schools, Yellowstone County, was duly held in the Board Room, 1932 U.S. Highway 87, Billings, Montana, on Tuesday, May 11, 2004, at 7:04 p.m.

Chairperson Tim Trafford presided. He led those present in the pledge of allegiance.

The following trustees and officers were present: Trustees: Gayle Walker, Tim Trafford, Teresa Stroebe, Robert Guenther, Greg Bochy, Becky Webber, District Clerk Diane Brook and Superintendent Eileen Johnson. Jim Painter was absent. New Trustees: Barbara Forrester Frank and Thomas Jones were also present.

Staff members present were: Dave DeBoer, Mike Bowman, Mike Sullivan, Cindy Gopp, Nancy Kaderavek, Nikki Alt, Stephanie Miller, Mary Kay Rottrup, Sue Stahley, Tina Muller, and Sue Robertson.

Registered guests were: Scott Pancheau, Denise Pancheau, Lois Giovanini, Bob Giovanini, Rich Marquess, Patty Lauver, Lynn Noble, Rich Montague, N. Morton, Richelle Marquess, Melissa Montague, Jacob Pancheau, Dan Lauver, Tom Giovanini, Jeffrey Sanders, Melissa Payne Sanders, Sarah Sanders, Za’Breeyhna Patricia Jane Verdell Morton, Diane Bomar, Gary Forrester, Jeanne Forrester, Casey Frank, and Art Anderson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES AND PAYMENT OF BILLS AND WAGES
The Board received a copy of the summary of paid bills by account. The summary included a detailed statement of all expenditures of money with the name of the person or business to which payment is made, showing the service rendered or goods furnished.

Becky Webber moved to approve the April 13, 2004 regular board meeting minutes and the April 26, 2004 special meeting board minutes as presented and the payment of all bills and wages and extracurricular bills. Robert Guenther seconded the motion. Chairman Trafford asked if there was any discussion. Seeing none he called for a vote. Tim Trafford, Gayle Walker, Robert Guenther, Greg Bochy, Teresa Stroebe and Rebecca Webber voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.

CERTIFICATION OF ELECTION RESULTS FOR TWO LEVIES

The May 4 official election results have been compiled and will be provided for your information. The results of the election indicate that Tim Trafford, Thomas Jones, and Barbara Frank will be seated on the Board. Many thanks to Angelo Bianco for his interest in the education of the students and entering the campaign for the school board. We hope that Angelo will remain involved with our schools. The Board is required to certify these election results. Sincere appreciation is extended to Becky Webber and Robert Guenther for their dedication to the students and community of Lockwood. They have given many hours for six years in service to the Lockwood School. Thank you.


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Regular Meeting
May 11, 2004

Robert Guenther moved to certify the official General Fund Levy Election and Building Reserve Fund Levy Election results as follows:

General Fund Levy

For the Additional Levy 276**
Against the Additional Levy 208

Building Reserve Fund Levy

For the Building Reserve Fund Levy 286**
Against the Building Reserve Fund Levy 190

Greg Bochy seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Becky Webber, Gayle Walker, Robert Guenther, Greg Bochy, and Tim Trafford voted yes; the motion passed six to zero.

CERTIFICATION OF ELECTION RESULTS FOR TRUSTEE ELECTION

Teresa Stroebe moved to certify the following official Trustee Election results.

Three (3) Three-Year Trustee Position

Angelo Bianco 219
Barbara J. Frank 279**
Thomas Jones 297**
Tim Trafford 313**

Gayle Walker seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Becky Webber, Gayle Walker, Robert Guenther, Greg Bochy, and Tim Trafford voted yes; the motion passed six to zero.

Departing Trustee Guenther spoke. He said that turn over is important to get new ideas. Robert noted that the best thing they did was to hire Eileen. He mentioned that Eileen finished her classes for full superintendent’s certification in six months or less even though they gave her a year or more. Mr. Guenther commented, “All my votes were based on what is best for kids, for school, and for taxpayers in that order.” Robert also pointed out the Golden Gavel Awards and the importance of them. He advised that getting education necessary to receive Golden Gavel Awards was started before he was on the board; they continued the tradition, and he hopes future boards will do the same.

