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


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March 9, 2004

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CALL TO ORDER

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, March 9, 2004, 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, Jim Painter, Robert Guenther Superintendent Eileen Johnson and District Clerk Diane Brook. Greg Bochy and Becky Webber were absent. (Becky arrived later.)

Mike Bowman gave a presentation honoring Superintendent Eileen Johnson for being chosen as Montana Superintendent of the Year for 2004. He had pictures of her getting her award in San Francisco.

Staff members present were: Dave DeBoer, Mike Bowman, Susan Andersen, Linda Hanson, Susan Kneib, Sue Robertson, Keith Tresch, Brent Lipp, Tammy Biggins, and Carol Levang.

Registered guests were: Evelyn Pyburn, Dave Goetz, and Thomas Jones.

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.

Robert Guenther moved to approve the February 10, 2004 board minutes as presented and the payment of all bills and wages and extracurricular bills. Jim Painter seconded the motion. Chairman Trafford asked if there was any discussion.

Mr. Trafford requested these additions and corrections as advised by attorney Larry Martin.

Page 5 - Paragraph 2: In order for Mr. Myers to go directly onto his property without crossing the park land,

Page 5 – Paragraph 5: He noted that Merlin and Marcia Myers and Dale and Terri Myers would all sign the release easement and quit claim deed.

Robert Guenther amended his motion to approve the February 10, 2004 board minutes with the above-mentioned changes.

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Chairman Trafford asked if there was any opposition to the change. Seeing none he called for a vote. Tim Trafford, Gayle Walker, Jim Painter, Robert Guenther, and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed five to zero.

PUBLIC WRITTEN REQUEST TO ADDRESS THE BOARD

There was no written request to address the board.

CORRESPONDENCE

A. Letter of resignation from Mindy Kohn

Supt. Johnson recommended acceptance of Mindy Kohn’s termination of employment from the district and expressed best wishes to Mindy and her family.

Tim Trafford read aloud the resignation letter from Mindy Kohn.

Gayle Walker made a motion to accept the resignation of Mindy Kohn. Teresa Stroebe seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Gayle Walker, Jim Painter, Robert Guenther, and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed five to zero.

EDUCATION AND BUSINESS

A. Communication Arts Curriculum is presented for adoption

The Communication Arts Committee and Mr. Bowman presented the Communication Arts Curriculum.

Mrs. Johnson noted that they have worked tenaciously over the last two years to construct this curriculum and advised they are to be commended for an excellent job.

Mr. Bowman introduced the committee members who were present: Susan Andersen, Linda Hanson, Susan Kneib, Sue Robertson, Keith Tresch, Brent Lipp, Tammy Biggins, and Carol Levang. He noted that Linda Ruegsegger and Becky Webber also served on the committee.

Mr. Bowman explained the work they had done. He said this is a revision to the existing curriculum document. It has been shortened, is more succinct, and more powerful to the reader.

Eileen added her congratulations to the committee. She mentioned how vital the reading program is to all subject areas.

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Chairman Trafford said as he read through it he saw how comprehensive it was and how it was integrated into the whole day for students.

Teresa said it looked like a major undertaking.

Mike Bowman said they started in December of 2002 or January of 2003. He noted many of the teachers took it home and worked on it on their own time, especially in the proofing phase.

Tim called for a motion. Teresa moved to adopt the Communication Arts curriculum as presented. Robert Guenther seconded the motion.

Gayle Walker asked if the curriculum addressed learning how to take notes. One committee member responded yes. It is in the curriculum listed under the heading of writing.

Tim commented that many of the names on the committee are teachers that are on other committees also.

Jim Painter said, “Good Job.”

Tim Trafford, Gayle Walker, Jim Painter, Robert Guenther, and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed five to zero.

B. Superintendent’s Evaluation

Chairman Trafford presented the superintendent’s evaluation. He said the actual evaluation was conducted at a prior meeting. The purpose of the evaluation process is to provide the superintendent with reinforcement for effective leadership and guidance.

