Regular Meeting

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July 8, 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, July 8, 2003, at 7:00 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, Greg Bochy, Becky Webber, Robert Guenther and Jim Painter, Superintendent Eileen Johnson, and District Clerk Diane Brook.

Registered staff members were: Mike Bowman and Mike Sullivan.

Registered guests were: Xavier Stroebe and Evelyn Pyburn.

Robert Guenther moved to approve the minutes of the June 4, 2003, special board meeting and the June 10, 2003, regular board meeting as presented. Becky Webber seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Gayle Walker, Jim Painter, Robert Guenther, Becky Webber, Greg Bochy, and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed unanimously.

It was noted that the copy of the summary of paid bills by account for the month of June would be provided at the August board meeting. The summary was not yet complete due to year-end closing procedures.

None was received.

Chairperson Trafford informed everyone that public comment could now be given regarding anything under the jurisdiction of the Board of Trustees, other than personnel.

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He advised that no action could be taken on an item that is not on the agenda; however, it could be put on the next agenda if needed.

No one spoke.

Supt. Johnson noted an addition to the agenda of Cheryl Laird-Robinson’s letter requesting a one-year leave of absence to the agenda. Eileen advised that she had e-mailed the trustees with this addition, and the agenda posting included the addition.
Tim Trafford read aloud Cheryl’s request for a one-year leave of absence.

Eileen recommended that the leave be granted. She advised that Middle School P.E. was Cheryl’s assignment.

Greg Bochy moved to grant Mrs. Robinson’s one-year leave of absence. Gayle seconded the motion. Robert asked how many people we have on leave. Eileen responded that we would have two people on leave.

Robert asked what happens when they come back. Eileen said they are guaranteed a position, but not necessarily the same job. Robert wanted to be sure that the people that are hired to fill the one-year positions know up front that this is a one-year position.

Greg asked about what benefits stop during a leave of absence. Eileen responded that the Master Agreement addresses this issue. They must pay for their health insurance premiums on their own if they choose to stay on the district plan.

Eileen said these one-year people will be issued a regular teaching contract, and they will be issued a letter of non-renewal. They are advised that the position is for one year only.

Greg asked what happens after someone is on leave. Eileen said they have to inform the Board of Trustees early in February whether or not they will return.

Tim asked if there is a policy as to what are considered acceptable reasons for requesting leaves of absence. He advised that consistency is important.

Eileen said during her six years as superintendent, the only leaves that have been granted have been for education or family reasons.

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Teresa said she likes being a family friendly school that allows employees to take care of their families.

Tim Trafford, Gayle Walker, Jim Painter, Robert Guenther, Becky Webber, Greg Bochy, and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed unanimously.

   A. Recommitment to Eastern Yellowstone Cooperative

Supt. Johnson advised the following: The Yellowstone Special Education Cooperative is requesting that each of the nine schools recommit for the upcoming school year. The recommitment can be done with a motion to recommit to the Co-op for the 2003- 2004 school year and the appointment of a representative to the Co-op Board. I have served as Chair of that Board for five years and will be happy to continue as your representative to that group.

Chairman Trafford took a moment to explain his philosophy of maintaining order and directing the board. He will ask for a motion and second on an agenda item, then he will recognize trustees for comments and discussion. After discussion is completed, the vote will be taken.

Becky Webber moved to recommit to the Eastern Yellowstone Special Services Cooperative for the 2003-2004 school year. Teresa Stroebe seconded the motion.

Teresa Stroebe asked if a motion to re-appoint Eileen should also be made.

Becky Webber amended her motion to recommit to the Eastern Yellowstone Special Services Cooperative for the 2003-2004 school year and appoint Eileen as representative to the Co-op Board. The chairman asked if there were any objections to the amendment. No one objected.

Tim Trafford, Gayle Walker, Jim Painter, Robert Guenther, Becky Webber, Greg Bochy, and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed seven to zero.

   B. Continue to use the services of Yellowstone Academy’s Community Based Services Mental Health staff for 2003-2004

Supt. Johnson advised that Lockwood Schools have worked with the Mental Health Center from Yellowstone Academy to provide services to our students. The cost of these services is covered through the payment of Medicaid funds.

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Teresa Stroebe moved to continue to use the services of Yellowstone Academy’s Community Based Services mental health staff to provide services to our students for the 2003-04 school year. Gayle Walker seconded the motion.