Leaving Trustee Webber said when she and Robert decided to run they believed that one should run for two or three terms, then leave and make room for new people and new ideas. Becky said, “It is nice to leave with happy thoughts. Thank you it has been an honor. It’s all about the kids; keep that in focus.”

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Regular Meeting
May 11, 2004

RE-ORGANIZATION OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

A. Oath of Office for Elected Trustees

Diane Brook administered the Oath of Office to Thomas Jones, Barbara Forrester Frank, and Tim Trafford. Trustees signed their Oaths of Office and District Clerk Diane Brook signed them.

The Board took a short break for cake and refreshments in honor of the leaving trustees, Becky Webber and Robert Guenther.

B. Election of Officers

Gayle Walker nominated Tim Trafford for Board Chairman. Greg Bochy nominated Teresa Stroebe.

Teresa said she believed in passing the gavel around. Greg said sometimes it is good to shake it up a little bit, to get going down a new path. He noted Tim did well, and he just got through a heavy year. Teresa said there is beauty in having the gavel or sitting as a trustee. Thomas Jones said he was impressed with how Tim runs meetings and keeps things on topic.

Tim Trafford called for a vote. Barbara Forrester Frank, Teresa Stroebe, and Greg Bochy voted for Teresa Stroebe as Chairperson. Thomas Jones, Gayle Walker, and Tim Trafford voted for Tim Trafford as Chairperson. A presiding officer was unable to be determined at this time due to a tie vote.

Gayle moved to table election of officers until the next meeting. Greg Bochy seconded the motion. Tim asked if anyone had a problem with waiting. No one spoke. The motion passed.

Acting Chairman Tim Trafford skipped down to the agenda item of Public Request to Address the Board.

PUBLIC WRITTEN REQUEST TO ADDRESS THE BOARD

Lynn Noble had submitted a letter requesting to address the board about the Lockwood Community Care Center. She brought information, a prototype and posters, which will be on view at the Lockwood Fire House. Ms. Noble advised that they have no funding put together yet. They hope to house emergency medical care, a clinic, the ambulance, fire department, and sheriff, in one building that would also be a community center. The hope is to have 24-hour care immediately, as Emergency Medical Technicians are training to triage. The goal is to collectively gather the governments. The Lockwood Fire Department website has information about this. She was providing information to dispel rumors and educate. Ms. Noble said the idea is not to go out to get a mill levy; they are approaching different organizations to get grants or other money sources. She wants to use the school newsletter and to send information home with students as mechanisms to disperse information.

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May 11, 2004

Teresa asked if there were rules governing what schools can send out. Eileen responded she would prefer to get a clarification of the new ruling before she comments.

CORRESPONDENCE

None

EDUCATION AND BUSINESS

  A. Grade Six Extended Studies Students Present Project Citizen

Mrs. Gopp, extended studies teacher, was in attendance with her grade six students to present their Project Citizen entitled, “Bring the Plastic Back!”

The students gave an excellent presentation requesting that the School Nutrition Program use plastic trays instead of styrofoam trays.

  B. Bus Routes

Diane Bomar was present to answer any questions on the bus routes for 2004-2005. Supt. Johnson advised that the preliminary discussions with Diane indicated that there would not be any major changes for next year. Bus routes will be published in the August newsletter. Diane brought copies of these bus routes to the meeting.

Diane Bomar reported that next year there would be the same number of buses and bus routes as this year, which is nine. The routes will be pretty much the same as this year. The area that Bus No. 6 serves is growing. That bus has plenty of room at this time.

Diane commented that most buses have capacities of 65 or 71, and they run about 50% to 55% of capacity during the busiest times. Mrs. Bomar advised that we might need a new bus if we experience a lot of growth, depending on the speed of the growth.

Eileen talked about the first 25 homes being completed in Westgate. There will be 73 homes altogether.

Teresa asked about impact from Sierra Estates. Diane said there are quite a few new houses; we expect to see growth there. She commented we will handle it as it comes.

Eileen said as soon as she gets reports about new subdivisions or growth from the City County Planning Department, she and Diane review it to assess effects on bussing.

Teresa asked about the mile limit for state reimbursement; Eileen responded the student must be transported for three miles to be an eligible transportee qualifying for state funding. We transport students under three miles for safety issues.

There was some discussion concerning traversing private roads and requiring owners to keep them clear of snow and safe.