Mr. Trafford advised that six areas are covered in the evaluation. Each area is given a rating ranging from 1-5 or NK for not known. Supt. Johnson received very high scores. The board and superintendent have a very good working relationship and they are very pleased with Mrs. Johnson’s work.

Tim advised that the board felt it was time to hire a maintenance supervisor. The position has been vacant for several years and Eileen, with eye to fiscal responsibilities, held off filling the position. The Board of Trustees is in agreement that it has now become a priority to hire a maintenance supervisor. A job description has been developed for the position. The maintenance supervisor will oversee building maintenance and custodial work.

Eileen said five years of using this evaluation process has developed the board/ superintendent relationship, and she has grown from it.

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Trustee Teresa Stroebe said MTSBA provides good information about superintendent evaluations and board/superintendent relationships. She advised that all trustees read the book entitled "The Board Savvy Superintendent".

Eileen complimented the board on the way they have handled many difficult and complicated issues. She said they have done so with dignity.

C. Annual Trustee Election Resolution

Chairman Trafford explained that the terms of these three trustees are expiring: Becky Webber, Robert Guenther and Tim Trafford. The annual trustee election is for the purpose of electing three trustees.

Teresa Stroebe made a motion to call for the Annual Trustee Election on May 4, 2004, per the resolution document attached to the agenda. Jim Painter seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Gayle Walker, Jim Painter, Robert Guenther, and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed five to zero.

D. General Fund Levy for 2004-2005

The trustees were provided with a spreadsheet detailing the proposed 2004-05 General Fund Budget. The proposed budget included the maximum levy amount that can be voted, which is $78,719.77.

Robert Guenther moved to approve a resolution for a General Fund Levy election requesting a levy amount of $78,719.77, which is approximately 7.14 mills. Gayle Walker seconded the motion.

Teresa noted the cost to a home with a market value of $100,000 would be approximately $13.92 and a home with a market value of $200,000 would be approximately $27.84. It was also noted that this levy request is less than last year.

Tim Trafford, Gayle Walker, Jim Painter, Robert Guenther, and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed five to zero.

E. Building Reserve Levy for Three Years

Supt. Johnson advised that 2003-04 is the final year of the three-year building reserve levy passed previously. Should this new building levy pass; there would not be an increase in property taxes. The amount paid will remain the same or possibly less if the taxable value of the district raises.

Eileen explained that every three years the district has requested this same amount. The current building reserve levy will be retired at the end of this school year. At the present time the Building Reserve Fund has about $1,000,000 in it. The classroom

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addition that is planned will use all of it. Eileen enumerated some of the projects that have been completed with building reserve funds. They include: bathroom renovations, the administration building, fencing, playground equipment, technology equipment, wiring, carpeting, plumbing, asbestos removal and roofing.

Supt. Johnson recommends continuing the Building Reserve Levy.

Chairman Trafford pointed out that School Dist. 26 is debt free. He said everything you read about being debt free reinforces that it is a good way to be. He talked about the 20-year roofing plan and being a good neighbor by fencing certain areas. Tim said, “This will help us to continue to be debt free.”

Mrs. Johnson re-affirmed that having a Building Reserve Fund allows the school district to pay cash for all improvements and renovations instead of running a bond issue.

Trustee Robert Guenther said it has been the policy of the Board of Trustees to always complete the projects with quality work.

Teresa Stroebe said, “We always do what we say we will do. It is all spelled out on the ballot.”

Teresa asked about the roof plan. Eileen advised that the school district has a 20-year roof plan to replace and maintain roofs on all district buildings. They are presently in the second year of the plan.

Tim noted that having a building reserve also makes money available for emergencies.

Business Manager, Diane Brook discussed the tax impact statement that would be on the ballot. She noted that Lockwood School is unusual in the way they have run a building reserve levy for the identical amount of money on an on-going basis. Due to this, she worked with OPI to develop a tax impact statement for the ballot reflecting the ongoing nature of the Building Reserve levy request.

