PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
LOCKWOOD SCHOOL DISTRICT #26
YELLOWSTONE COUNTY, BILLINGS, MT
[Back to Minutes Home]
June 8, 2004
BID OPENING 5:00 P.M.
Merlyn Miller read aloud the bids. The bid tabulation was documented as follows:
Trustee Teresa Stroebe arrived at 5:10 p.m. after the bids were opened.
Eileen thanked the contractors and advised that they would be notified of the bid award after the board made the final decision. The contractors left.
Supper was provided for everyone present.
Chairman Trafford arrived at 6:00 p.m.
CALL TO ORDER 7:04
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, Barbara Forrester Frank, Thomas Jones, Jim Painter, District Clerk Diane Brook and Superintendent Eileen Johnson. Trustee Greg Bochy was absent.
Staff members present were: Mike Bowman, Dave DeBoer, Mike Sullivan, Shirley Briner and Art Anderson
Superintendent Eileen Johnson advised those present of the process of the bid opening and reviewed the results per the above. She commented perhaps the bids came in lower than expected due to this project allowing them an opportunity for winter work.
It was advised that Merlyn Miller of CTA Architects and the contractor would come to some terms for the timeline and a penalty if the timeline was not met. Lockwood Schools has worked with all three contractors on previous projects. Fisher Construction is the low bidder, and Supt. Johnson recommended the Board of Trustees award the bid to them. She advised that the trustees ask the opinions of Art Anderson and Mike Bowman also. Mrs. Johnson said Merlyn was happy about the bid coming in lower that predicted.
Mike Bowman advised the 30 days longer for completion by Fisher Construction than was bid by General Contractors is not an issue for this project, since it will be ongoing during the school year.
Art Anderson, new facilities director, said sometimes it might be a concern when the bid comes in so much lower than predicted, but this bid is validated because there is less than one percent difference in bids. Art said that with Fisher’s reputation they should be able to complete the project within the bid.
Trustee Gayle Walker asked how long it would be before they can start. Eileen replied that it would be as soon as possible.
Art advised that they are waiting the results of the final review of the plans from the state.
Chairman Trafford noted that a former board member had expressed concern about the new addition from the standpoint of access for fire protection. Supt. Johnson said they have taken the plans to the Lockwood Fire Department and Chief Riley said this was acceptable. He did say this should be our last addition; from now on we need to build a separate building for additional space.
Thomas Jones moved to direct Art Anderson and Eileen Johnson to accept the contract bid from Fisher Construction in the amount of $764,900. Gayle Walker seconded the motion.
Eileen advised the board they would receive monthly updates on the project.
Teresa Stroebe said from a basic point of view, the building will be aesthetically unpleasing if we continue to build on.
Gayle asked if we have plenty of playground space. Eileen replied, “ Yes.”
Thomas asked about classroom disruption during the construction. Eileen said there could be some noise, but they will try to keep it to a minimum.
Mike Bowman reported that only two classrooms would be affected. Eileen said they would do their best to have it not be disruptive to the students.
Jim Painter reported that Fisher Construction had worked really well with them at the nursing home where he works when they completed a project there.
This project will result in windows in two classrooms being blocked, but those two classrooms will get air conditioning.
Thomas Jones asked if there were any contractor incentives for early completion dates. Art reported no.
Tim Trafford said that this project really does not have a pushed deadline.
Mike Bowman said the architect could assess late fees, which would be reverse incentives.
Chairman Tim Trafford said they had a motion to direct the Director of Facilities and Superintendent to get on with the construction. He asked if there was any more discussion; seeing none he called for the vote. Thomas Jones, Teresa Stroebe, Gayle Walker, Jim Painter, Barbara Forrester Frank, and Tim Trafford vote yes. The motion was passed.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES AND PAYMENT OF BILLS AND WAGES
Gayle Walker moved to approve the May 4-7, 2004 special board meeting minutes, May 11, 2004 regular board meeting minutes, and the May 24, 2004 special board meeting minutes as presented and the payment of all bills and wages and extracurricular bills. Teresa Stroebe seconded the motion. Chairman Trafford asked if there was any discussion. Gayle Walker noted a typographical error on Page 10, Paragraph 3 of the May 11, 2004 regular meeting minutes. It should say Sue Robertson not Sue Roberts.
Teresa wanted to check out how the trial transcript could be made available as part of the actual minutes rather than just the statement that it is available at the Federal Courthouse. She wants to pursue getting an actual transcript at a reduced or no cost. Teresa said if it is documentation of the proceedings of the board meeting that was ongoing during the trial, it should be part of the board minutes held on site at Lockwood Schools. Clerk Diane Brook noted that the cost for the trial transcript might be prohibitive, as they had received some information saying the costs could be $10,000 or more. Trustee Stroebe said she wants to follow-up on it.