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Tim Trafford said they are fortunate to have Diane Bomar as lead bus driver.

Trustee Thomas Jones asked about increasing diesel fuel costs and the contract with First Student.

Eileen advised that we just recently signed a five-year contract with First Student, and part of the contract language allows for reimbursement for diesel costs higher than a certain rate.

Teresa Stroebe moved to accept the bus routes as presented. Thomas Jones seconded the motion. Thomas Jones, Teresa Stroebe, Tim Trafford, Barbara Forrester Frank, Gayle Walker, and Greg Bochy voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.

  B. Appoint Surrogate Parents

Leonard Orth, Special Education Director, requested the appointment of surrogate parents for a Lockwood School student.

Mrs. Johnson advised that this is a requirement under special education laws. She explained that under certain situations, the school district must appoint surrogate parents to speak for a child at Individual Education Program and Child Study Team meetings. It doesn’t happen very often, but is an important step in the law. Eileen reviewed the letter attached to the agenda with the trustees.

Trustee Barbara Forrester Frank moved to approve the appointment of Yvonne and Raymond Sanchez as the surrogate parents for M.S. Teresa Stroebe seconded the motion.

Gayle asked if Leonard was in favor of this appointment. Eileen said yes, the judge had made the appointment per Leonard’s request. Thomas Jones, Teresa Stroebe, Tim Trafford, Barbara Forrester Frank, Gayle Walker, and Greg Bochy voted yes; the motion passed six to zero.

  C. Five Year Plans

Supt. Johnson advised that each building has been working on updating goals for the state Five Year Plan. Some of the plans were attached to the agenda.

Intermediate Principal Dave DeBoer commented that this is a working document.

Eileen advised the trustees about the five-year plan requirements.

Mike Sullivan said the Middle School revisions would be given out at the next meeting.

Trustee Stroebe requested that revisions be marked for easy recognition by using strikethrough text or some other way of showing them clearly.

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May 11, 2004

  D. Elementary Handbook

Last month the 2004-2005 Elementary Handbook was given to the Board of Trustees for review.

Gayle Walker moved to accept the 2004-05 Elementary Handbook with the noted amendments. Barbara Forrester Frank seconded the motion.

Trustee Thomas Jones asked about Page 30 where it says a knife is considered a weapon if it has a four-inch or longer blade. Middle School Principal Mike Sullivan responded this is the definition of a weapon used by the Sheriff’s Department, so the school uses the same definition. Using a knife with over a four-inch blade is a prosecutable offense.

Dave DeBoer said, “We deal with any issue of a student carrying a knife. We investigate each situation on its own merits.” Each situation is examined using common sense and considering intent.

Eileen Johnson noted the change to Grade 3 science and social studies grading if the new handbook is approved. They will be reported on a pass/fail basis. Mrs. Johnson also commented that they needed to specify Karen DeBoer in the handbook as the Title IX Coordinator.

Thomas Jones, Teresa Stroebe, Tim Trafford, Barbara Forrester Frank, Gayle Walker, and Greg Bochy voted affirmatively; the motion passed six to zero.

  E. Middle School Handbook

Mr. Sullivan distributed the Middle School Handbook for trustees to review over the next month. Revisions and additions are shown in red.

Tim Trafford commented that it would be a good idea to e-mail or call Mr. Sullivan with questions or requested revisions in advance of the next meeting. This would give him an opportunity to research the issue and provide an answer at the meeting.

  F. Classroom Addition

Supt. Johnson advised since the Building Reserve Levy had been passed, bids for the classroom addition could now go forward. Architectural plans are ready; the next step will be to advertise for bids and awarding a bid.

Tim Trafford said the renewing of the Building Reserve levy was extremely important as it allows us to continue with the addition. Without the renewal, we would have had to downsize the addition.

Eileen said the architect is getting permits, which will cost $6,000; after that the bids will go out. She reported the addition would have six classrooms, a big multipurpose room, restrooms, and storage. Gayle asked about the size of the multipurpose room. It will be 2,000 square feet; the entire building project will add 10,850 square feet of space.

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May 11, 2004

PERSONNEL

Tim Trafford read letters of resignation from: Cliff Kane, Lori Schmitt, and Rocky Gomez. He noted that Cheryl Laird Robinson had not submitted a formal letter of resignation, but she had not signed and returned her teaching contract within the time limits so she effectively resigned.