Mrs. Johnson noted that she has a contract to sign.

Gayle asked about funding with the cuts to Medicaid. Eileen said our funding is satisfactory for now.

Teresa asked if the mental health staff provides treatment here on campus. Eileen said yes.

Gayle asked if the staff has been fairly steady from year to year. Eileen said yes; she noted that they are running a summer program here on campus.

Tim Trafford, Gayle Walker, Jim Painter, Robert Guenther, Becky Webber, Greg Bochy, and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed seven to zero.

   C. Middle School Handbook for 2003-2004

The middle school handbook is presented for your approval. Copies were distributed at the last meeting to provide time to review any issues related to the content.

Chairman Trafford advised that he would allow time for discussion of this issue prior to a motion.

Becky Webber said she had found some typographical errors. She will give her copy with the errors noted to Mike Sullivan, so he can make corrections.

Becky asked about the changes to the Gifted and Talented Program noted on Page 12.

Mike Sullivan advised that the new scheduling would separate G & T from Advanced Communication Arts. Mike said they would pull out during homeroom to go to G & T Classes. This is a little change in the philosophy; it will give more opportunity for students that are gifted in other subject areas.

Gayle Walker asked what changes there would be. Mike said students who were in advanced classes for math and communication arts got to Extended Studies by default. They will now get there through test scores, not by being in advanced classes.

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Robert Guenther wanted to discuss the Grading Policy on Page 24. In the past he was adamantly opposed to this grading policy and the criteria for sports eligibility. As of this time he is not in favor of it because he has not received feedback. How is it working?

Teresa wanted to know how would we judge this to see how it is working? What would we put into place to track it?

Robert said he would like some data to show that it is working.

Tim said what do we need? What criteria do we set?

Robert said we shouldn’t decide that tonight.

Teresa said maybe we could do something through Power School.

Tim wonders if there were any kids left out, then how were they dealt with.

Jim said he would like to poll coaches and teachers to see how it went.

Mike said he didn’t notice any difference. He said Rob probably took care of it with the teachers. He received fewer parent complaints.

Mike said maybe at the beginning of the year we could do a survey.

Robert said he wants more tangible evidence than a survey.

Greg said maybe we could find out who played or who didn’t get to play.

Tim discussed the Power School problems that could have affected complaints. Tim said at any point in time we could take some samples.

Eileen suggested reviewing the number of students who start the season and the number who finish. Did more students stay and finish until the end than in the past? Eileen said the biggest majority of students drop out of sports due to grades.

Mike Sullivan said he would talk to Rob and get some ideas.

Jim Painter said he would like to work on it, too.

Tim said could we put this on the September agenda.

Robert would like to compare the old sports eligibility criteria to the new.

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Tim thinks it would be a good analysis to look at individual kids.

Tim asked if the Power School grade reporting is working better? Mike Sullivan said yes. Teachers are more used to it; they can enter from home now. There could be an occasional problem, if a teacher is absent.

Chairman Trafford asked if there was any further discussion of content. There was none.

Becky Webber made a motion to approve the Student Handbook for the Middle School as presented with typographical error corrections noted. Jim Painter seconded the motion.

Tim Trafford, Gayle Walker, Jim Painter, Becky Webber, Greg Bochy, and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; Robert Guenther voted no. The motion passed six to one.

   D. Preliminary budget information for 2003-2004

Superintendent Johnson advised that Diane would provide some preliminary budget information at the meeting. The Trustees report which details the past year must be completed before the 2003-2004 budgets can be finished. The state releases the on-line forms later in July or early August. The state and the county must complete the tax information before the schools can proceed. Final budget adoption is scheduled for the August 12 meeting. This item is for discussion only.

Diane Brook reviewed a packet of budget information including working spreadsheets and preliminary budgets for General Fund, Transportation Fund, Tuition Fund, Retirement Fund, and Adult Education Fund.

Eileen Johnson said that MTSBA had advised that the Board of Trustees should be hiring substitutes via board motion. A list of substitutes is attached for Board approval. Each month an updated list will be provided for your consideration.

It was noted that the substitute list had errors in the names. It was the general consensus of the trustees to table this item until the August Board Meeting, so they could get a corrected list of names.

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   A. Discuss a required policy for meals not paid.

