Regular Meeting

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August 12, 2003

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The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of School District No. 26, Lockwood Schools, Yellowstone County, was duly held at the Lockwood Board Room, 1932 U.S. Highway 87, Billings, Montana, on Tuesday, August 12, 2003, at 7:05 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, Becky Webber, Robert Guenther and Jim Painter, Superintendent Eileen Johnson, and District Clerk Diane Brook. Trustee Greg Bochy was absent.

Registered staff members were: Mike Bowman, Dave DeBoer, and Sue Robertson. Mike Sullivan was also present.

Registered guests were: Thomas Jones and Evelyn Pyburn.


Rebecca Webber moved to approve the minutes of the July 8, 2003, regular board meeting as presented. Gayle Walker seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Gayle Walker, Jim Painter, Becky Webber, Robert Guenther and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.


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.

A motion was introduced by Becky Webber and seconded by Teresa Stroebe to approve the payment of all bills and wages and extracurricular bills. Tim Trafford, Teresa Stroebe, Becky Webber, Robert Guenther, Jim Painter and Gayle Walker voted yes; the motion passed six to zero.

None was received.

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Chairperson Trafford said any person, who wishes to do so at this point in the agenda, may address the board or raise any questions about public school district matters or governing policies. No discussion of personnel is permitted at this time. A limit of three minutes is placed on each speaker.

Persons wishing more time may make arrangements to be placed on a future agenda.

No one spoke.


Chairman Trafford told those present that notification was received advising that a trial date of May 3, 2004, in the Court of Judge James F. Battin has been set for the McCracken lawsuit.

Merlin Myers Trust and Dale and Terri Myers served the Lockwood School District with a lawsuit. This is Cause No. DV03-7838 - Judge Diane G Barz. Chairman Trafford reviewed the request presented in the lawsuit.

Mr. Trafford expressed the opinion that it is ridiculous to take school and educational resources, time, money and staff for this lawsuit.

Teresa agreed that the district should not have to waste taxpayer money on legal issues.
Tom Jones asked about how much the lawsuits had cost. Tim responded that he did not know.

Mr. Trafford pointed out that there was going to be a special meeting on August 19, 2003, at 7:00 p.m. to discuss legal strategy for this lawsuit.

It was also noted that on Tuesday September 9, at 6:00 p.m., prior to the regular board meeting, there would be a closed session to discuss legal strategy for the McCracken lawsuit. Mr. Trafford advised that Larry Martin is the district’s lawyer for the Myers’ case and Ken Tolliver and Bobbie Frazer are the district’s lawyers for the McCracken lawsuit.


   A. Report to Trustees on grading policy for activities

Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Osborne were present to discuss the impact of the new grading policy on activities and student achievement.

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Mr. Sullivan advised trustees that data from previous the year is unavailable once the year is rolled over in the PowerSchool system. He said that they found it very difficult to get numbers to look at. He did review historical grades of all eighth graders for the first quarter and last quarter of last year. Eighth graders from quarter one to quarter four had 25 less D’s, and five less F’s in the fourth quarter versus the first quarter. Seventh graders first quarter compared to fourth quarter had 47 less D’s, and 15 less F’s. Mike said it is very difficult to determine what this data means at this point in time.

Mr. Sullivan advised that they would track the athletic groups and keep the paper data during this school year.

Eileen asked if they could report at the end of each major season. Mike and Rob said yes.
Rob thought another year would be a better indicator, as the new policy did not start until girls’ basketball season last year.

Trustee Robert Guenther said he agrees that the only way to do it is to go forward and track this year’s data.

Chairman Trafford said he would be interested in knowing which kids would not be participating if the old criteria was in effect. Mike said he would try to track that information for this year.

Jim asked Mike Sullivan and Rob Osborne why he was not informed of their meeting, since he was a part of the committee. Mike responded because they didn’t feel there was enough data available at this time.

Rob explained what he did last year. He would do weekly grade checks. He doesn’t have numbers, but he said he saw more D’s on grade checks than he saw previously. He said of the 199 students who participated in sports, we only lost one because of the grading policy. He believes that we would have lost 20 to 30, if the C- grading policy was still in place. He does not have the actual statistics to back that up; it is just his estimate. Mr. Osborne reported that participation numbers are greater.