Gayle Walker amended her motion as follows: I move to accept the minutes as presented for the 5/4/2004-5/07/2004 meeting during the trial and the 5/24/04 special meeting and with the above-mentioned change to the 5/11/04 regular board meeting minutes and the payment of all bills and wages and extracurricular bills as presented.
Tim asked if there was any objection to the change or any further discussion. Seeing none, he called for the vote. Tim Trafford, Jim Painter, Gayle Walker, Thomas Jones, Teresa Stroebe and Barbara Forrester Frank voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.
PUBLIC WRITTEN REQUEST TO BE PLACED ON THE AGENDA
A. Letter of resignation from Joan Wittman from Food Service
Superintendent Johnson advised that Joan Wittman resigned from Food Service. She recommended accepting her termination from employment and expressed appreciation for her work at Lockwood Schools. Joan will remain as a bus driver for First Student
Chairman Tim Trafford read aloud Mrs. Wittman’s letter of resignation.
Barbara Forrester Frank moved to accept Joan Wittman’s resignation. Teresa Stroebe seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Jim Painter, Gayle Walker, Thomas Jones, Teresa Stroebe and Barbara Forrester Frank voted yes; the motion passed six to zero.
B. Letter from the Project Citizen Students
The letter from the Project Citizen students was attached to the agenda. Superintendent Johnson advised that the students are requesting an elective class in “lunch work” to be added to the Middle School eighth grade program. She said she would work with Mr. Sullivan and Mrs. Briner to try to get this set up for the next school year. It will not require a formal policy to do this, just board support in the form of a motion. Eileen said they need to look into some more legal issues and she would keep trustees informed.
Eileen said we could add this to the Middle School schedule as a kitchen aide. We have aides that tutor, those that help the Boys’ and Girls’ Club, and aides for building secretaries. This could be a lifeskills elective. They would not work during their lunch periods but during the younger students’ lunch periods.
Eileen said there is no way that the labor alone could offset the costs for dishwashing the hard trays. Shirley said they could add a food service helper to wash the trays. Shirley said this was a good idea. This is a good life skills project and it could help students who participate get a job in the fast food industry.
Gayle asked why working in the kitchen was stopped in the past. Mike Bowman said he thought it was something to do with pay and problems with it.
Middle School Principal Mike Sullivan said he is always looking for places to put student aides.
Tim asked about supplying the student aides with a free lunch. Eileen and Mike said no; this would be an elective class. Aides have to behave themselves, so that is an incentive.
Tim Trafford said he likes this because it is important for kids to feel an adult responsibility. This is good for kids and self-esteem.
Tim said he would entertain a motion. Jim asked if there were any legal
problems with this.
Shirley said she would not lay off any staff, but she would work the kids in.
Mike Sullivan said they also have student aides that work with Pam Richau in the technology department. They go out and install software on computers and perform other technology related jobs.
Teresa Stroebe asked if we are going to discuss replacing the Styrofoam on a later agenda. Tim said he would feel comfortable suggesting it without making it a board action.
Teresa would like to consider Styrofoam trays and hormone free milk on the July agenda. Tim asked Teresa to research it and propagate the information to the other board meetings.
Jim Painter moved to adopt the kitchen aide program for 2004-05, and see how it goes. Thomas Jones seconded the motion.
Barbara Forrester Frank asked if this is policy. Eileen said it is just adding a class; it is not a formal policy issue.
Tim thanked the kids. He noted that they took first place in Bozeman and the project is going to nationals at Salt Lake City.
Teresa Stroebe seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Jim Painter, Gayle Walker, Thomas Jones, Teresa Stroebe and Barbara Forrester Frank voted yes; the motion passed six to zero.
EDUCATION AND BUSINESS
A. Middle School Handbook
The middle school handbook was distributed last month; revisions were marked in red.
Chairman Trafford asked for a motion. Gayle Walker made a motion to accept the Lockwood Middle School handbook for 2004-05 with the changes as noted in red. Barbara Forrester Frank seconded the motion.
Tim said the issue was open for discussion.
Gayle Walker asked if middle school kids have to take their report cards home, have them signed and returned. Trustee Walker said she feels strongly that parents and taxpayers want to make sure parents are seeing those report cards. She thinks it is important that the kids know the parents need to see it and sign it.
Principal Mike Sullivan said they could make the change and have the report cards signed and returned to the homeroom teachers.