Barbara Forrester Frank said the first election in which she participated was in Cheryl Laird’s classroom.

Tim Trafford wished them all good luck.

Cheryl Robinson said she had been at Lockwood for 18 years.

Greg Bochy moved to accept the above-mentioned resignations. Barbara Forrester Frank seconded the motion. Thomas Jones, Teresa Stroebe, Tim Trafford, Barbara Forrester Frank, Gayle Walker, and Greg Bochy voted yes; the motion passed six to zero.

  A. Updated List of Substitutes

Mr. Trafford read aloud the updated list of substitutes as follows: Mary Kay Anderson, James Nichols, and Corrie Bowman. Greg moved to approve hiring of these substitute teachers. Thomas Jones seconded the motion. Tim asked if they had been fingerprinted and background checked. Eileen said yes. Thomas Jones, Teresa Stroebe, Tim Trafford, Barbara Forrester Frank, Gayle Walker, and Greg Bochy voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.

  B. Teachers and Support Staff

Tim asked Art Anderson, who is on the list to be hired as Director of Facilities, to introduce himself. Mr. Anderson gave a brief resume of his work history and school board experience.

Eileen read through the 2004-05 staffing changes attached to the agenda and explained them to the trustees. She noted there has been quite a bit of movement and change in-house.

Teresa Stroebe moved to accept the recommendations for hiring and staffing as presented. Thomas Jones seconded the motion. Thomas Jones, Teresa Stroebe, Tim Trafford, Barbara Forrester Frank, Gayle Walker, and Greg Bochy voted affirmatively; the motion passed six to zero.

  C. Extracurricular Coaches for 2004-2005

Mrs. Johnson advised that there is only one 2004-05 extracurricular position not yet filled; it is seventh grade girls basketball coach.

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Gayle Walker moved to accept the extracurricular coaches for 2004-05 as presented. Barbara Forrester Frank seconded the motion. Thomas Jones, Teresa Stroebe, Tim Trafford, Barbara Forrester Frank, Gayle Walker, and Greg Bochy voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.

  D. Non-renewal of Teaching Contract for 2004-2005

Eileen recommended non-renewal without cause for Kim Johnson. Teresa Stroebe moved to accept Eileen’s recommendation of non-renewal without cause for Kim Johnson. Thomas Jones seconded the motion. Thomas Jones, Teresa Stroebe, Tim Trafford, Barbara Forrester Frank, Gayle Walker, and Greg Bochy voted yes; the motion passed six to zero.

  E. Primary Health Enhancement Position Discussion

Teresa Stroebe had requested this agenda item. She was hoping to be able to discuss this issue now that we know about our levies and more about our staffing.

Opportunity was give for public comment on this agenda item. Mary Kay Rottrup spoke. She said they had to drop an excellent established program, and the teachers in the primary building were hoping to have it re-instated, even if it is part-time. She discussed the importance of reinforcing good health habits and playing cooperative games. She read a report about fitness helping academic performance.

Mike Sullivan talked about the middle school staff. He said the Middle School is overcrowded, and they have over 30 kids in every section. He said, “We think we have a bigger problem. We think the [staffing] needs are in the middle school with overcrowded classrooms.

Stephanie Miller said the LEA- MEA members support adding the health enhancement position.

Mary Kay said student problems with being able to play cooperative games seem to be getting worse. Andrea Hofmann has had to adjust her PE program downward.

Teresa Stroebe said this is important, and children need to learn certain skills early, such as left and right. These are important stages in development, and she hates to see our children lose out on early PE skills. Teresa asked, “How far can we stretch our budget?

The comment was made, “It is like choosing between an arm and a foot.”

Tim Trafford said the fact that we don’t have a PE program in the primary doesn’t mean we don’t care about PE. He said from what he has been hearing, he doesn’t think even if we could add another full time equivalent position; the administrators would have PE as the number one priority.

Greg said when teachers are spread thin it is really hard to catch up.

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Gayle Walker talked about the logistics of a classroom teacher teaching PE. She suggested having a paraprofessional set up the gym for PE class, as a way of assisting the teachers.