Teresa made a motion to adopt the resolution to hold a Building Reserve Levy Election on May 4, 2004 requesting $1,400,000 over a three-year period to raise an annual amount of $466,667. Gayle seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Gayle Walker, Jim Painter, Robert Guenther, and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed five to zero.

Becky Webber arrived at 7:46 p.m.

F. Calendar and PIR days for 2004-2005

The calendar and PIR days for 2004-2005 were presented for board approval.

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Mrs. Johnson advised that the staff has had an opportunity to provide recommendations and input for both. She noted that the calendar in the packet had an error. Corrected ones printed in color were provided to the trustees at the meeting.

Becky Webber moved to accept the corrected calendar and PIR days presented. Robert Guenther seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Gayle Walker, Jim Painter, Robert Guenther, Becky Webber and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.

G. Annual Number Belonging (ANB) Report

Superintendent Eileen Johnson noted that the ANB report was included in the packet for information purposes only. She advised that the Average Number Belonging has increased to 1,195 for 2003-04 as compared to 1,154 for 2002-03. This is an increase of 41.

Eileen mentioned two proposed mobile home parks, one with 76 spaces and the other with 54 spaces. This may impact our enrollment and supports the need for the additional classrooms.

HIRING

A. Updated list of substitutes

Tim read aloud the names from the list and asked for a motion. Becky moved to approve the hiring of Sandra Hopkins, Gordon Kuklok, and Marcia Lapito, as substitute teachers and Marie Hutchings as a support staff substitute. Gayle Walker seconded the motion. Trustee Stroebe asked if these people have all completed a fingerprint background check. Eileen responded yes. Tim Trafford, Gayle Walker, Jim Painter, Robert Guenther, Becky Webber and Teresa Stroebe voted aye; the motion passed six to zero.

B. Contract Sue Roberts to replace Mindy Kohn

Supt. Johnson recommended the hiring of Susan Roberts for the remainder of this school year to fill the fourth grade classroom position vacated by Mindy Kohn.

Teresa Stroebe moved to hire Susan Roberts. Becky Webber seconded the motion. Tim Trafford, Gayle Walker, Jim Painter, Robert Guenther, Becky Webber and Teresa Stroebe voted affirmatively; the motion passed six to zero.

C. Coaches

Randall Rice as track coach and Mary Kay Rottrup for sixth grade volleyball were recommended for hire.

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Eileen explained that a track coach who was hired previously was unable to do the coaching, and due to an error, Mary Kay Rottrup had not been issued a contract previously.

Jim Painter moved to hire Randall Rice and Mary Kay Rottrup for the above-mentioned coaching positions. Teresa Stroebe seconded the motion. Chairman Trafford asked if there was any discussion. Gayle Walker asked if Randall is coaching seventh and eighth grade girls and boys. Tim Trafford said the contract listed boys track. It was noted that track coaching is often done by event rather than for boys or girls specifically. Tim Trafford, Gayle Walker, Jim Painter, Robert Guenther, Becky Webber and Teresa Stroebe voted yes; the motion passed unanimously.

POLICY: None

REPORTS AND MISCELLANEOUS

A. Principals’ Reports

Mike Bowman said he had nothing to add to his written report. He mentioned that Sue Robertson was present and that she is a member of the Dyslexia Committee.

Mrs. Robertson said the committee is in the beginning stages.

Teresa asked are there more kids with dyslexia or is the diagnosis getting better. Sue said the definition of dyslexia has changed. She noted that different things have been looked at during different times. There are some ways to medically see some things now that were unavailable in the past. Mrs. Robertson noted that over the last five years the specifics for dyslexia diagnosis are coming from the medical field not just the educational field.

Dave DeBoer said we are extremely fortunate to get someone of Susan Roberts’ quality to finish out the year. Parents and students know her. He noted the transition was almost seamless. She is doing a tremendous job. She shadowed Mindy Kohn for four days before she started in the fourth grade classroom.