Tim asked if this would require a change in the handbook. Since this issue is not directly addressed in the handbook, having report cards signed by parents or guardians of students in Grade 6-8 would not require a change in handbook. Teresa said it might help the students who are being evasive get back on track.
Thomas Jones said he had questioned Mike Sullivan about the student planners; he thanked Mike for providing a copy for him. Thomas asked how many kids are using planners. Mike Sullivan said next year it would be mandatory for students in Grades 6-8.
Barbara asked if students could use a different type of planner if they wish. Mike Sullivan answered yes.
Tim Trafford asked about the Video Surveillance Policy on Page 17. Mr. Sullivan said it is taken directly from Primary/Intermediate Handbook and he needed the same information in the Middle School Handbook
Tim talked about the surveillance being very overt. If ever video is used, it should never be a surprise to anyone. Eileen said an article was run in the school Newsletter to notify parents. Mike said camera surveillance is only used in the ISS room. All students sign a piece of paper and the camera is pointed out to them. Eileen advised that our buses have video cameras on them, also.
Cell Phones: Tim wanted to be sure that video cell phones are not permitted, but regular cell phones are permitted. Mike Sullivan said the page was copied out of Intermediate Handbook. He clarified cell phone use and how it is supposed to be handled.
Tim Trafford asked why the section on Page 21 prohibits temporary hair dye, glitter, etc. Mike responded that it makes a mess. This is the temporary stuff that you just spray in for the day, not actual hair dye, and it gets glitter everywhere. Hair color dye is permitted.
Gayle wants to make note that she continues to disagree with the section
on Page 7 that does not allow water bottles and beverage containers. She
feels it is important for students to keep hydrated.
Tim Trafford, Jim Painter, Gayle Walker, Thomas Jones, Teresa Stroebe and Barbara Forrester Frank voted yes; the motion passed six to zero.
B. Review of preliminary budget for 2004-2005
Superintendent Johnson advised that some preliminary budget information would be available at the meeting; budget details are still being worked out. Final budget adoption will be at the August board meeting.
Superintendent Johnson and Business Manager Brook reviewed the two pages of budget material provided to the board.
Chairman Trafford said Teresa had asked about what to do next with the expansion in the community. Tim said maybe we would need to look at long-term. Teresa suggested a Growth Response Committee. Tim said this was food for thought. Mr. Trafford asked everyone to think about how the board is going to deal with growth.
Tim Trafford asked Eileen to put Growth Response on the July agenda to provide an opportunity for each board member to discuss their ideas. He asked trustees to consider this question: What structure would you like to see for planning for the growth of the school district?
Eileen Johnson noted that the little gym is something that needs to be discussed. She also advised that the old building, which has classrooms that are too small, needs addressing also.
A. Recommendation to hire a science teacher for the Middle School
Eileen said they interviewed three people, and all three were wonderful. They recommend Charles Harvey. Eileen said he is very technology oriented and very MAC savvy.
Teresa asked if a background check had been done. Eileen said yes.
Teresa Stroebe moved to hire Charles Harvey as Middle School science teacher. Thomas Jones seconded the motion.
Gayle said she thinks it is good to allow the teachers to move around like they have this year. It is a good change and adds some new excitement for them. Mike said the teachers asked for the changes and they were happy with them.
Tim Trafford, Jim Painter, Gayle Walker, Thomas Jones, Teresa Stroebe and Barbara Forrester Frank voted affirmatively; the motion passed six to zero.
B. Continued discussion of staffing for next year
Teresa said it does not look like adding the PE teacher for 2004-05 would work in light of the preliminary budget figures. She doesn’t want the door closed for next year.
She said once these budget facts are provided, it takes care of the discussion. Due to prior discussions, prior hiring and the budget figures, it isn’t possible.
Tim said unless we have something different to offer we can move on. Teresa said the decisions have already been made, so we should move on.
The trustees asked for continued discussion next year regarding staffing.
A. Second reading of change to Policy #2420 on grading for grade three
Barbara Forrester Frank moved to approve Policy No. 2420 on second reading. Jim Painter seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Jim Painter, Gayle Walker, Thomas Jones, Teresa Stroebe and Barbara Forrester Frank voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.
B. New policy #2500 for Limited English Proficiency
Mrs. Johnson advised that Policy #2500 on Limited English Proficiency is required by the No Child Left Behind law. MTSBA recommends that their version be added to our policy book. Our policy requires only one reading when it is a requirement of law.
Eileen advised that Thomas Jones had e-mailed some questions to her. He asked how many students we have that qualify. Mike Sullivan said we have one student at this time. Eileen said in past years we have had two others. Supt. Johnson commented that Lockwood School staff worked with Billings District 2 to get ideas on how to provide services to these children. She noted that services are determined from an assessment provided through Title 1.