Mary Kay said it would still be difficult. She said we could all take our kids out and have them run, but as far as cooperative games, etc, we do not have the expertise.

Teresa commented that getting the specialty certification for PE and Art is important.

Eileen said we planned our budget with the levy passing. We left enough for adding aides for one on one special needs situations should they arise. In the past these situations have been draining on the budget; it is part of mandated special education services that are not funded.

Supt. Johnson noted that she hopes to be receiving Maximus Medicaid funds or special funds for New Day. She advised that we have lost $110,000 from our grants, due to grant award reductions and that employer-paid benefits (social security, TRS, and unemployment) can no longer be paid from Retirement Funds. They must be paid from the grants themselves.

It was also reported that if Lockwood Schools does not meet Average Yearly Progress (AYP), we have to hire an approved consulting agency from the state and pay for it with Title 1 funds.

Teresa Stroebe said she wants the public to know that these cuts are real.

Eileen said if there is something the board wants changed in staffing, they need to direct her, and she will make the change.

Tim said we have agreement that Health Enhancement is important; we have disagreement on priorities.

Teresa Stroebe moved that we continue to study this PE position at the Primary level. Gayle Walker seconded the motion.

Mrs. Johnson advised that we do not have final figures yet; they are still preliminary. The final budget is not adopted until August. At that time, we will have more precise numbers.

Greg Bochy said he thinks the public needs to realize that it is Federal Funding cuts and unfunded mandates that are causing some of the problems.

Thomas Jones, Teresa Stroebe, Tim Trafford, Barbara Forrester Frank, Gayle Walker, and Greg Bochy voted yes; the motion passed six to zero.

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Regular Meeting
May 11, 2004

POLICY

  A. Recommendation of Change to Policy #2420 on Grading for Grade Three

Supt. Report: The policy on grading for science and social studies in grade three was changed as a trial by your actions for the past two years. The teachers are asking that this be a permanent change in the policy. Students will receive satisfactory or unsatisfactory for science and social studies. The attached Policy #2420 has the change underlined. I recommend this change.

Tim Trafford asked Dave DeBoer, Intermediate Principal, to clarify the policy change they are requesting.

Mr. DeBoer said due to length of the third grade day with the main emphasis being on reading and math, there were not enough gradable assignments in science and social studies to give a letter grade. The third grade teachers felt giving a pass/fail grade in science and social studies worked much better. After doing this on a trial basis for two years, they are now requesting that it become policy.

Tim asked about measurable results. Dave said this was mostly teacher driven, as they knew they were unable to give a true reflection of the student’s work with a letter grade. Mr. DeBoer said they have not had negative comments from parents about the pass/fail grades for social studies and science during this two-year trial period.

Supt. Johnson advised of one other change in Policy 2420. The parent conferences will be held once per year in grades K-8, instead of twice. In order to meet accreditation standards, we cannot have two conferences.

The vote was called regarding acceptance of the two above-mentioned changes to Policy No. 2420 on first reading.

Barbara Forrester Frank moved to approve the two changes to Policy 2420. Thomas Jones seconded the motion to accept the changes to Policy 2420 on first reading.

Gayle Walker asked how teachers feel about having only one parent/teacher conference per year.

Teacher Mary Kay Rottrup said, “You have the ones you need to have.”

Teacher Sue Robertson disagreed; she thought there would be mixed answers from teachers.

Gayle Walker said it is important for parents to know that they have the right to schedule a meeting regarding their child whenever they feel it is necessary.

Principal Mike Bowman thanked Gayle for her perception and concern for parental involvement. He said they are still having a lot of conferences, but not in the formal way.

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Greg Bochy commented about the pass/fail grades by saying that it is important for students to still strive to a higher standard and not just meet the minimum.

Thomas Jones, Teresa Stroebe, Tim Trafford, Barbara Forrester Frank, Gayle Walker, and Greg Bochy voted yes; the motion passed six to zero.

RE-ORGANIZATION OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES (continued)

At approximately 9:45 p.m., Diane read aloud Section 20-3-321 Organization and Officers, from School Laws of Montana to point out that the reorganization must be completed by the third Saturday in May, which would be by May 15, 2004, so the reorganization needed to be completed at this meeting.