Tim suggested a case study of a student who got a single D, and under the past policy he would have lost a week of sports. Did he benefit from being able to participate, or did it inhibit his learning?

Mike Sullivan advised that research is solid that participation is good for students.

Eileen said that the research says that kids who participate have better behavior and that leads to better esteem. Eileen said prior to this grading policy change Rob was getting a lot of calls from parents. Rob said the number of parental calls went from double digits to two.

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Tim said he would like to have this be an ongoing issue. Would they put together a report for the November meeting about the sports that ended in October? Tim also wanted Jim included on these meetings.

Teresa asked about Bridges data. Mike said he would share that with the Board in September or October.

   B. Trustees Financial Summary for 2002-2003

Diane Brook presented the Trustees Financial Summary Report for the 2002-2003 school year.

Chairman Trafford said he would entertain a motion. Teresa Stroebe moved to approve the 2002-2003 Trustees Financial Summary as presented. Robert Guenther seconded the motion. Robert Guenther, Teresa Stroebe, Jim Painter, Becky Webber, Tim Trafford, and Gayle Walker voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.

   C. Budgets for 2003-2004

Business Manger/District Clerk gave an overview of the 2003-2004 Budget, which was presented for Board approval.

After a brief discussion, the trustees reached consensus that the Block Grant Funds for Tuition, Adult Education and Building Reserve should be allocated as presented: $3,080.12 to Adult Education and $106,672.72 to Building Reserve.

Becky Webber moved to adopt the 2003-04 Budgets as presented. Teresa Stroebe seconded the motion. Robert Guenther, Teresa Stroebe, Jim Painter, Becky Webber, Tim Trafford, and Gayle Walker voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.


A. Updated list of substitutes – See attached list
B. Extracurricular activities – See attached list of coaches/sponsors
C. Crossing guards - Carie Hess & Claudia White
D. Title I Tutors - Ann Barsness, Dara Fladmo, Dana Hultgren
Kim Paxinos, Connie Bone
E. Health Enhancement Teacher - Middle School - Randall Rice

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Teresa Stroebe asked about background checks. Eileen advised that background checks had been completed.

Becky Webber moved to approve hiring the people listed and recommended by Supt. Johnson for Substitutes, Extracurricular Coaches and Sponsors, Crossing Guards, Title 1 Tutors, and Middle School Health Enhancement Teacher. Gayle Walker seconded the motion. Robert Guenther, Teresa Stroebe, Jim Painter, Becky Webber, Tim Trafford, and Gayle Walker voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.
Rob Osborne advised that the sixth grade volleyball coach position has not yet been filled. This position will be on the next agenda.

When asked about the girl’s basketball coaching position, Rob responded that he prefers to have someone coach who is a district employee versus someone not employed by the district. He advised that Doreen Miller did not want to coach seventh grade girls’ basketball this year, and Randall Rice wanted to do it.

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

   A. Policy #8220 Meal Charges - Second Reading

Chairman Tim Trafford informed those present that trustees had asked for information as to what other schools did. Eileen advised that she had put out e-mail on the list server; the responses received are attached.

Teresa Stroebe asked if the policy is per child or per family.

Tim said the district is not a lending institution, but we want to be fair.

The trustees discussed and confirmed that the alternative meals will meet the federal requirements for a reimbursable meal.

The trustees had consensus that the ten-meal limit for charging should be per child.

Eileen advised that the word reports in the context of Policy 8220 means report cards, student scheduling, etc.

There was some discussion of how reports could be withheld due to parental access to student records through PowerSchool. Eileen said parent’s access could be turned off.

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Gayle asked if there should be anything about notices in the policy, or clarification of which entity to which the meals are reimbursable. Tim Trafford said he does not think that is a problem.

Jim Painter made a motion to adopt Policy 8220 on second reading with the following amendment: There is a ten-meal limit for charging per child. Robert Guenther seconded the motion. Robert Guenther, Teresa Stroebe, Jim Painter, Becky Webber, Tim Trafford, and Gayle Walker voted yes; the motion passed six to zero.