Mr. DeBoer noted that the testing schedules are attached to the agenda. He advised that there will be proctoring (assisting) in all fourth grade classes.

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He advised that standards now allow reading the tests to special needs students. They plan to have as many paraprofessionals helping in those rooms as possible. He said if anyone has an hour or two during the day, their help would be appreciated.

Assistants are not allowed to give answers, but they move around the room and assure that students stay on track on the bubble sheets. It was noted that with the proctoring, the tests would actually be able to give a more accurate reflection of the student’s abilities.

Middle School Principal Mike Sullivan was not present; he had been excused from attending the meeting.

Trustee Becky Webber noted that the Middle School report might have an error. She was quite sure the Guesstimate Team took first place, not third.

Chairman Trafford thanked the volunteers for Destination Imagination.

It was noted that 30 winners of the I Love to Read Contest got to go for pizza with Mr. DeBoer. Mr. Trafford said the contest and reward really meant a lot to the students.

Tim said the Spelling Bee was well done in the Middle School.

B. Superintendent’s Report

Eileen said this Friday she was invited to attend the Department of Education roundtable discussion regarding NCLB. This is the first time they have traveled to talk with the people in the field. The discussions will take place Thursday evening, Friday and Saturday. Mrs. Johnson advised that she has received information from several others to present to the Department of Education people. Eileen said it is important for us to tell them how we feel and how it is working; we need to take this opportunity to be heard. It was noted that this is actually a high school summit, but Eileen, as a K-8 administrator, was invited. Eileen noted the issues are very much the same for high schools and elementary schools. The summit is at MSU-B and the public can attend.

C. Community Education/Facilities Schedule

The Community Education and Facilities schedule was attached to the agenda for information purposes only. It shows the extensive use of the buildings in the evenings and on weekends.

OLD BUSINESS OR FOLLOW UP INFORMATION

Chairman Tim Trafford advised that the Easement, Quit Claim Deed, Limited Use Permit until May 31, 2004, and Mutual Release have been signed, sealed and delivered.

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TRUSTEE REPORTS

A. Montana School Board Resolutions from Teresa Stroebe

Teresa noted that any proposed resolutions have to be to MTSBA by June 1, 2004. She said if anyone has ideas or suggestions, they should attach the rationale and all pertinent information with the resolution.

Teresa read aloud her proposed resolutions. They were provided for information only at this time. Trustees can review them and they can be put on a future agenda at the request of the board.

Tim Trafford attended the Lockwood Community Planning meeting at Parmly Library. He said there was discussion about forming a steering committee. There will be a Lockwood Community Planning meeting in the Blue Room on March 22, 2004. Mr. Trafford encouraged all community members and interested parties to attend.

On March 25, 2004, the Steering Committee will meet in the Board Room. Tim advised that it is important that all different entities of Lockwood, such as the Fire Department, the school, the Sewer Board, etc., are represented. The concept of the Steering Committee is to have some organization, coordination and vision. They are hoping to meet once a month.

Eileen advised that the City-County Planning Board is putting out a brochure inviting everyone to the meeting. It will be a place to filter the community’s concerns. They want a tremendous amount of participation and public notice.

PUBLIC COMMENT ON SCHOOL ISSUES

Chairman Trafford acknowledged Mr. Goetz from Exxon.

Mr. Goetz mentioned that the Yellowstone County Commissioners had voted three to zero to give Exxon the tax relief they had requested.

Thomas Jones congratulated Superintendent Eileen Johnson on being awarded Superintendent of the Year for 2004. He said, as a parent, he is proud to have his kids attend Lockwood Schools.

NEXT MEETING

The next regular meeting is April 13, 2004 at 7:00 p.m.

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ADJOURN

Gayle Walker moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:27 p.m. Robert seconded the motion. Teresa Stroebe, Becky Webber, Tim Trafford, Robert Guenther, Jim Painter, and Gayle Walker voted yes; the motion passed unanimously.

 

__________________________________           ________________________________

         Timothy Trafford, Chairman                            Diane M. Brook, District Clerk

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