It was decided to call Jim Painter at home and have him cast his vote via speakerphone.
Tim Trafford asked if anyone had an objection to this procedure. No one objected. Tim explained to Jim that there had been a tie vote for Chairman of the Board earlier in the meeting. Both he and Teresa Stroebe had each received three votes, so no decision could be made. He said there had been some discussion prior to the voting, which was briefly summarized for Jim.

The vote for Chairman of the Board was called.

The nomination of Teresa Stroebe as Chairperson received affirmation votes from Barbara Forrester Frank, Greg Bochy, and Teresa Stroebe. The nomination of Tim Trafford as Chairman received affirmation votes from Thomas Jones, Gayle Walker, Tim Trafford and Jim Painter (via speakerphone). The nomination of Tim Trafford as Board Chair passed by a vote of four to three.

Gayle Walker nominated Teresa Stroebe for Vice Chairperson. Tim Trafford nominated Greg Bochy for Vice Chairperson. The vote was called. The nomination of Greg Bochy received affirmation votes from Tim Trafford and Greg Bochy. The nomination of Teresa Stroebe received affirmation votes from Gayle Walker, Thomas Jones, Barbara Forrester Frank, and Teresa Stroebe. The nomination of Teresa Stroebe as Vice Chair passed by a vote of four to two.

  C. Appointment of the Clerk to the Board

The Trustees need to appoint a Clerk to the Board. Superintendent Johnson recommended the reappointment of Diane Brook.

Greg Bochy introduced a motion to appoint Diane Brook as clerk for the 2004-2005 school year. Thomas Jones seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Tim Trafford, Gayle Walker, Thomas Jones, Barbara Forrester Frank, and Greg Bochy voted yes. The motion passed six to zero.

The trustees signed the Certificate of Appointment of Clerk.

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  D. Appointment of Authorized Representatives

Eileen explained that authorized representatives are allowed to sign grants and contracts for certain amounts. Authorized representatives must be appointed each year. The superintendent and clerk usually serve in that capacity.

Thomas Jones moved to appoint Superintendent Eileen Johnson and District Clerk Diane Brook as authorized representatives for fiscal year 2004-2005. Greg Bochy seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Gayle Walker, Tim Trafford, Thomas Jones, Greg Bochy, and Barbara Forrester Frank voted aye. The motion passed six votes for and zero against.

  E. Appointment of Activities Fund Custodian

Superintendent Johnson advised the need to appoint an Activities Fund Custodian. She recommended that Debbie Strizich continue in that capacity.

Gayle Walker moved to appoint Debbie Strizich as activities fund custodian for the 2004-2005 school year. Thomas Jones seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Gayle Walker, Tim Trafford, Greg Bochy, Thomas Jones, and Barbara Forrester Frank voted aye. The motion was passed unanimously.

REPORTS AND MISCELLANEOUS

  A. Principals’ Reports

Tim Trafford said the reports were very well done.

Middle School Principal Mike Sullivan said he had nothing to add to his report. He invited the Board of Trustees to attend eighth grade graduation.

Intermediate Principal Dave DeBoer had nothing to add. He mentioned that he and Danielle McCarthy, who received the award, would be attending the Principal’s Leadership Award luncheon at the YMCA. Dave also gave Mrs. Miller special recognition for the spring concert. Tim asked Dave to congratulate Danielle.

Mike Sullivan said Jacob, a student who had been at the board meeting earlier, had received an award from the Elks. He would be taking him to the Elks for the awards ceremony.

Primary Principal Mike Bowman updated the trustees on kindergarten registration. He said it appears the kindergarten numbers for 2004-05 will be very close to the kindergarten enrollment this year. We will have another good-sized kindergarten class.

Mr. Bowman commented that Jennifer Sumner and Kim Paxinos agreed to share a room this year, so no one will have to be out in the hallway for tutoring.

Eileen mentioned the stress to principals this time of year with the many changes and decisions. She expressed her appreciation of their hard work.

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  B. Superintendent’s Report

As an addition to the Superintendent’s Report I have a request from Conrad Stroebe as Chairman of the Community Steering Committee. A community survey is being assembled and the committee is requesting questions from the Trustees about school issues they can place on this. The next Community Steering Committee meeting is May 27 at 7:00 p.m. in the Board Room

Eileen said she had nothing to add except to keep them informed about two phone calls from the governor’s renewal commission. One thing to be discussed is to allow the large K-8 school districts to become K-12 districts. The trustees asked Eileen how she felt about this. She said, “Off the cuff, options are always good, but it would have to be a community decision.”