Trustee Teresa Stroebe moved to adopt Policy 2500. Barbara Forrester Frank
seconded the motion.
C. Set up a meeting time to review policy book with Trustee representation and staff
Superintendent Johnson advised the following: Every so often it is necessary to read and bring the Board Policy Book up to date. I would like to set up a day early this summer to do this. It’s a tedious chore of reading each page and making updates and/or corrections. Then these will be brought to the Board as a package for approval later this summer. I’ll find some people from the staff who like to do this kind of work and offer a day’s pay to help. I’m open to date suggestions from several Trustees who are interested. This will not be new policy recommendation, just a clean-up process. Some time next year, I would like to send our book to MTSBA for a review.
Teresa said she would like to be a reader; Tim volunteered also. It was decided that the date for the policy reading would be set via email.
The trustees and superintendent discussed MTSBA services and the MTSBA website. Eileen advised that she had signed up for the Montana Education Law Reporter provided through MTSBA. They were offering at one-half price, $300, so she purchased it.
REPORTS AND MISCELLANEOUS
A. Superintendent’s Report
Eileen said the report attached to the agenda is provided to give information to the trustees. She mentioned the Girls and Boys Club summer schedule. Mrs. Johnson noted that the Title 1 Summer Program would be held from July 12, 2004 through August 6, 2004 in conjunction with the Girls’ and Boys’ Club.
Tim said we are so fortunate to have all those programs together. Eileen said having the multipurpose room will really help the Girls’ and Boys’ Club. They will be able to leave their equipment out.
There will be a community meeting on Thursday, June 24 in the Blue Room. Mr. Olson will give a presentation about ground water.
OLD BUSINESS OR FOLLOW UP INFORMATION
A. Report on the limited charge lunch for the year
Through the tenacious efforts of Pam Rule our lunch clerk supported by your policy on lunch charges, the accounts this year ended up at $66.40 owed at the end of the year. Last year we lost $1,500 from the Food Service because of large charges not paid.
Eileen said Pam has a very good attitude, and she does a great job as lunch clerk.
Trustee Painter said it is a good feeling to have something that we hashed over so much end up being successful.
A. Montana School Board’s new procedure on legal advice
The attached procedure for obtaining information from MTSBA’s Hotline is attached. The Board should appoint someone in addition to the Chair, Superintendent, and Clerk to be the person who may make contact for legal advice.
Chairman Trafford said MTSBA wants the board to understand the process and to designate a fourth liaison in addition to the chairman, superintendent, and clerk. Barbara recommended that it be the vice-chair. Tim advised that the person could be designated by position or name. Thomas Jones concurred with Barbara’s recommendation. He said the vice-chair would be the next link in the chain.
Teresa said MTSBA felt this process would make services more accessible for everyone and would help information not to get misconstrued.
Eileen said problems could occur when different people ask a question differently. The process of providing the question and the answer via e-mail to all board members will be an excellent communication tool.
Chairman Trafford called for a motion. Trustee Barbara Forrester Frank moved that the vice-chair be the fourth designee able to make contact with MTSBA to obtain legal advice. Thomas Jones seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Jim Painter, Gayle Walker, Thomas Jones, Teresa Stroebe and Barbara Forrester Frank voted yes; the motion passed six to zero.
Trustee Stroebe distributed minutes of the last Steering Committee meeting to those present.
Teresa advised that the Professional Development Committee had met the day before, June 7, but she was unable to attend. The minutes of the meeting will be posted on First Class.
Committee assignments were discussed. Eileen said no board members should be assigned to committees, due to the legal advice that those would all be meetings that would have to be posted and minutes taken.
The trustees briefly discussed the legal interpretations of committee meetings being board meetings and posting those meetings.
It was determined that at the July meeting the board needs to decide about committee assignments. They asked Eileen to e-mail the committee list to all trustees and they will decide whether or not they want to continue committee assignments.
PUBLIC COMMENT ON SCHOOL ISSUES
The next regular meeting is Tuesday, July 13, 2004, at 7:00 p.m. Thomas Jones advised that he might not be present for that meeting.
Teresa Stroebe moved to adjourn the meeting at 9:19 p.m. Barbara Forrester Frank seconded the motion. Jim Painter, Thomas Jones, Barbara Forrester Frank, Gayle Walker, Tim Trafford, and Teresa Stroebe voted yes; the motion passed six to zero.
Timothy Trafford, Chairman Diane M. Brook, District Clerk