   A. Report from Superintendents’ and Boys’ and Girls’ Club Conference

Eileen said that the conference theme was: How can we pool our resources to do what is best for kids? She was pleased that there was no grumping and complaining about what they don’t have, but rather how can we cooperatively use the resources we do have.

She noted that some schools were getting money to build a room for the After School Program from the Boys’ and Girls’ Club.

The 21st Century Grant received by the Boys’ and Girls’ Club will make it possible to add middle school students to the Club. They will also hire a certified teacher who will work with our teachers to help compliment our curriculum in the work done with students after school.

The summer program ended Friday, August 9, 2003, and was successful.

Eileen said she has been turning away out-of-district students in most grades, because our enrollment of in-district students has maximized our capacity. Mrs. Johnson advised that parents want what we have to offer at Lockwood School, and they want access to the After School Program.

Tim asked Eileen about her presentations at the Superintendent’s Conference. Mrs. Johnson said she gave a presentation on the After School Program, and she and the principals gave a teamwork presentation. She noted that the administrative teams for many other schools the size of Lockwood, are much larger. Supt. Johnson said the principals have not complained about their added duties. She informed those present that the ratio of administrators to students is 13.5 to one statewide; at Lockwood it is 25 to one.

Mike Bowman asked if he could speak. He said Eileen is very well respected by the other administrators in her group as a leader.

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Mike Sullivan said he felt they were lacking social and emotional connection with the kids in Middle School. To try to remedy this, they are “looping” homerooms. Students will have the same teacher for three years for homeroom. This helps match kids with adults; the goal is to get a connection and build positive relationships.

Gayle Walker asked if a small article to inform parents about this could be put on the website or in the handbook. Mr. Sullivan said yes.

Eileen said Jack Copps gave an update about the QEC lawsuit. The case will be heard in court on January 20, 2004. It probably will go on to Supreme Court; they expect a decision to take until the 2005 Legislature. More schools have joined the lawsuit. MREA joined to represent several Class C schools. Mr. Copps said he feels good that the entire educational community has united to participate.


   A. Committee assignments for 2003-2004

Eileen advised that a draft copy was included with the agenda packet, and some board members have already e-mailed her with their preferences.

Chairman Trafford said he enjoyed what he did last year, and he would be willing to take on more assignments if someone else cannot serve on one of their assignments.

Becky Webber said she just has not been able to put the time and support in to the PDA Committee, and she would be willing to give it up.

Eileen said POET and PDA have icons on the First Class desktop; the minutes of their meetings are provided at their sites for anyone to read.

Tim said maybe we need a liaison instead of someone that attends the meeting every month.

Chairman Trafford asked Teresa if she could take PDA. He said if she could not make it to a meeting, she could call him and he would try to get there.

Teresa Stroebe advised that there has not been much activity with the Fine Arts Committee.

Chairman Trafford commented, “Lets make that one change for now, and I’ll call Greg and see if he wants to make a bigger commitment.”

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   B. Update on Boys and Girls Club activities

Supt. Johnson completed this report previously during her conference report.


Teresa said she and Greg are going to delegate assembly on August 23 in Helena. She made copies of the packet of information provided by MTSBA and distributed them to the other trustees.

Cross Petroleum donated 30 gallons of preservative for the annual care of the Lions’ Lair. Eileen reported that they had done this for several years.

Exxon donated $250 to the summer computer camp run by Shad Fancher and Karla Shaw.
Chairman Trafford expressed the appreciation of the Board of Trustees for these donations.


There will be a Special Board Meeting, Tuesday, August 19, 2003, at 7:00 p.m. The purpose of the special meeting is to meet with the district lawyer for litigation strategy for the Myers Lawsuit.


The next regular meeting will be Tuesday, September 9, 2003, at 7:00 p.m. The regular session will be preceded at 6:00 p.m. with a closed session for purposes of meeting with the district’s attorney for litigation strategy regarding the McCracken lawsuit.


Gayle Walker moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:02 p.m. Teresa Stroebe seconded the motion.
Robert Guenther, Teresa Stroebe, Jim Painter, Becky Webber, Tim Trafford, and Gayle Walker voted yes; the motion passed unanimously.

_________________________________           ________________________________

         Timothy Trafford, Chairman                            Diane M. Brook, District Clerk

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