Policy recommendation. As the attached memo from OPI indicates, we must have a policy regarding meals that are owed by students. We have not had a hard policy in the past and try to collect from families as much as possible. There are many accounts that have gone over $100. We are not always able to collect those funds. Yet, the district must pay the food bills. All paid lunches are reimbursed at 20 cents and breakfast at 22 cents each by the government. When the account is in arrears the district must pay the remaining cost of the lunch. A suggested policy would be $10 per child for charges, and then provide an alternative meal until the account is paid.

It was noted that the main issues for discussion are charge limit and alternative lunch.

Greg asked if we could refuse to feed anyone. Eileen said yes.

Eileen advised the alternative meal could be a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Gayle Walker asked what the consequences for non-payment are at this point. Eileen said the student does not receive a grade card and class schedule processing will not be done until payment is received.

The trustees agreed that ten lunches or two weeks worth of charges was a reasonable limit.

Robert Guenther asked if MTSBA has a policy regarding this matter. Eileen responded that they do not.

Teresa said she would inform MTSBA they need to develop a policy for this.

Tim would like to leave in place the present sanctions: no final grade cards and no schedule processing for the middle school students.

The trustees were in agreement that no students should go hungry.

Robert wanted to table the issue and wait for MTSBA to develop a policy for us.

Eileen advised that it would take three meetings to get a policy in place, which would be September. She felt it was important to have something in place as soon as possible after school begins this fall.

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Tim Trafford asked if amendments could be made to the policy during the second or third readings. Eileen said yes.

Tim asked if there was a motion. He reviewed the criteria discussed.

Becky Webber made a motion to establish a lunch collection policy as follows:

Students will have a ten-meal charge limit.

Alternative meals will be served to students whose accounts are more than ten meals in arrears.

The present sanctions of receiving no grade cards and no class scheduling until the account is paid still apply.

Gayle Walker seconded the motion.

Tim Trafford, Gayle Walker, Jim Painter, Robert Guenther, Becky Webber, Greg Bochy, and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed seven to zero.

Robert Guenther suggested getting policies from other school districts for examples.

   A. Superintendent requests permission to send a letter to the state DOT requesting a left arrow turn on Old Hardin Road for safety reasons.

After meeting with the County Transportation Committee, Commissioner Kennedy suggested that a letter from the district might help with providing the left lane arrow needed at Old Hardin Road when making a left turn onto Johnson Lane. It is impossible to see past the trucks to determine if there is on-coming traffic to make that left hand turn. Our buses and everyone else must wait through a number of light changes in order to make that turn. It is a disaster waiting to happen.

Greg Bochy moved to have Eileen draft a letter and send it to the Transportation Committee. Becky Webber seconded the motion.

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

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Chairman Trafford read a passage from Page 4 of the November 20, 2001 Board Meeting Minutes. The section was about the McCracken lawsuit. He said he thought Lockwood School took a beating in the Yellowstone County News about the open meeting law, and he wants the record to show that Lockwood School did publicly disclose this information.

Tim would like to make committee assignments in the very near future. He would like everyone to pick his or her favorites. Tim thought it would be a nice touch if those committee works were reported back to the Board via the trustee liaison.

Greg asked if Eileen could e-mail the list of committees to trustees.

Becky said the daytime committee assignments should be noted.

Eileen said she would e-mail the list of committees to the Trustees.

Teresa said she would like to combine some committees.


   A. Report of monthly LEA meeting from Trustee representative - No Report

   B. District MTSBA Meeting

Teresa Stroebe reported about the Director’s meeting she had attended.

The MTSBA Fall Conference will be October 15-17, 2003, in Bozeman.

MTSBA is going to be named as a plaintiff in the MQEC lawsuit; then they can be called to testify.

Teresa said the Leadership Workshop provided information about Open Meeting Laws and the Bryant Case.

Teresa thought it would be a good idea to have a workshop to discuss how the trustees work together and how they work on committees. She also thought the Board of Trustees completing a self- evaluation would be an interesting exercise.

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The next regular board meeting is Tuesday, August 12, 2003, at 7:00 p.m. This is the Budget Meeting.

No donations were noted.

Becky Webber moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:09 p.m. Gayle Walker seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Teresa Stroebe, Gayle Walker, Becky Webber, Robert Guenther, Greg Bochy, and Jim Painter voted yes; the motion passed unanimously.



__________________________________           ________________________________

         Timothy Trafford, Chairman                            Diane M. Brook, District Clerk

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