Tim Trafford said the Community Steering Committee asked for representatives from other boards to be there. He was hopeful a member would be interested in trying to attend all or most meetings. He said it would be nice if the board had input and output. He asked trustees to think about that. He believes that they are doing a good thing. The meetings are the fourth Thursday of each month. Eileen said she tries to attend, but they are looking for elected board members to be representatives.

TRUSTEE REPORTS

  A. Two Resolutions from Teresa Stroebe for MTSBA

Teresa said the purpose of these resolutions is to have public input. It is vitally important for your community to realize they have options.

Teresa read the first resolution: MTSBA shall seek legislation to remove the moratorium on the creation of high school districts. It shall seek legislation to remove any moratorium on an independent elementary district forming an independent K-12 district.

Teresa said this falls into student equality and taxpayer equality. Teresa made a motion to support the above-mentioned resolution. Gayle Walker seconded the motion.

Teresa said there have been a lot of studies on size. Gayle said she agrees with smaller sizes and sometimes our hands are tied too much with regard to creating high schools.

Thomas asked if this was a moot point, due to Eileen’s phone call. Eileen advised that this is recommendation only, not a final decision.

Greg Bochy thinks it would be good to have the option and it would give us the control.

Tim said he doesn’t want to give the wrong signals to Billings District 2; he thinks we do have representation.

Teresa Stroebe, Gayle Walker, Tim Trafford, Greg Bochy, Thomas Jones, and Barbara Forrester Frank voted aye. The motion was passed six to zero.

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Teresa read aloud the second resolution: MTSBS shall seek legislation clarifying the number of years that a contract may provide future benefits to employees or contractors.

Trustee Teresa Stroebe moved to support the above-mentioned resolution. Barbara Forrester Frank seconded the motion.

Mrs. Stroebe said she would rather have school law start at the board level. Since this is a gray area that can cause problems, she would like to see people affected by the gray area solve the problems, rather than having the courts make school law.

Tim Trafford said we are not a lawmaking body; we are a policy making body.

Greg Bochy said he feels our body here should decide what is good for us. He said we should take the control here and not hope someone else can make it right.

Teresa said some legislators might want to put on limits.

Barbara Forrester Frank said she would hate to limit other districts in their recruiting power.

Trustee Bochy said each budget is different; I feel we should have the control not someone else.

Chairman Trafford asked Teresa if she could take this forward as a representative without the board. Teresa said yes.

Gayle Walker and Teresa Stroebe voted to support the above-mentioned second resolution. Greg Bochy, Thomas Jones, Barbara Forrester Frank, and Tim Trafford voted no. There were four no votes and two yes votes; the motion failed.

Tim Trafford informed those present that the trial had concluded last week. There was a jury verdict and a jury assignment of damages. The judge has not finished up yet. The jury found in favor of the plaintiff. Tim advised that sometime this week Judge Cebull would probably issue his final judgment of the case.

Teresa said she attended the professional development meeting. The minutes of those meetings are posted online.

PUBLIC COMMENT ON SCHOOL ISSUES

Teacher Stephanie Miller asked where the money for the lawsuit and settlement comes from. Supt. Johnson responded that the Errors and Omissions liability insurance carried by the school district provided legal council. It is the assumption that this liability insurance will cover the liability in this case.

It was reported that during the trial on Thursday, the plaintiffs moved to dismiss the individual trustees as defendants.

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There was a brief discussion as to whether or not the opportunity for public comment on school issues should be placed earlier on the agenda.

NEXT MEETING

The next regular meeting is Tuesday, June 8, 2004, at 7:00 p.m.

ADJOURN

Greg Bochy moved to adjourn the meeting at approximately 10:50 p.m. Thomas Jones seconded the motion. Greg Bochy, Thomas Jones, Barbara Forrester Frank, Gayle Walker, Tim Trafford, and Teresa Stroebe voted yes; the motion passes six to zero.

 

__________________________________           ________________________________

         Timothy Trafford, Chairman                            Diane M. Brook, District Clerk

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